Global Graphics Software
Smart software components for Print OEMs and ISVs


Harlequin Core is a Raster Image Processor (RIP). It converts text and image data from many file formats including PDF, TIFF™ or JPEG, into a raster that a printing device can understand.

Harlequin is the fastest RIP engine available, powering the next generation of digital printers. It's at the heart ofSmartDFE™, a full software and hardware stack that provides everything you need to add print to a fully automated smart factory. Harlequin is also available as an SDK, if you wish to build your own solution.

“Performance is the focus of Harlequin Core development, a faster RIP Farm enables presses to run at maximum engine speed and reduces the bill of materials for a digital front end (DFE).”

Martin Bailey

Features and benefits

  • Achieves unrivaled speed - Harlequin Core is the fastest RIP Core available
  • Offers extreme performance using Scalable RIP farm compared to a single RIP instance
  • Offers significantly higher performance from multicore computers
  • Accelerates output by re-using content with Harlequin VariData™
  • Maximizes throughput performance and minimizes memory with Automatic Tiling, splitting large pages across multiple RIPS
  • Reduces costs: it's the fastest RIP available so Digital Front Ends require less hardware
  • Compliant: supports PDF 2.0, PDF/X and PDF/VT
  • Offers simple C API for interfacing between layers and core
  • Offers easy integration with JSON configuration
  • Prints PNG, PDF, PostScript, TIFF, JPEG etc directly
  • Exports technical and structural contours
  • Supports PDF processing steps
  • Provides an accurate, consistent and predictable Color Management Module (CMM)Harlequin ColorPro™
  • Offers cross platform support - Mac Silicon, Windows 11 and Linux (Redhat and Ubuntu)
  • Includes specialized plugins for specific printer features (eg bar-splitting, inspection systems)

New in Harlequin Core 13

• Automatic tiling to maximize throughput, minimize memory requirements • Extended support for larger DFEs with RIPs on multiple servers • Direct printing of PNG files, as well as PDF, PostScript, EPS, DCS, TIFF, JPEG etc

Unrivaled speed

The Harlequin Core is the fastest RIP engine available so your DFE as a whole will cost you less. It’s scalable to drive a wide range of devices. Harlequin Scalable RIP, a newly expanded integration framework, gives OEM partners access to a complete range of RIP/server configurations so that they can bring high-quality, highly robust solutions to market quicker, with minimal development effort for initial integration. Harlequin Host renderer can also split very large pages into tiles automatically, allowing a single page to be processed by multiple RIPs in parallel.

Variable data

Harlequin VariData™ greatly accelerates the processing time of PDF files containing variable data whether they're submitted as regular PDF or as PDF/VT. It uses a unique method of intelligently recognizing repeated content and responds to changes in variable data usage.

Exceptional color management and screening

Harlequin ColorPro™ allows you to achieve accurate brand color emulation, high-quality image reproduction and offers a variety of methods to maintain pure blacks through the color engine.

Combined with the Harlequin Screening, including multi-level screening with Advanced Inkjet Screens, you have guaranteed high quality printing every time. And you can configure the output raster output formats to suite your needs: color spaces, channel interleaving and bit-depth.

Both color management and screening can be applied consistently across PDF, EPS, TIFF, JPEG and all other input formats using a common API.

PDF processing steps

Harlequin Core offers support for PDF processing steps (ISO 19395-1) the standard that specifies how processing steps can be encoded into PDF files, ideal for labels, packaging and wide format applications.

Extensive compatibility

The Harlequin Core complies with a broad array of color- and print-related standards, including PDF/X, PDF/VT and ICC. Harlequin Core supports all of the features in the PDF 2.0 specification that are relevant for production printing.

Harlequin RIP is the industry’s fastest print engine

Independent speed tests show that the Harlequin RIP delivers pages far in excess of the rated speeds of the industry's highest performing digital presses.

Working with you

Here at Global Graphics Software we understand how difficult it can be to get started on your digital print journey, and so our Technical Services team is ready to offer free expert advice and help.

Dedicated experts in RIP and screening technology, principal software engineers and color scientists, all with decades of real-world experience, are ready to guide you through the process of selecting the right software components and then successfully implementing them into your press.

We pride ourselves on offering a personal, friendly service and work with you to ensure the fastest time to market.

Talk to us about your project

If you need more information about any of our products, technologies or services, get in touch.