By Mary Schilling / Published:

PPML (Personalized Print Markup Language) is an XML-based industry standard printer language for variable data printing defined by PODi. The industry-wide consortium of 13 companies was initially formed to create PPML, and now has more than 400 member companies.

PPML is an open, inter-operable, device-independent standard first released in 2000 to enable the widespread use of personalized print applications. PPML is made to enable efficient production printing of variable data; rather than sending 300 copies of the same data with only a name changed, PPML is designed to allow all the data to be sent to the printer at once, allowing for much faster printing, as data does not need to be transferred to the printer for each copy.

High-volume print jobs are getting more complex due to higher demands for the layout, content and personalization of documents. This is particularly true in the case of “image-swapping”, where different images are selected and replaced on a record-by-record basis. At the same time pressure on the operators at the machines is increasing. A third development relates to the rise of XML, as a neutral basis for multi-channel communication of documents to fax, internet, e-mail, electronic archive and printer.

Personalized Print Markup Language (PPML) is the print industry’s answer to these developments. PPML strongly reduces the complexity of the print-job, especially when color, images and personalized elements are being used. The RIP (describing the contents of a page in a rasterized image) is a lot faster.