Lightning TIFF

Lightning TIFF is a high performance TIFF output plugin for the Harlequin RIP that is designed to replace the standard TIFF plugin. As well as providing a significant number of additional features, its main benefit is its lightning fast performance; users should see anything up to a 4x (or more) overall improvement in performance and throughput when it is used, depending on output mode, compression mode, resolution, screening, job content and platform.

The high performance that the Lightning TIFF output plugin achieves is obtained through a unique method for implementing CCITT compression, along with a significant number of code optimisation techniques that have been applied to all the various compression modes. In addition, Hamillroad engineers have built in the use of advanced multi-threading software techniques, which when used with the latest multi-core CPUs, such as the Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7, provide a near linear additional increase in performance.

The results of this are the creation of TIFF files at extremely high speed, allowing for both greatly increased throughput and faster last minute production of time critical plates.


  • High performance compression algorithms
  • Multi-threaded on multi-core CPUs
  • Provides a wide range of data formats
  • Offers a wide choice of compression formats
  • Conventional and (extended) template naming
  • Advanced file and job scripting capabilities
  • Fully optimised 64-bit version for HMR-10/11

Feature Box Title

A fully-functional 7-day trial version of Lightning TIFF, a high performance output plug-in for the Harlequin RIP which provides lightning-fast performance.

For Windows

Lightning TIFF 3
Harlequin RIP 9 or earlier

Lightning TIFF 3
Harlequin RIP 10, 32-bit

Lightning TIFF 3
Harlequin RIP 10, 64-bit

For Mac

Lightning TIFF 3
Harlequin RIP 9 or earlier


High performance compression

At the heart of Lightning TIFF are a wide range of unique and highly optimised high performance algorithms for implementing the standard compression methods required by all high-end workflows. These along with the multi-threading capabilities make Lightning TIFF the output plug-in of choice for the most demanding users and applications.


Taking advantage of the latest multi-core CPUs, Lightning TIFF is multi-threaded so as to provide maximum performance on today’s hardware. This offers the highest performance possible, for last minute production of time critical jobs.

Image formats

As well as the image formats supported by the standard TIFF plugin, Lightning TIFF also supports tiled, single-file CMYK + Spot color and single-file frame-interleaved TIFF.

Compression formats

As well as the compression formats supported by the standard TIFF plugin, Lightning TIFF also supports CCITT Fax Group 3 1D/2D and Flate.

Conventional and (extended) template based naming

In addition to the options provided by the standard TIFF plugin, Lightning TIFF provides additional controls for conventional based naming (the ability to place all output from a given job into its own folder and the ability to use the file name instead of the job name) and an extended set of template variables for template based naming.

Advanced file and job scripting

In addition to post-processing per specific file, Lightning TIFF also provides post-processing for each job. This combined with the ability to place all output from a job into its own unique folder allows for sophisticated customisation by writing post- processing scripts to perform additional tasks.

Technical Specifications

Image formats

Striped TIFF (both single and multiple)
Tiled TIFF
Bilevel images (monochrome)
Grayscale images
RGB full colour images
CMYK images
CMYK and Spot colour images
One/Eight bits per pixel
Separated (single file per separation)
Composite – pixel/band/frame interleaved

Compression formats *

Modified Huffman
CCITT Bilevel Fax groups 3 1D/2D and group 4
Flate (ZIP)
Support for TIFF Predictor 2

* For more information on data and compression formats, read Adobe’s TIFF revision 6.0.

RIPs supported

Harlequin RIP versions 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9
Harlequin RIP version 10 (Multi-RIP, both 32-bit and 64-bit)
Harlequin RIP version 11 (Multi-RIP, 64-bit only)

Operating systems supported

Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
Mac OS X (Intel) 10.2 – 10.10