Rendern – Renderer


The term rendering originally comes from the design environment and means the process of working out a sketch to a detailed graphic. In today’s computer design programs, the software carries out this process and renders, for example, a wireframe model into a realistic object with surface structure, color gradients, light reflections, etc.

Rendering in the context of word processing, document creation and output management has a similar meaning: the ‘working out’ of a pre-designed raw document to its defined appearance in the concrete target format. The format-independent instructions stored in the raw document are interpreted during rendering and converted into the specific instructions of the target format. In this way, a PCL renderer generates a PCL data stream from the output-neutral raw format, from which the PCL printer then makes a printed document. Or an HTML renderer generates an HTML data stream from the same raw document that is then displayed in the Web browser.

Practical experience

The Serie M/ also works internally with such an output-neutral raw format, which contains all document information in neutral form:

  • Layout and format instructions
  • Structural information such as title, paragraph, footers etc.
  • Metadata that describes the document

The output management system M/OMS, which is responsible for the output process, has all the renderers necessary to bring the raw document into the desired output format. This creates the necessary flexibility to decide on the desired document format only at the very end of the document process, when all relevant information is available.

After all, it depends on the rendering programs used that certain document information is retained in the output format. For example, in order to generate valid PDF/UA format for barrier-free documents, which among other things must contain invisible information for the screen reader. Or to generate page-independent HTML format, which requires title and paragraph information in order to format the text correctly on mobile devices of any size.

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Christel Heusler