Hybrid Software Group

Global Graphics Software Granted US Patent for Searching and Modifying Outlined Text in a PDF File

New method for identifying, tagging or replacing outlined or converted text offers a breakthrough for brand owners who want to maintain control over their artwork.

Cambridge, UK:
Global Graphics Software, a Hybrid Software Group company and developer of the Harlequin RIP® and the SmartDFE™ platform, has been granted a US patent (Patent No. 202 3030 6188 A1) for “Methods and Systems for Identifying and Tagging Outlined or Converted Text” by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The invention is a breakthrough for brand owners who want to maintain control over their artwork while also saving time and resources.

The patent describes how the live text properties of a PDF file can be preserved while preventing unauthorized editing or font substitution and is particularly useful for brand owners who need to send their artwork to reprographic studios for different printing processes and presses. The studios often outline the fonts in the PDF file to avoid licensing issues and ensure the integrity of the artwork. However, this means that the archived file has no live text and cannot be easily searched or edited.

“This invention provides a solution that combines security and flexibility for PDF files with live text properties,” comments Nigel Wild, product owner at Global Graphics Software and co-inventor of the patent. “The challenge was to find a way to protect the PDF file from unwanted changes, while allowing the user to access the live text properties if needed. For example, if a text change must be made to a printed label, such as an ingredient change, the user would have to manually read all the files that could be affected and determine which ones need to be updated. This could be a very time-consuming and error-prone task. This invention solves this problem by creating a hidden layer in the PDF file that contains the live text properties, such as the actual live text at outlining stage, the location, font, style, size, and color of the text. The user can then extract this data and store it for review. Now hundreds of thousands of files can be searched very quickly for a specific text string and files that need to be updated can be identified in seconds rather than months. Moreover, it also enables the user to reactivate the text if legitimate edits are required.”  

Justin Bailey, Managing Director, Global Graphics Software adds: “Our SmartDFE for labels and packaging has prepress and workflow components that are being enhanced through the application of this invention, creating additional value for our OEM partners and subsequently their end user customers.

“I am pleased that by securing this important patent other operating companies in the Hybrid Software Group will benefit, particularly HYBRID Software, whose PACKZ® and CLOUDFLOW® applications are focused on label and packaging markets, where this invention will enable new efficiencies in their customers’ standard operating procedures.”


About Global Graphics Software
Global Graphics Software ( is a leading developer of intelligent software components for print OEMs and independent service vendors, including SmartDFE™, the Harlequin RIP®, ScreenPro™, PrintFlat™ and Mako™. Customers include HP, Canon, Durst, Roland, Kodak and Agfa. The roots of the company go back to 1986 and to the iconic university town of Cambridge, and today the majority of the R&D team is still based near here. Global Graphics Software is a subsidiary of Hybrid Software Group PLC (Euronext: HYSG).

Media Contact
Paula Halpin, PR & Marketing Manager, Global Graphics Software | Tel: +44 (0)1223 926017

Exhibitor Data Sheet