Sign and Print Shops - Get Ready for the Windows 11 Update Now!
Whether you choose to update Windows from 10 to 11 or not, at some point you’ll probably have no choice. Some may even have their system set up to do so automatically. Yep, you wake up expecting a regular workday, go to the shop, and BOOM!, an entirely new Windows update has happened and you wonder if this will affect your design and RIP software. Your stomach feels like jello as you double-click that design software and wait for the verdict!
Ways to Minimize the Stress & Protect Your Work
BACK UP YOUR SYSTEM NOW!
You’ve heard it for years and some have ignored it for years! BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER NOW! Let me repeat that….BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER NOW!
Come on folks, you’ve invested thousands of hours in your work. Are you going to let an update destroy your workflow? I’m not saying that it will, but if there is some kind of glitch in the update, or if your software doesn’t seem to be working well with the new version, with a backup you can at least go back to what did.
Create a Restore Point
Do this now as well. A restore point is like a snapshot of your system and can allow you to go back to a point where things were working. Some systems do this automatically when new software gets installed, for instance. But you can also do so manually. Watch the video below for a quick tutorial.
The Windows 11 Update
Let’s cover some of the Windows 11 update features. There are lots of articles if you just search Windows 11 updates, but here are a few features. While some of these may not seem to be important to your business, like gaming features, the changes could in fact affect things like video performance, RAM usage, Hard Drive management, and more.
Your workflow in Windows may change and just getting familiar with a new interface, for instance, may slow you down a bit. So enjoy the summary below, and just think in terms of “How will this new feature affect my workflow?”
Redesigned for productivity, creativity, and ease
We’ve simplified the design and user experience to empower your productivity and inspire your creativity. It’s modern, fresh, clean, and beautiful. From the new Start button and taskbar to each sound, font, and icon, everything was done intentionally to put you in control and bring a sense of calm and ease. We put Start at the center and made it easier to quickly find what you need. Start utilizes the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what platform or device you were viewing them on earlier, even if it was on an Android or iOS device.
Windows has always been about helping you work how you want, by offering the flexibility of multiple windows and the ability to snap apps side by side. New in Windows 11, we’re introducing Snap Layouts, Snap Groups, and Desktops to provide an even more powerful way to multitask and stay on top of what you need to get done. These are new features designed to help you organize your windows and optimize your screen real estate so you can see what you need just the way you want in a layout that’s visually clean. You can also create separate Desktops for each part of your life and customize them to your liking – imagine having a Desktop for work, gaming or school.
Windows 11 cuts through complexity and brings you simplicity.
A faster way to connect to the people you care about
Another critical part of bringing you closer to what you love is bringing you closer to the people you love. The last 18 months drove new behavior for how we create meaningful connections with people digitally. Even as we start to return to more in-person interaction, we want to continue to make it easy for people to stay close to each other no matter where they are. And we don’t want the device or platform you’re on to be a barrier.
With Windows 11, we’re excited to introduce Chat from Microsoft Teams integrated into the taskbar. Now you can instantly connect through text, chat, voice, or video with all of your personal contacts, anywhere, no matter the platform or device they’re on, across Windows, Android, or iOS. If the person you’re connecting to on the other end hasn’t downloaded the Teams app, you can still connect with them via two-way SMS.
Windows 11 also gives you a more natural way to connect with friends and family through Teams, allowing you to instantly mute and unmute, or start presenting directly from the taskbar.
Delivering the best PC gaming experiences yet
If you’re a gamer, Windows 11 is made for you. Gaming has always been fundamental to what Windows is all about. Today, hundreds of millions of people around the world game on Windows and find joy and connection with loved ones and friends through play. Windows 11 unlocks the full potential of your system’s hardware, putting some of the latest gaming technology to work for you. Like: DirectX 12 Ultimate, which can enable breathtaking, immersive graphics at high frame rates; DirectStorage for faster load times and more detailed game worlds; and Auto HDR for a wider, more vivid range of colors for a truly captivating visual experience. Nothing has changed in our commitment to hardware compatibility – Windows 11 supports your favorite PC gaming accessories and peripherals. With Xbox Game Pass for PC or Ultimate, gamers get access to over 100 high-quality PC games with new games added all the time, and it’s still just as easy to find people to play with, no matter if they’re playing on a PC or console.
To learn more about what Windows 11 means for gamers, check out Xbox Wire.
