Frequently Asked Questions


The latest release of FirstPROOF is version 6.2r9 (which supports OSX 10.10 (Yosemite) and later).
FirstPROOF has been designed to run on both Apple Macs and Window PCs.

  • On the PC, Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 are all supported.
  • On the Mac, OS X 10.2 – 10.10 are all supported (Intel only).
  • On the Mac, OS X 10.11 – 10.12 are known to work and will be fully supported with a native Cocoa release in 2017.
FirstPROOF was originally designed to work with the Harlequin RIP, but has also been extended to work with the Esko Flex RIP (LEN files), Presstek DI RIPs and TIFF files (see below for more information).

FirstPROOF can view files from most Harlequin RIP versions but some of the enhanced features are not supported by older RIPs!

  • FirstPROOF is capable of roaming images created by Scriptworks RIPs version 3.2 and higher.
  • FirstPROOF supports nearly all of the PGB formats created by the RIP with the exception of RLE.
  • FirstPROOF’s Hold feature is only supported in RIP versions 5.0 or higher. This is a limitation imposed by the RIP not FirstPROOF.
FirstPROOF supports most striped and tiled TIFF files, apart from JBIG, 2/4/16 bits and YCbCr/CIE-L*a*b* TIFFs.
You can upgrade FirstPROOF from any version to an equivalent version:

  • FirstPROOF PGB and TIFF can be upgraded to FirstPROOF Standard.
  • FirstPROOF Plus can be upgraded to FirstPROOF Professional.

However the latest version 6.2 is a chargeable upgrade and to use it you’ll need to purchase an Upgrade Key.

You can upgrade FirstPROOF Std / PGB / TIFF to Pro by purchasing an Upgrade Key.
Effectively, the answer is “No”.

  • If you can print it, we can view it.
  • We often view 40″ x 40″ pages at 4000 dpi and FirstPROOF can go much higher.
  • There are no 16 bit limits; in fact where required we use 64 bit data types in our code which allows us to view files over 50″ x 50″ at 5000 dpi and more.
  • All our file I/O code is 64 bit based.
  • Having said that, TIFF files are inherently 32-bit based, so you can’t get a TIFF file over 2G.
FirstPROOF Pro can print to any standard printer that you can attach to your Mac or PC and for which there is a printer driver for the Mac or PC.
When FirstPROOF Pro prints it always tiles its output onto as many pages as are required. Furthermore, you can use the Selection Tool and the View Selection Tool to select a sub-area of the page to view and then print.

If you enable the Ink Limits Tool in FirstPROOF Pro, you can reduce the Max Ink Limit by an amount and see if there might be a problem. If there is, you can then simply go Print, which will print what you are viewing; that is your page and the results of the Ink Limits Tool.

FirstPROOF is not an editing program, but it does allow you to ‘Delete’ any bad separations, pages or jobs. In addition, FirstPROOF Pro also allows you to ‘Merge’ two or more separations that should have been the same, and Rotate separations that have an incorrect orientation.

Built-in ROAM facilities often have significant restrictions with what they can do.

  • In order to roam files on most RIPs you need to disable the RIP’s output. This means that while you are roaming, nothing gets imaged.
  • Roaming requires a lot of CPU power and is memory intensive. This means that any jobs that are ripping will slow down while a job is being roamed.
  • Users can only roam a single job at a time, so all the other operators need to wait for the user who is busy to finish before they can get to roam their jobs.

FirstPROOF allows you to break free from these restrictions.

  • FirstPROOF is a “Remote On Screen Proofing System” that utilises the processing power of the machine that it is installed on. This means that the RIP does not need to be disabled before the user can roam.
  • As mentioned above, FirstPROOF does not use the RIP’s CPU or RAM so the RIP is free to process new jobs even if someone is using FirstPROOF to roam a job.
  • The fact that FirstPROOF only utilises the processing power of the machine that it is installed on means that multiple users can roam jobs from their own machines at the same time.
During the design of FirstPROOF this was an issue that was given a lot of attention.

  • FirstPROOF allows the user to put the whole Hqn RIP or certain queues into hold mode. This means that any job imaged to a RIP or queued in hold mode will not show up on the RIP but will be displayed by FirstPROOF and marked that it is on hold. Once the user has viewed the job, they can use FirstPROOF to delete the job or return it to the RIP’s active queue.
  • LEN / PDI / TIFF files arrive in FirstPROOF in an Input folder. When approved, they get moved to an Output folder, which is typically a TIFF catcher for the Output device. Only once the user has approved a job does it get moved and so output.
Most certainly not. FirstPROOF offers the ability to view the image using a range of reduction factors.

