[pdftex] PDF/X compliance.

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Sat Jan 11 17:26:59 CET 2003

At 02:23 PM 1/10/2003 +0000, John Culleton wrote:

>There are several variants of a new pdf standard lumped together under
>the name of PDF/X, There is at least one free standards checker
>available from Enfocus for MSWin and Mac. I have these questions:
>1. Is any PDF/X standard necessary for those of us who work in black
>and white?
>2. Does pdfetex produce PDF/X compliant files?
>3. Does anyone have any experiences to share about submitting pdfetex
>produced files for print? (Thus far I have never had a problem.)

pdftex produces rather clean pdf code; problems can arise when someone uses 
pdfliterals (mainly color) and/or tricky inclusions; also, fonts can be a 
problem, but validators don't look into fonts, so here we depend on the 
printing engines (given that pdftex produces right code).

when at the printer house problems are reported, first make sure that they 
don't mess around with the pdf (like converting it into ps, and using quark 
or whatever to do tricks), in which case it's their own problem.

i think that the biggest problem we can face is with inclusions, and much 
of this preflight / checking is relate to that: messy eps/ps code being 
distilled into some kind of pdf which is too tricky for rips (well, even 
acrobat runs into troubles when you have some 2000 transparencies on a page)

personally i consider the pdf to be ok if acrobat as well as ghostscript 
can handle it; similarly i use ghostscript as criterium for deciding if 
something ps/eps is ok; for this purpose i use a quite extensive cleanup 
and several methods for converting eps into pdf, esp since distiller knows 
how to deal with adobe extensions and ai files, while gs can bark on it

[we are producing quite complicated docs with lots of graphics, color, 
shading etc, and in most cases it's the external third party graphics that 
pose problems: no fonts, ai instead of eps, invalid bounding boxes, tif 
file with eps extension, etc.; so, in any case you'd better make sure that 
the included graphics are ok; some of the tools we use are/will go into the 
context distribution and are/will be discussed on the context list]

                                   Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE | pragma at wxs.nl
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