A faster way to get the information you care about
Windows 11 brings you closer to the news and information you care about faster with Widgets – a new personalized feed powered by AI and best-in-class browser performance from Microsoft Edge. Even when we’re at our most focused and creative we still need breaks – a moment to check in with the outside world or give ourselves a mental reset. Today, we often pick up our phones to check the news, weather or notifications. Now, you can open a similarly curated view directly from your desktop. When you open your personalized feed it slides across your screen like a sheet of glass so it doesn’t disrupt what you’re doing. For creators and publishers, Widgets also opens new real estate within Windows to deliver personalized content. Our aspiration is to create a vibrant pipeline for global brands and local creators alike, in a way that both consumers and creators can benefit.
An all-new Microsoft Store where your favorite apps and entertainment come together
The new Microsoft Store is your single trusted location for apps and content to watch, create, play, work and learn. It’s been rebuilt for speed and with an all-new design that is beautiful and simple to use. Not only will we bring you more apps than ever before, we’re also making all content – apps, games, shows, movies – easier to search for and discover with curated stories and collections. We’re excited to soon be welcoming leading first and third-party apps like Microsoft Teams, Visual Studio, Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom and Canva to the Microsoft Store – all offering incredible experiences to entertain, inspire and connect you. When you download an app from the Store you have the peace of mind of knowing it’s been tested for security and family safety.
We’re also pumped to announce that we are bringing Android apps to Windows for the first time. Starting later this year, people will be able to discover Android apps in the Microsoft Store and download them through the Amazon Appstore – imagine recording and posting a video from TikTok or using Khan Academy Kids for virtual learning right from your PC. We’ll have more to share about this experience in the coming months. We look forward to this partnership with Amazon and Intel using their Intel Bridge technology.
Creating a more open ecosystem unlocking new opportunity for developers and creators
We are taking steps to further open the Microsoft Store to unlock greater economic opportunity for creators and developers. We’re enabling developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to bring their apps regardless of whether they’re built as a Win32, Progressive Web App (PWA), or Universal Windows App (UWP) or any other app framework, creating an opportunity to reach and engage with more people. We’re also announcing a progressive change to our revenue share policies where app developers can now bring their own commerce into our Store and keep 100% of the revenue – Microsoft takes nothing. App developers can still use our commerce with competitive revenue share of 85/15. We believe creating a more open ecosystem ultimately benefits our customers – giving them secure, frictionless access to the apps, games, movies, shows and web content they want and need.
To learn more about the changes to the Microsoft Store, visit this Windows Blog post.
If you want to learn more about what Windows 11 means for developers, visit the Windows Developer Blog.
Faster, more secure and familiar for IT
For IT, Windows 11 is built on the consistent, compatible and familiar Windows 10 foundation you know. You’ll plan for, prepare and deploy Windows 11 just as you do today with Windows 10. Upgrading to Windows 11 will be like taking a Windows 10 update. The familiar management experiences you have in place today – like Microsoft Endpoint Manager, cloud configuration, Windows Update for Business and Autopilot – will support your environment of tomorrow as you integrate Windows 11 into your estate.
Just as with Windows 10, we are deeply committed to app compatibility, which is a core design tenet of Windows 11. We stand behind our promise that your applications will work on Windows 11 with App Assure, a service that helps customers with 150 or more users fix any app issues they might run into at no additional cost.
Windows 11 is also secure by design, with new built-in security technologies that will add protection from the chip to the cloud, while enabling productivity and new experiences. Windows 11 provides a Zero Trust-ready operating system to protect data and access across devices. We have worked closely with our OEM and silicon partners to raise security baselines to meet the needs of the evolving threat landscape and the new hybrid work world.
You can learn more about Windows 11 as the operating system for hybrid work and learning in the Microsoft 365 blog.
It’s a great time to buy a PC
Since day one of developing Windows 11, we have been working closely with our hardware and silicon partners for seamless integration across software and hardware. That co-engineering begins with innovation in the silicon. From AMD and the incredible graphics depth brought by the Ryzen processors to the incredible performance of Intel’s 11th gen and Evo Processors, to Qualcomm’s AI prowess, 5G and Arm support, the innovation of our silicon partners brings together the best of Windows 11 with the largest hardware ecosystem in the world.
And with Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Surface and others, we’ve worked to ensure most PCs* you can buy today will be ready for Windows 11 – across a variety of form factors and price points.