  • FirstPROOF will create reduced views of the high-res image ranging from 800% to 100% to the factor that best fits in the roam window. These factors are processed in the form 800%, 400%, 200%, 100%, 50%, 25%, 12.5%, etc.
  • As of FirstPROOF 5, FirstPROOF can also create reduced views of other factors, such as 33.3%, 20.0%, 16.7%, 14.3%, etc… producing much smoother more progressive zooms
  • Due to the fact that processing some of the larger factors like 12.5% can take some time, FirstPROOF allows you to customise which reduction factors are processed.
  • In order to maximise performance, FirstPROOF provides instantaneous access to the 800%, 400%, 200%, 100%, 50% & 25% views, but pre-processes the other views (12.5%, 6.25%, etc…) and caches them. Once the pre-processing is done, that’s it – instantaneous zooming.
A major concept that influenced the design of FirstPROOF was the concept of Page/Separation to Job grouping.

  • FirstPROOF is not fooled by duplicate job names. The system was designed so that it is always aware of all of the components from a job.
  • Unlike some RIPs, FirstPROOF displays the data in the form of Jobs which can be expanded to show the Pages and Separations that make up the job. As well as always being aware of the job components , FirstPROOF is also aware of a components status. This is conveyed to the user by means of indicators next to the Job Name and Job Component names that let the user immediately see the status of the components.
  • The status indicators include:
    • Job – On Hold, Approved, Rejected, Media Saved, Waiting for Imaging, Partially Imaged, Completely Imaged, Input, Output.
    • Page – On Hold, Approved, Rejected, Media Saved, Waiting for Imaging, Partially Imaged, Completely Imaged, Input, Output.
    • Separation – On Hold, Approved, Rejected, Media Saved, Waiting for Imaging, Completely Imaged, Input, Output.
  • In certain cases the whole issue gets even more confused in that the RIP cannot always get the page numbers correct and the user may end up with; e.g. Page 1 Cyan, Page 2 Magenta etc. FirstPROOF has a feature called re-map pages that will correct this problem.
This is another feature that was regarded as highly important when we designed FirstPROOF.

  • The FirstPROOF screen houses two image windows, a large roam window and a smaller navigational window. The Navigator window always shows the entire image in a reduced format and indicates by means of a green block which section of the large image the user is viewing.
  • The user can jump around quickly by clicking in an area of the Navigator which will take them to the corresponding area of the larger image.
  • The user can move around quickly by clicking on the red hot spot in the middle of the green block and dragging it (the green block) around.
  • In some cases the Image may be extremely large so we have allowed the navigator windows to be resized to 512 x 512 pixels so that the user will always be able to see what is going on.

FirstPROOF contains a Selection Tool that allows you to define each of the four pages on your flat. You can then use the View Selection Tool to just view one of those four pages at a time.

The answerer to this question is “With the greatest of ease”. When viewing a job with FirstPROOF the user can by simply clicking a button:

  • Rotate the viewed image left or right.
  • Flip the viewed image horizontally.
  • Switch the Image from negative to positive.
Absolutely not! In FirstPROOF job information is regarded as being integral to the proofing process.

  • The FirstPROOF screen includes all the items that you need to proof a job in a single window. This includes a Job Info window that shares real-estate with the Navigator window when it is docked.
  • The Job Info Window displays: the Output Device Name, the Jobs X and Y Resolution, the Image Width, Height and Area, the Raster Depth (e.g. 1bit or 8bit), the Interleaving Style and Number of Channels, and the File Size and File Date (latest of creation and modification date).
Yes it does!

  • FirstPROOF’s new interface makes it very easy to switch colors on and off and immediately see the results in the roam window.
  • So you can view the Cyan separation, then with a single click Cyan + Magenta, etc.
If you are using FirstPROOF Pro, you can use the View Black Tool to temporarily change the view to view all separations in Black. This allows for much easier viewing.
Again the answer is yes!

  • FirstPROOF will allow you to proof the jobs trapping on screen which makes it the perfect companion for the new trapping in the version 6 Harlequin RIP.
  • FirstPROOF also includes a show Black Trapping option which changes the black separation to 50% grey view so that the user can check any trapping that is normally hidden.
  • Viewing trapping is one area where FirstPROOF’s multiple reduction factors become essential, as you can zoom in and out to best view the trap.
FirstPROOF has a color library that you can use to define and save custom colors.

  • Changing the color of a separation in FirstPROOF really only takes a click of the mouse. The user has the option to choose colors from the predefined list or define new colors and save them to the list for future use.
  • Furthermore, colors from the Color Manager can be used to ‘replace’ the default colors defined by either a Harlequin PGB or a TIFF file.
  • Custom colors from Harlequin PGBs are automatically used when viewing the job, and furthermore can be automatically added to the Color Manager.

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