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What Does RIP Mean in Printing?

The quality of your prints greatly depends on the hardware and software the printing company uses. When browsing different offers, you might see that some emphasize the use of RIP. But what does RIP mean in printing, and how does it affect the final product?

In this article, you won’t only have the chance to learn what RIP stands for in printing but also discover how it is done and the benefits it offers. We will also reveal why RIP is one of the indispensable components in modern printing workflows.

 What Does RIP Mean in Printing?

What Does RIP Mean in Printing?

RIP in printing stands for a raster imaging processor, and it is a program that allows your digital printer to communicate with your computer. With the help of RIP, you can process digital images and prepare them for printing

But what do you mean by raster image processing? Simply put, the RIP program translates the digital image files from the computers into a language printers can understand.

The RIP is actually a replacement for the driver from the manufacturer that comes with the printer. One of the benefits of using RIP software rather than the original driver is that it offers more features than the classic paper selection, color profile, and sizing the driver has.

The RIP software is generally used by companies like us that offer digital commercial printing services. We especially benefit from it because we operate an entire printer network and frequently print many copies of the same image. The RIP software allows us to increase the productivity and quality of the prints.

How does a printing RIP work?

How does RIP software work in the printing process? Simply put, it is turning vectors into a bitmap. Consequently, to better understand what is raster image processing, we have to explain what are vectors and bitmaps.

Vectors are digital files, such as EPS, AI, and PDF, all made of paths and points. Bitmaps, on the other hand, are also known as raster files and are high-resolution images. They are detailed and comprised of a matrix of dots. The bitmaps are files that printers understand and can work with.

Here is a step-by-step overview of how does RIP in digital printing work:

  • The raster image processor translates a page description language into an internal representation

  • A continuous-tone bitmap is created by using the internal representation

  • The bitmap is turned into a halftone image with a dot pattern

  • The design is ready to print and sent to the printer

Features of RIP Software

There are different RIP software that we can use in the printing industry. They all differ according to the features they offer. 

Some of the most popular are Ergosoft, Image Print, Colorburst, Onyx, Caldera and

Wasatch. Each of these printing technology software is designed to improve the printing workflow.

Generally looking, RIP has the following primary features:

  • Color management

  • Image resizing without losing resolution

  • Creating halftone patterns

  • Management of print jobs

  • Automation of the printing process

Benefits of Using RIP in Printing

Utilizing RIP printing software brings many benefits. For us, as a printing company, it simplifies the entire workflow. As for you as a business that uses our services, you will get high-quality prints with colors almost identical to your design.

Benefits of Using RIP in Printing
Source: / Photo Contributor: Panumas Yanuthai

Faster artwork preparation

The RIP software speeds up the process of preparing your artwork for printing. We are able to adjust the printing settings to fit your project. Especially in large format printing and orders that have high print volume, we must have complete control over the print.

We can do all tasks from one place, thanks to the RIP program. We can do rotating, opacity, color correction, scaling, dot size, and much more. All of this can be done while maintaining the quality of the graphics, regardless if it is a small, medium, or large print in question.

Color management

When it comes to printing, color is one of the most important things. Generally, all RIP software comes with advanced color management tools, like built-in color libraries. The RIP software allows precise control over color output, even on multiple printing devices, and ensures accurate and consistent results.

Productivity and cost savings

RIP software helps us optimize our print workflow. In addition, it reduces ink and media wastage. Thus, we increase our productivity and might have lower printing costs in the long run. All of this allows us to offer your business affordable and yet high-quality printing services.


Most of the RIP software available is compatible with a wide range of printers. Also, they can support different image file formats. All in all, the RIP software is suitable for almost any kind of project you will give us.


Understanding what does RIP mean in printing will help your business into making the right decision when it comes to picking the best printing service provider. If you want to collaborate with a fast and reliable printing company, contact our CityPress experts so we can discuss the details.


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