PPML/VDX Variable Data Print Exchange Standard

A study conducted by PODi, a major manufacturer of digital printing equipment, showed that the lack of a unified standard is one of the most important reasons for hindering the market from accepting personalized printing. After research, PODi released its personalized print markup language PPML/VDX in March 2000.

PPML/VDX (Personalized Print Markup Language/Variable Data Exchange) means “Personalized Print Markup Language/Variable Data Exchange” and is a standard for output/exchange of variable data printing (VDP) jobs based on PDF and PPML. Based on Adobe PDF and PPML, the advantages of PPML and PDF are combined to establish an open standard for the exchange of variable data. In this way, those documents that are to be combined with database information and variable content can be used for variable data printing in other software by only one "Save as" command.

PPML/VDX has established a detailed and variable data format, allowing designers and manufacturers to exchange final output formats and variable documents in the form of electronic files. The main work based on this standard is to design pages in design software and design variable information content in general database software.

Because PPML/VDX integrates the advantages of PPML in the coding of variable data layouts and the openness and reliability of PDF, its use reduces frequent communication between designers and printers. The final format data for one or more sources can also provide effective and reliable exchange. This standard allows designers to fully control the final shape, content and appearance of each part of the print. Even if each page of the print is different, the print producer can focus on the quality of the product without having to be a database. Operation and printing parameter settings are troublesome.

VDP Workflow Based on PPML/VDX

Variable data printing workflows generally include the stages of concept, development, approval, consolidation, printing, and completion.

Conceptual stage: VDP applications usually begin with the idea of ​​marketing peer-to-peer marketing activities. In order to motivate customers' willingness to purchase, the marketing department proposes ideas and provides original materials, including image and text content, and databases. At this stage it is necessary to analyze customer data and determine the form and appearance of the final printed material.

Development phase: Transform concepts into executable plans and designs. This process includes the work of art editors, text editors, and database organizers.

Approval stage: The marketing department evaluates the above plans and adjusts and modifies them according to the marketing objectives. It also needs to use the database to test the entire application, check the text content, image size, etc.

Consolidation phase: The PPML/VDX format variable data print job generated using the graphic data and database data formed in the previous phase.

Printing stage: Printing with a digital printer that supports PPML/VDX.

Completion phase: Postpress processing and service work such as binding, cutting, mailing, etc.

Problems with variable data printing

For those companies that want to do variable data printing, the first key issue to solve is how to learn and understand various database products. In fact, the understanding of the database does not need to be particularly thorough, just know how to use the data in the database, and use the data to communicate with customers.

Excel can achieve such a function. Before production, the printer needs to know the type of database used, the meaning of the fields, the relevance of the fields, and the fields to be used in the printing, from the person making the database. In order to achieve variable requirements, companies can hire a computer expert to help companies solve a variety of related issues.

Another problem brought about by variable data printing is who is responsible for the accuracy of the content of the database. In traditional printing, the customer can print after signing the sample. All questions are subject to proofs. The situation is very different in variable data printing. Should customers be responsible for the content of the database? Can a printing company print directly without verification? Is the printing company responsible for proofreading the database? How to proofread the variable data print job? All of these issues must be resolved effectively and reasonably before printing, otherwise it will greatly affect the operation of this business model.

The key to the printing of variable data is to decide what template to use and what data content is variable, and to solve these two problems is half successful. In this process, the database drives the switching of text and images, but if the content does not match the space left, it needs to add certain logic rules to the production to constrain the conditions for providing the content. This allows the printer to The customer provides yet another value-added service.


The development of variable data printing technology is an inevitable trend in the development of information transmission network. The rapid development of high technology such as information technology, network technology, digital technology and automation technology will fundamentally transform, expand and develop printing technologies, and promote the entire printing industry. Industry development. The close integration of network technology and printing companies will lead to tremendous changes in the printing industry. As the market matures and the concept changes, variable data printing will win more potential markets, and the prospects will also become more and more broad.

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