Skip to main content
Skip table of contents

Harlequin Core 13.1.r0 Release Notes


Welcome to the first Harlequin Release Notes published directly to our website.

Harlequin 13.1 is the first major release since HQN 13.0. This release consolidates work of HQN 13.0, paying particular attention to output quality and performance of Harlequin VariData (HVD). We also responded to many customer issues that required Core code changes, as you can see in the table below.

Nonetheless there was time for some new developments. Harlequin 13.1 introduces:

  • A technology preview for non-PostScript configuration, using JSON.
  • Tiling is now compatible with Scalable RIP.
  • Improved 16-bit output.
  • macOS Big Sur and Apple silicon processor support.

Alerts and guidance

Pantone libraries are now an encrypted layered option

From Harlequin 13.1: Due to new Licensing conditions of the Pantone Libraries of Spot Color books, these are now a layered option.

Following a consultation with OEMs we now only include Pantone Named Color Databases in customizations for OEMs that need them and are licensed to use them.
Pantone Named Color Databases are encrypted and automatically enabled for those OEMs and available as a layered option, which can be requested from GGS Sales.

New features and improvements

Technology preview of non-PostScript JSON configuration of the Harlequin Core

From version 13.1r0, the Harlequin Core SDK (formally HHR) can be configured by using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) files. While HHR continues to support PostScript configuration files, JSON configuration (config) files provide a more universally accepted and widely supported syntax, which is familiar to many OEMs and thus easier to use.

JSON config files are an alternative to using PostScript config files to configure HHR; they are not intended as replacements. JSON config files that follow the provided config schemas can be used to configure HHR via the -c command-line option, as with the PostScript config files. You can edit the JSON config files using any editor but we highly recommend using a JSON aware editor that is also JSON schema-aware.

For further information see HHR 13.1 JSON configuration, where we provide some easy-to-follow examples.

Tiling with Scalable RIP

We  introduced a method of tiling large pages in  Harlequin 13.0. Scalable RIP will now interact with this API, allowing explicit and automatic configuration of tiling so that different tiles can be RIPped by multiple Farm RIPs, sharing the available eHVD cache is available in the Scalable RIP.

Improved 16-bit output

ValuesPerComponent in the Extensions manual 10.8.1 has been updated.

16-bit contone outputs values were the range of 0x0 to 0xFF00. That is different to the range expected by our TIFF and PDF back ends which expected the full range to 0xFFFF. Other products also expect the full range. 16-bit contone can be configured by setting ValuesPerComponent to either 65281 or 66536. The output using either of these is the same. This change is about changing the output with 65536 to use the full range of colour values from 0x0 to 0xFFFF.

macOS Big Sur and Apple silicon processor support

macOS Big Sur is now supported. As is running Harlequin Core 13.1 on Apple silicon.

Notes about this release

  • The deadline for HMR 13 watermark RIPs is December 31, 2022.
  • There are no changes in the supported Windows OS or Linux OS; however, macOS Big Sur is now supported.
  • Windows compiler MSVC 2019 version 16.4 or later is required.

Harlequin Core v13.1r0 change details

Please note each change details whether it applies to Core SDK, or Harlequin MultiRIP (including the Core), or both:

Jira storySupport call(s)SummaryApplies to:


HHR #3594Account for very small differences in offsets between clip and graphics when using eHVD. Files created by Esko Step and Repeat & Enfocus PDF produced unwanted circular artefacts on the two price labels.



RIPing Enfocus PDF results in inappropriate reuse giving incorrect output.All


Make Scalable RIP work with large PDF page tiling.Core SDK


Upgrade Zint barcode generator to latest version. Upgrade Zint to latest version to pick up their fixes and maintenance.Core SDK


Adding support for building and running on Macs with Apple silicon.

Adding support for macOS Big Sur and Apple's ARM-based CPUs.

HMR is not supported on any Mac platform. 

Core SDK


HHR #3601Automatically turn off ContoneMask if the eHVD scan concludes the job is not Variable Data Printing (VDP).All


HHR #3767HVD re-uses page when it shouldn't. Fix a case where HVD gets a number wrong because it's incorrectly reusing it due to duplicated font information.All


HHR #3780
SW #126293

Support full-range, 16-bit contone with ValuesPerComponent of 65536. Make 16-bit contone output values the same range expected by our TIFF and PDF back ends, and other products that expect the full range to 0xFFFFAll


Make Scalable RIP error when incompatible setups are active with tiling (for example, ERROR INFO).

Harlequin VariData and in-RIP imposition cannot be used together.

Core SDK


HHR #3785Incorrect Rendering of Green Spot Colorant in RGB Output


Confusing colorspaces cause assert and crash. Fix a rare crash with a PNG input test suite.All


Fix rare crash in unpacking freed colorant information.All


Replace behavior of ColorantFamilyName with PCM in back ends. 

