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What is RIP software?

What is RIP software?

RIP software can significantly improve the way you work – allowing you to get the most out of your printers with increased versatility and productivity, faster print speeds, and more effective colour management.

In this guide, we’ll look at what RIP software is, what it does, and why it’s important, as well as the best RIP software for large format printing.

RIP software explained

RIP stands for Raster Imaging Processor. This software is similar to the print driver included with a printer but provides much more control, converting vectors into rasters.

Vectors are digital files comprised of paths and points, typically used in applications such as InDesign, Illustrator, and Quark. Rasters are pixel-based, high-resolution images that are used for high quality, highly detailed images and photos.

Also known as bitmaps, raster files are composed of a matrix of dots, which can be easily understood by the printer.

What does RIP software do?

RIP software can send instructions directly to a printer, bypassing other programmes.

The process follows the steps below:

  1. A page description language is translated into an internal representation of each page
  2. The representation is then converted into a bitmap
  3. The continuous-tone bitmap is converted into a halftone image, which looks like a pattern of dots
  4. The design is sent to the printer or printer network

How to use RIP software

RIP software can be installed and used with inkjet and large format printers.

It’s important to use RIP software that is compatible with your printer(s) and it is recommended that the same RIP software is used across the entire print room, to ensure consistency of quality and colour.

Why is RIP software important?

RIP software plays an important role in the printing process. It determines the colour, screen pattern, and resolution of the final print, ensuring reliable colour reproduction, saving time, and reducing waste caused by multiple reprints.

Who would use RIP software?

Any business that prints materials such as labels, banners, flyers, and brochures will benefit from RIP software.

You may need RIP software if you:

  • Have two or more printers
  • Have more than one operator running your printers
  • Need to simplify your printing workflow
  • Need to print many copies of the same image or multiple images
  • Need to reprint images you’ve printed in the past, but need the colours to match exactly
  • Need to increase your print productivity

The benefits of RIP software

RIP software offers a number of benefits, including:

Improved workflow

With RIP, you can process multiple files at the same time, regardless of how large the files are. This results in a more efficient workflow, saving both time and money.

Consistency across multiple printers

If you are working with multiple printers, RIP software ensures consistency across all devices. This means fewer reprints, which means less paper and ink, and less waste. It also saves time, allowing you to print the same file from multiple printers at once.

Colour management

RIP software allows you to create ICC profiles, adjust ink capacity, and control linearisation, providing superior colour management for accurate reprints.

Increased control

RIP software gives complete control over print files, including scaling, rotating, colour correction, dot size, opacity, and more.


RIP software includes nesting features, which allow you to combine multiple different files into one print job.

Best RIP software for large format printing

At Perfect Colours, we supply a range of RIP Raster Image Processing software solutions for large format printers, from leading brands such as Caldera, ONYX, Poster Jet, and Proofmaster. Explore the best RIP software for large format printing here.

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