May 10, 2021 , in technology

By Alexander Wiedemann

From pocket app to video wall - print tracking with PageTrack

The remarkable evolution of Eidosmedia’s print-tracking application for newspaper and magazine layouts.

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Photo: Sokrates Tassos / Funke Foto Services

It’s relatively simple to keep track of a digital newsroom workflow from outside the newsroom - all that’s needed is a mobile device and a browser. For print editions it’s not so easy.

The page plan in the pocket

That was the original idea behind PageTrack, a mobile app that let editors view the page plan of a print edition on their smartphones or tablets, following the pages as they filled with content and zooming in to look at individual articles and images. As soon as it was introduced, PageTrack proved very popular with news publishers - especially those managing multiple print editions, often totaling hundreds of pages.

Scaling up

And then someone had the idea of connecting their mobile device to a projector - and the pocket app became a video wall. Suddenly it was possible, at any location, to get a real-time, full-scale view of a print edition in progress. Suddenly the dozens of paper proofs, printed off to check the layouts, became less necessary - good news for trees, less good for toner producers.

PageTrack quickly evolved to adapt to its new vocation. Multiple screens were added to allow tracking of several editions or pages at once. Page ranges can be saved as presets, allowing users to switch between sections with a single command. PDF rendering of the pages became an option, so that users could take advantage of high-resolution screens.

PageTrack video walls became the new focus of editorial sessions, allowing users to follow the development of their editions in real time, pulling pages in and out of the displays with simple drag-and-drop actions.

Now, just a few years after its first development as a mobile app for editors on the move, PageTrack has become a powerful newsroom productivity tool, helping to increase the efficiency and sustainability of newspaper operations across the Eidosmedia customer base.


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