Core SDK


JSON config - Support HqnContour in JSON configs.Core SDK


PDF 2.0 Report any extensions that a PDF file says it needs.All


HHR #3779PACKZ File is Slow to RIP. Objects with a 0 alpha and default other transparency settings can be optimized earlier.All


HHR #3775Improve channel handling code for input TIFF data. Improve the processing of extra spot or mask channels in Tiff.All


Emit blank pages from Scalable RIP when necessary (for example, when using the TIFF back end, rather than sending a placeholder message to the raster manager, informing it that a page was blank). 

Core SDK


Remove offensive terminology from Harlequin - code changes. Where possible, GGS removes removing offensive terminology and replaces it (for example, replaces the term "Slave" with "Worker". This work is ongoing.All


HHR #3720

File with OCG renders incorrectly when ripped with eHVD.

A problem reported by a customer as a "Layer Defect" in which the content vanished; it now appears correctly.

Core SDK


PDF 2.0 Implement NoZoom and NoRotate annotation flags.All


Correct screenforall reporting of screens used when Duplicate is false.

Bugfix in screening reporting in specific conditions.



Improve Preview/roam colors of N-color images.

Some roam colors weren't correct and purple appeared in black.



Remove WinPrint support from HHR.

The WinPrint raster back end on Windows sends the RIP output directly to the Windows spooler subsystem. Originally developed for the XPS Reference RIP, it has now been removed.

Core SDK


HHR #3864

HVD gets number wrong.

Fix telephone numbers are rendered incorrectly when output using HVD because of CMAP duplication and errors, solved by more rigorous checks of embedded font data.



HHR #3828Fix crash when timeout happens while waiting for farm RIPs to exit. Fixes a crash with multiple RIPs.Core SDK


HHR #3842Extended shaded fills can have "gaps" in them.All


HHR #3849

HqnContour procset causes typecheck error.

Fix an issue when ripping a specific file using the HqnContour procset.

Core SDK


Make Pantone libraries an encrypted layered option in the RIP.

See Alerts and guidance.



HHR #3733

Move Handshake.c file to platform-specific directories.

One file we provide was not platform independent; we rectified this issue to avoid problems for OEMs that integrate Linux and Mac cores.

Core SDK


HHR #3831Fix: PDF causes configurationerror by getreplacecolorspace on  Harlequin 13.0r1, but not on 13.0r0. Core SDK


HHR #3865Fix: CutPrefix custom page feature does not report correct pagesize.Core SDK


HHR #3845

Add customer passwords to handshake file.

A customer complained that a password file was visible, thus we internalized it in a handshake file.

Core SDK


HHR #3872

Fix: HVD plus ContoneMask results in an unwanted output color.

Core SDK


HHR #3876Fix: Separation Color Named Blue is rendered as Yellow with /OverPrintPreview.Core SDK


Feature; Port JSON Technical Preview to 13.1r0 branch, see New features and improvementsCore SDK


Add option for HHR to automatically set ContoneMask for position-independent eHVD.

About: Restrict the ContoneMask value to being less than the maximum color value.

This feature is for position-independent eHVD only.

Core SDK


Update installers to use InstallAnywhere 2021. 

This new version enables us to generate installers that run on ARM-based Macs.



When freeing up LDK licenses for a crashed RIP, free the RIP license last.

Fix: A timing issue in LDK.



Investigate whether we can take account of which form regions need compositing for transparency supernodes.

Enhancements to HVD reuse performance for customer supplied files.



HVD: Retain objects used more than once along the same edge.

Enhancements to HVD reuse performance for customer supplied files.



Improve TIFF input.

Series of improvements to Tiff input based on extensive testing of a Photoshop test suite, including those containing more than one alpha/mask channel.



HHR #3557Extend Ranges in XYZ-D50 and XYZ-D65 colorspaces to avoid clipping and yellowish output from M1 NCDs with some profiles.All


HHR #3594

In HVD, optimized PDF causes incorrect output.

Nodes were missing from supernode for un-reused label.



HHR #3708

Unreadable RIP result, vector object(s) rendered in "low resolution".

Fix to: A kanji character is rendered as low-res blocks.



SW #126230Bump-up curves not honored with color management.All


HHR #3694HVD: Improvements for handling of empty text boxes and empty pages.All


HHR #3773Vector artefact and assert when RIPing PDF.All


HHR #126264Massive slowdown when using press curve with a min dot.All


HHR #3763Allow OEM to specify that a farm RIP will not be restarted.Core SDK
JavaScript errors detected

Please note, these errors can depend on your browser setup.

If this problem persists, please contact our support.