Global Graphics Software
Innovative software components for digital print


The Print Software Engineer's Swiss Army knife: Mako has many ‘blades’, each one matching a job that you need to get done. Utilizing its unique document object model, Mako’s C++, C#, Java and Python APIs offer control over color, fonts, text, images, vector content, metadata and more, combining precision with performance.

Features and benefits

The Mako Blades
  • Conversion
  • RIPping
  • Analysis
  • Optimization
  • Creation
  • Cloud app development
  • Mobile app development
  • Desktop app development
  • IoT app development
  • Printer driver development
  • Consolidation
  • Multiple platforms
  • Multiple PDLs
  • Multiple PDF ISO Standards
  • Multi-color
  • Multiple EDS screens
  • Multiple development languages
  • Multi-lingual
Switching service (Free)
Blade: Conversion


Fast, feature-rich conversion. Mako’s DOM (document object model) architecture means you can convert in either direction between any of the supported PDLs, taking full advantage of the target format for as rich a conversion as is possible.

Converting from one PDL to another is as easy as reading the input, say PCL, and immediately writing the output to PDF or another supported format. Mako takes care of the tricky details, such as fonts, images, vector objects and color spaces to ensure the result is represented correctly in the target PDL, and if required, ensuring output meets ISO standards such as PDF/X-4.

Blade: RIPping

Fast, full-featured built-in RIP for composite and separated workflows. Mako’s RIP ‘blade’ is the Jaws RIP. Fully color-managed, multi-threaded for performance, Jaws supports 16-bit rendering to high resolution rasters that can be halftone or error-diffusion screened. Mako solutions can be built to preprocess PDFs before rendering as a single process, for example imposing or adding variable data.

Blade: Analysis


Interrogate and edit content with DOM APIs, consistent across formats and platforms. Mako utilizes its own unique DOM (document object model) enabling developers to interrogate or change virtually any aspect of a digital document. With Mako it’s easy to report on page size and count, fonts, colors paces, metadata, optional content, bookmarks, annotations, attachments, document structure and more. Specific APIs tuned for PDF quickly scan for all fonts or spot colors used in a document.

Document features common to all formats – images, text, fonts, vector art and more – are treated in that same way, so you can build solutions that will work with any of the supported PDLs without having to special-case. In addition, there are many APIs exclusively for use with features of PDF absent from other PDLs, such as comments or metadata.

Blade: Optimization

Mako’s DOM architecture automatically gives it an edge when it comes to optimizing content. When writing to PDF for example, Mako will eliminate duplicate fonts and merge font subsets, reducing file size and improving efficiency of downstream processing. Additionally, image compression and downsampling, color conversion, font embedding and more can all be controlled with simple parameters to the PDF output API. Developers can go further still to build optimization suited to specific workflows, such as streamlining for variable data applications.

Blade: Creation

Mako’s APIs are not just about converting or processing existing documents, they can also be used to create new content, from scratch or by using content from multiple sources. Generate new text or vector graphics, load or reference font resources, embed images and apply metadata, directly into the Mako DOM. Then save to the PDL of your choice, knowing that Mako will ‘do the right thing’ when generating your output, creating optimized PDF, XPS or PCL.

Blade: Cloud app development

Just like a Swiss Army knife, Mako can be used in many different situations. Its small footprint means Mako is well suited to containerization for scalable cloud implementations on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. For example, a Mako-based component developed to run under Alpine Linux in a Docker container is ideal for building micro-services that can scale out, and scale in as the task demands, making high-speed, high-volume solutions possible.

Blade: Mobile app development

Platform-tuned rendering for iOS and Android. Since Mako takes full advantage of the hardware-accelerated rendering of these platforms, your users can enjoy a fast, fluid document viewing experience no matter which operating system or device they are using.


Blade: Desktop app development


Build Windows applications using Mako to load, visualize, edit, process and save documents. To get you started, a minimally viable product of a PDF viewer/editor (Mako PDF Editor) is available for you to build your own development on. It is a C# WPF application written to an MVVM pattern, easy to brand and extend. Use it to build a workflow component dedicated to a specific task, or a standalone application. The same approach can be applied to macOS or Linux applications too.

