Hybrid Software has released version 9 of its Packz native PDF editor, featuring ‘significant enhancements’ in design automation, colour management, 3D visualisation, advanced trapping, and ganging of multiple jobs in a single print layout.

These new features make Packz, according to the company, ‘the only all-in-one editor for labels and packaging graphics that runs on both the Mac and PC platforms without the need for plug-ins or expensive 3rd party subscriptions.’

Patrick Coussement, co-president at Hybrid Software, commented, ‘Nearly 10 years ago we released the first version of Packz with the goal of providing a ‘Swiss Army knife’ of pre-press tools in a single application, supporting both Windows and Mac, with no need for plug-ins. We’ve been very successful in this approach and have sold more than 5000 copies of Packz, but many users still relied on other software for package design, 3D rendering, colour management, ganging, etc.

‘With recent acquisitions by Hybrid Software Group, as well as continuous innovation by our crack team of software developers, we’ve closed that gap with Packz 9. We will increase our customers’ efficiencies even further in future versions.’

Specifically, and in response to increasing consumer demand for smart packaging, Packz 9 adds support  for Content XML for creating graphic designs using industry-standard XML data. Content XML provides an automated tool for managing nutrition facts and ingredients panels, anti-counterfeit labels, language translations, and variable data for digital output of labels and packaging.

The Advanced Color option incorporates technology from sister company ColorLogic to provide an accurate snapshot of printed artwork under various printing conditions, including different spot colour strategies. The feature is designed to help label and packaging producers accurately reproduce brand colours using the fewest number of inks and the least amount of each ink to achieve the lowest cost and most sustainable production.

From iC3D Software, a recent addition to the group, rendering capabilities have been introduced to Packz 9, including photorealistic 3D visualisation software to provide instantaneous virtual prototypes of even the most complex packaging artwork and embellishments on-the-fly.

Product manager Pascal Wybo added, ‘Packz 9 brings an updated version of Packzimizer for automated lane planning of digital package printing as well as stacked label imposition for sheet-fed “cut & stack” label production. We’ve also added enhancements to the trapping algorithm to allow different trap widths for different inks, based on opacity or specific printing conditions. This was requested by our customers and we listened and responded to their needs.’

Packz 9 and the latest version of Stepz are shown by Hybrid Software at Labelexpo Europe 2023, which takes place 11-14September in Brussels, Belgium; find out about other upcoming industry events here