Together, we’ve tuned Windows 11 to not only be optimized for speed and efficiency, but to take advantage of improved experiences with touch, inking and voice.
When you use Windows 11 on a tablet without a keyboard, we’ve improved the experience for touch, creating more space between the icons in the taskbar, adding bigger touch targets and subtle visual cues to make resizing and moving windows easier, as well as adding gestures. We’re also enabling haptics to make using your pen even more engaging and immersive – allowing you to hear and feel the vibrations as you click through and edit or sketch. Lastly, we’ve brought forward enhancements in voice typing. Windows 11 is incredible at recognizing what you say; it can automatically punctuate for you, and comes with voice commands. This is a fantastic feature for when you want to take a break from typing and speak your ideas instead.
Windows 11 will be available through a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs and on new PCs beginning this holiday. To check if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11, visit Windows.com to download the PC Health Check app. We’re also working with our retail partners to make sure Windows 10 PCs you buy today are ready for the upgrade to Windows 11. The free upgrade will begin to roll out to eligible Windows 10 PCs this holiday and continuing into 2022. And next week, we’ll begin to share an early build of Windows 11 to the Windows Insider Program – this is a passionate community of Windows fans whose feedback is important to us.
This is just the beginning
Windows is more than just an operating system; it’s a fabric woven into our lives and in our work. It’s where we connect with people, it’s where we learn, work and play. Over time it’s remained familiar and adapted to us. We hope you’re as pumped as we are for Windows 11.
We can’t wait to see what Windows 11 empowers people to do and inspires them to create.
Eco-solvent has a wider color gamut than latex that is especially noticeable in bright red, orange, magenta, blue, cyan and green output. The other significant color difference between the two ink systems is in the “glossy” quality of eco-solvent. Eco-solvent ink directly interacts with the fibers of the substrate and takes on much of the attributes of the substrate itself. Thus, when printed on glossy substrates it has a vivid, gloss appearance. In contrast, latex inks lie on top of the substrate when printed and have a matte, dull quality, even on glossy materials. In addition, latex simply doesn’t compare to the rich blacks and reflective color of eco-solvent.
With a latex system, the water-based ink is thinner and more ink must be jetted and dried to achieve the same color density as an eco-solvent ink system. Mutoh’s variable droplet technology prints in seven different droplet sizes from 4 to 20 picoliters, allowing for finer details, smoother gradations and a less “grainy” appearance when compared to the 10 pico-liter fixed droplet size of latex. Mutoh also prints at 1440dpi versus the 1200dpi for the HP Latex.
ECO–SOLVENT FOR RICHER, SMOOTHER COLOR WITH 7-DROPLET SIZES
COLOR CONSISTENCY (PRINT TO PRINT AND PRINTER TO PRINTER)
HP Latex printers use consumer-grade Thermal print heads vs. the Industrial grade print head in a Mutoh printer. Thermal heads operate at extremely high heat causing degradation of the print head over time. The result can be color shifts from print 1 through print 100 and from printer to printer.
HP recommends users replace the thermal print heads per 2-3 liters of ink (300 and 500 series) and every 5-6 liters of ink (700 & 800 series) or “frequently” due to thermal degradation or failure. The new HP 800/800W has 4 total print heads for non-white and 5 print heads with white. This means….
$125.00/print head x 4 = $500.00 in print heads per every 2-3 liters of ink used. (300,500)
$170.00/print head x 4 = $680.00 in print heads per every 5-6 liters of ink used. (700,800)
The Mutoh industrial print head is rated for 6 billion fires or 3-4 years on average but will vary depending upon maintenance and care procedures.
Because eco-solvent inks are thicker, with more pigment, they need less ink to print a specific color. They also require significantly less heat to cure and less time to print than a latex system. Latex inks require much more heat to cure, which effects the room temperature and material performance. Latex printers require (2) 220v power lines which will mean added installation expense and higher operating costs vs. the Mutoh XpertJet series of printers which only require a standard 120v power source.
LESS INK + LESS POWER = LOWER OPERATING COSTS
ECO SOLVENT VS LATEX CURING TIME COMPARISON
Mutoh XpertJet MP-41 Eco-Solvent Inks are GreenGuard Gold certified which means they are environmentally safe and can be disposed of with no special requirements. There are three levels of UL GREENGUARD Gold Certification for printing ink products based on the amount of printed material that may be installed in a room. Mutoh MP41Inks are certified at the highest level (the lowest emissions), qualified as unrestricted to wallpaper a full room.