Blade: IoT app development

With Mako’s UWP (Universal Windows Platform) support you can build document generation or processing right into your Windows 10 IoT-based device or use the Raspbian libraries to build Mako into Raspberry Pi 4-based developments.

Blade: Printer driver development

Leverage Mako’s fast and accurate conversion in printer drivers, desktop applications or server-side processes that need to print. Convert to a print stream that can be submitted to an output device:

  • PCL5-e or PCL6 (PCL XL)
  • PS (PostScript)
  • XPS (for Windows V4-architecture drivers)
  • GDI (for Windows V3-architecture drivers)

These conversions are available on all platforms. Use them to print-enable apps running on mobile devices (Android, iOS) or Windows 10 IoT.

Blade: Consolidation

Organizations often discover that they are licensing several libraries and SDKs for processing digital documents because previous developments required a specific capability that wasn’t available in what they had already. Over time this can really add up. Now may be the right time to audit your SDK use and consolidate with Mako, which can meet your PDF requirements and those for XPS, PCL5, PCL/XL and PostScript. Use our free Switching service to help you identify the cost savings that can be made by consolidating with Mako.

Multiple platforms

Mako’s core code is built for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, Windows 10 UWP and Raspberry Pi. Linux support includes Ubuntu, Mint, Centos and Alpine. Solutions developed with Mako range from fast and fluid interactive tablet apps to scalable, cloud-based systems processing hundreds of documents per hour.

Multiple PDLs

Work with these page description languages: PDF, PS, XPS and PCL. Mako enables developers to work with PDLs besides PDF. Although Mako offers a wide range of APIs that apply only to PDF, for the features that are common to all PDLs, developers can use the same APIs and techniques. For example, let’s say you need to know how many pages in a document use color. You could write such a utility and it would work with any of the supported inputs: PDF, XPS, PostScript, PCL5 or PCL/XL.

Multiple PDF ISO Standards

Mako supports all versions of PDF 1.x and PDF 2.0, based on the ISO standards for PDF (ISO 32000-1 and ISO 32000-2).

Mako will save PDFs compliant to these standards:

  • PDF/X-4 (ISO 15930-7:2010) or PDF/X-1a (ISO 15930- 4:2003) for prepress
  • PDF/A-1b (ISO 19005-1) or PDF/A-2b (ISO 19005-2) for long-term archiving

For example, to make sure jobs are ready to be printed without missing fonts or incorrect colors, simply save to PDF/X-4. The input doesn’t have to be PDF, it can be any of the supported PDLs.


Built-in color management module lets you work with industry standard ICC profiles. Mako integrates one of the most popular open-source color management libraries. As well being used by Mako for color-correct rendering, Mako offers APIs that enable developers to accurately evaluate or transform the color properties of images and other page content, or entire documents, as required.

Multiple EDS screens


Customizable error-diffusion screening. Produce results containing a variable number of gray levels per channel using a range of error diffusion screens, with popular algorithms such as Floyd-Steinberg. May be used for both monochrome and color rendering. Also available is Mako EDS Workbench, a Windows-based utility that enables a user to load a file (image or PDF) and experiment with these values to see their effect immediately on screen.

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Multiple development languages

Develop your solutions, working in C++, C#, Java or Python as you prefer.


Switching Service (Free)

With over 30 years of experience supplying core components to the print industry we know that switching suppliers comes with its own challenges. We want to help you move to Mako and get the maximum benefits as quickly as possible. That's why we have put a Switching Service in place. One of our principal software engineers will add Mako into your code, performing the same job as your existing supplier. This represents up to 20 days of a principal software engineer's time to help you switch. Our standard contracts cover you for three years but if you move to a five year contract we include the Switching Service for free.


Mako is the only digital document SDK that uses URW’s Nimbus Sans Global Font for glyph substitution. Even when the original font is not embedded in the job and cannot be found on the system, the visual integrity of the document is preserved.


URW’s Global Fonts are recognized as having the most complete set of glyphs covering the world’s languages.

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.