[Desktop_printing] RE: PDF/X + PDF/A

Dov Isaacs isaacs at adobe.com
Mon Apr 17 12:41:59 PDT 2006

If you are looking for a reasonable international standard
to look at with regards to PDF for printing, I most strongly
recommend that you look at the draft PDF/X-4 specification
currently being worked on by CGATS and ISO. Expected to be
ratified in early 2007 (not that long off when you consider
international standards and the overhead it takes to get them
approved), PDF/X-4 goes well beyond PDF/X-3 by supporting
(1) PDF 1.6 (PDF compatible with Acrobat 7), (2) color 
management (untagged CMYK with a target printing condition
as well as ICC profile-tagged CMYK, RGB, and spot colors),
(3) live transparency, and (4) layers.

Any and all earlier PDF/X standards effectively represent 
device-dependent PDF (either device-dependent colors and/or
flattened transparency) which is absolutely what you DON'T
want! (We considered such PDF that does not represent final
form content at the highest level of graphical abstration
as "ruined" PDF!)

	- Dov


> -----Original Message-----
> From: desktop_printing-bounces at lists.osdl.org 
> [mailto:desktop_printing-bounces at lists.osdl.org] On Behalf Of 
> Andreas Vox
> Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 5:47 AM
> To: desktop_printing at lists.osdl.org
> Subject: [Desktop_printing] PDF/X + PDF/A (was: "Common 
> statements from the 
> Kurt Pfeifle wrote:
> > Short newbie summary of the main characteristics:
> > -------------------------------------------------
> > PDF/X3 prohibits a lot of things in newer versions of PDF that are
> > appropriate for graphic arts and that can cause problems when
> > the files (no embedded movies and sounds, no encryption to name a
> > striking examples).
> >
> > PDF/A requires *all* resources used in a document to be truly and 
> > fully embedded (f.e. no usage of an external font server) so that 
> > there is a good chance of a document's long term viability.
> >
> > Both are derived from PDF-1.3 (AFAIK no PDF-1.4 elements are
> That's exactly why I am against at narrowing on one of the 
> PDF-X or PDF/A standards.
> One of the more important PDF-1.4 features is f.ex. transparency.
> My proposal:
> -	RIPs and PDF consuming apps should fully support at least PDF
1.4 and 
> try to provide
> 	reasonable fallbacks for post PDF 1.4 features (f.ex. ignore).
> 	The PDF 1.5 extensions for JPEG2000, 16bit images and 
> stream objects should be
> 	strongly recommended.
> -	Scribus and other PDF producing apps should be able to produce
> least one of the
> 	standards PDF/A, PDF/X-3, PDF/X-2 or PDF/X-1 (in 
> addition to any other PDF variants)
> This should allow for safe document exchange and printing 
> while still enabling high end graphics.
> /Andreas

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