Wallpaper – unrestricted for a full decorated room 33.4 m2 (360 ft2 ) in an office environment and 94.6 m2 (1,018 ft2 ) in a classroom environment.
These 3 Image Viewers Are More than Just Viewers
There are a lot of free image viewers out there. Image viewers basically allow you to organize and view images on your computer. But the two I’ll discuss here are among the best because not only will they organize and allow you to view images of all types, but they will also allow you to edit them and even soft proof them for printing.
Let’s take a look.
Faststone Image Viewer
FastStone Image Viewer is a fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. It has a nice array of features that include image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, retouching and color adjustments. Its innovative but intuitive full-screen mode provides quick access to EXIF information, thumbnail browser and major functionalities via hidden toolbars that pop up when your mouse touches one of the four edges of the screen. Other features include a high quality magnifier and a musical slideshow with 150+ transitional effects, as well as lossless JPEG transitions, drop shadow effects, image annotation, scanner support, histogram and much more. It supports all major graphic formats (BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, PSD, EPS, TIFF, WMF, ICO, CUR and TGA) and popular digital camera RAW formats (CR2, CR3, CRW, NEF, NRW, PEF, RAF, RWL, MRW, ORF, SRW, X3F, ARW, SR2, SRF, RW2 and DNG).
No Adware. No Spyware.
What I love about this image viewer is how fast it is as well as the numerous methods of editing a file. One great feature is the option of setting the Color Management System to use the monitor profile for soft printing before printing.
I’ll focus on this one because it’s my favorite.
XnView MP/Classic is a free Image Viewer to easily open and edit your photo file. The Image Viewer supports all major image formats (JPEG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, WEBP, PSD, JPEG2000, OpenEXR, camera RAW, HEIC, PDF, DNG, CR2). As Image Viewer you have features like color adjusting, image resizer, cropping, screen capture, metadata editing (IPTC, XMP) and much more. With its easy-to-use explorer-like interface, XnView MP allow you to quickly view your images and photos, but also to make image management. You have features like batch rename, batch converter, duplicate image finder, image compare, but you can also create contact sheets, slideshow.
XnConvert is a fast and powerful batch image converter, you can convert, resize, watermark, add text, enhance, filter in batch mode.
XnResize is a fast and powerful batch image resizer, you can convert, resize in batch mode.
Applications for Windows/MacOS/Linux, with the popular XnView Classic and now XnView MP
It is designed to be simple for beginners and powerful for professionals.
IrfanView seeks to create unique, new, and interesting features, unlike some other graphic viewers, whose whole “creativity” is based on feature cloning, stealing of ideas, and whole dialogs from ACDSee and/or IrfanView! (for example, XnView has been stealing/cloning features and whole dialogs from IrfanView, for 10+ years).
IrfanView was the first Windows graphic viewer worldwide with Multiple (animated) GIF support. One of the first graphic viewers worldwide with Multipage TIF support. The first graphic viewer worldwide with Multiple ICO support.
Some IrfanView features:
- 32 and 64 bit version
- Many supported file formats (click here the list of formats)
- Multi language support
- Unicode support
- Thumbnail/preview option
- Paint option – to draw lines, circles, arrows, straighten image etc.
- Toolbar skins option
- Lossless JPG rotation, crop and EXIF date change (also in batch mode)
- Slideshow (save slideshow as EXE/SCR or burn it to CD)
- Show EXIF/IPTC/Comment text in Slideshow/Fullscreen etc.
- Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters
- Fast directory view (moving through directory)
- Batch conversion (with advanced image processing of all files)
- Multipage TIF editing
- File search
- Multiple undo steps
- Email option
- Multimedia player
- Print option
- Support for embedded color profiles in JPG/TIF files
- Change color depth
- Scan (batch scan) support
- Add overlay text/image (watermark)
- IPTC editing
- Effects (Sharpen, Blur, Adobe 8BF, Filter Factory, Filters Unlimited, etc.)
- Screen Capturing
- Extract icons from EXE/DLL/ICLs
- Shell Extension PlugIn
- Many hotkeys
- Many command line options
- Many PlugIns
- Only one EXE-File, no DLLs, no Shareware messages like “I Agree” or “Evaluation expired”
- No registry changes without user action/permission!
- and much much more
Click here to see several screenshots of IrfanView.
IrfanView 64-bit version
Starting with IrfanView 4.40 there is also a 64-bit version available.
Advantages of IrfanView 64-bit over 32-bit version:
- It can load VERY large files/images (image RAM size over 1.3 GB, for special users)
- Faster for very large images (25+ Megapixels, loading or image operations)
- Runs ‘only’ on a 64-bit Windows (Vista, Win7, Win8, Win10)
Advantages of IrfanView 32-bit over 64-bit version:
- Runs on a 32-bit and 64-bit Windows
- Loads all files/images for normal needs (max. RAM size is about 1.3 GB)
- Needs less disc space
- All PlugIns will work: not all PlugIns are ported (yet) to 64-bit (like OCR) and some 32-bit PlugIns must be still used in the 64-bit version, some with limitations (see the “Plugins32” folder)
- Some old 32-bit PlugIns (like RIOT and Adobe 8BF PlugIn) work only in compatilibilty mode in IrfanView-64 (only 32-bit 8BF files/effects can be used)
- Command line options for scanning (/scan etc.) work only in 32-bit (because no 64-bit TWAIN drivers)
- You can install both versions on the same system, just use different folders. For example: install the 32-bit version in your “Program Files (x86)” folder and the 64-bit version in your “Program Files” folder (install 32-bit PlugIns to IrfanView-32 and 64-bit PlugIns to IrfanView-64, DO NOT mix the PlugIns and IrfanView bit versions)
- The program name and icon have some extra text in the 64-bit version for better distinguishing
Available 64-bit downloads
Download IrfanView-64 English (Version 4.58, Self extracting EXE file, 3.56 MB)
(SHA-256 checksum: 6bfdf8d92a937dde9d672b22e8864ab17fbe86a37b6cb2b4fa68e7bcb99c0861)
Download IrfanView-64 English (Version 4.58, ZIP file, 3.10 MB)
(SHA-256 checksum: 0c4e17336d800b1e072d8a0cb94957d673df11d1b526c6ce1f17aebc71f6dd76)
Download von IrfanView-64 Deutsch/German (Version 4.58, EXE-Installer, 3.82 MB)
(SHA-256 checksum: e7fec27016e46ced330e460ea0053378502fbc264b4d9361529abc278050a9da)
Download von IrfanView-64 Deutsch/German (Version 4.58, ZIP file, 3.36 MB)
(SHA-256 checksum: 213621901123166619b2bea57574eae457af16248770d631c0b1bbb78d19dd09)
Download IrfanView-64 PlugIns (Version 4.58, EXE-Installer, 24.60 MB)
(SHA-256 checksum: aa47dadff28084f765feb853da6dd5007be4476ceb9f6f9b41df36fa23878f26)
Download IrfanView-64 PlugIns (Version 4.58, ZIP file, 22.10 MB)
(SHA-256 checksum: 92d7c18a6113e744f75249bd7f146d0afcb27183410a5d533f29286beaf5686e)
PlugIns updated after the version 4.58:
I love Faststone Imge Viewer. It’s just simple to use and easy to set up. All of these are great and your choice is more a matter of what you like, but I use Faststone.
Learn more about Color Management and Many Other Subjects
Secret Code for FlexiSIGN Users: 25offintro
Object Linking and Embedding is like a Bridge
OLE or Object Linking and Embedding is like a bridge that links one program to another. It has been around in Windows for a while but is rarely used properly.
In this blog, I’ll show you why and how to use it in Flexi 21.
OLE- Object Linking and Embeding in Flexi 21
What is OLE? Object Linking and Embedding?
The Geek Stuff
A compound document technology from Microsoft based on its Component Object Model (COM). OLE allows an object such as a graphic, video clip, spreadsheet, etc. to be embedded into a document, called the “container application.” If the object is playable such as a video, when it is double clicked by the user, a media player is launched. If the object is allowed to be edited, the application associated with it (the “server application”) is launched.
An object can be linked instead of embedded, in which case the container application does not physically hold the object, but provides a pointer to it. If a change is made to a linked object, all the documents that contain that same link are automatically updated the next time you open them.
All of the above simply means that you can place a FRAME with the embedded program inside another program and when you double-click that frame, the other program will start so you can edit what’s inside that frame. In the meantime, in Flexi 21, you can actually print the image you see in the frame.
Flexi 21 and many of the previous versions, allow OLE and it can be a great tool once you understand it and practice using it.
Take back control of your wide format printer. Attend our 5-day MUTOH webinar series on color printing the right way!Read More