Archive for the ‘PDF creation’ Category

Just when you’ve all cozied down with PDF 1.7 what happens?  Yes, that’s right.  A new standard rears its head.

Around the middle of 2017 the ISO committee will publish PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2). So by the end of 2017 you’ll probably need to be considering how to ensure that your workflow can handle PDF 2.0 files correctly.

As the primary UK expert to this committee I thought I’d give you a heads up now on what to expect.  And over the coming months via this blog and our newsletter I’ll endeavor to keep you posted on what to look out for as far as print is concerned.  Because, of course, there are many aspects to the standard that do not concern print at all.  For instance there are lots of changes in areas such as structure tagging for accessibility and digital signatures that might be important for business and consumer applications.

As you probably already know, in 2008 Adobe handed over ownership and development of the PDF standard to the International Standards Organization.  Since that time I’ve been working alongside other experts to ensure that standards have real-world applicability.

And here’s one example relating to color.

The printing condition for which a job was created can be encapsulated in professional print production jobs by specifying an “output intent” in the PDF file. The output intent structure was invented for the PDF/X standards, at first in support of pre-flight, and later to enable color management at the print site to match that used in proofing at the design stage.

But the PDF/X standards only allow a single output intent to be specified for all pages in a job.

PDF 2.0 allows separate output intents to be included for every page individually. The goal is to support jobs where different media are used for various pages, e.g. for the first sheet for each recipient of a transactional print job, or for the cover of a saddle-stitched book. The output intents in PDF 2.0 are an extension of those described in PDF/X, and the support for multiple output intents will probably be adopted back into PDF/X-6 and into the next PDF/VT standard.

But of course, like many improvements, this one does demand a little bit of care. A PDF 1.7 or existing PDF/X reader will ignore the new page level output intents and could therefore produce the wrong colors for a job that contains them.
In my next post I’ll be covering changes around live transparency in PDF 2.0.  Bet you can’t wait!
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The background
The last few years have been pretty stable for PDF; PDF 1.7 was published in 2006, and the first ISO PDF standard (ISO 32000-1), published in 2010, was very similar to PDF 1.7. In the same way, PDF/X 4 and PDF/X 5, the most recent PDF/X standards, were both published in 2010, six years ago.

In the middle of 2017 ISO 32000-2 will be published, defining PDF 2.0. Much of the new work in this version is related to tagging for content re-use and accessibility, but there are also several areas that affect print production. Among them are some changes to the rendering of PDF transparency, ways to include additional data about spot colors and about how color management should be applied.



ISO 12647-2 Presswork Procedure

Quite often we get the question of how to achieve ISO-12647-2 standards in press (not for certification purpose ofcourse).  So decided to write down the steps need to be followed.

1. We have to make a test form with linear plates (test form high-res file is with Mr.Saravanan of Heidelberg). A linear plate means, input and output value has to be same. If we give a value of 50%, the plate should have 50% only (+ or – 1% tolerance)

2. Print this linear plate in the press with the pre-requisites below with varied densities across the sheet

3. After the print is allowed to dry 3 hours, measure the sheet and find the optimum density for the press using Delta E and Contrast method.

4. Then print another test chart with the calculated optimal density (linear plate) and calculate the dot gain deviation.

5. The dot gain deviation has to be calculated and compensated in the RIP as per ISO 12647-2 standards

6. The same test chart to be printed with revised dot gain curve

7. The iteration should continue until the best results are achieved as per ISO 12647-2 standards

8. The Pre-press need to be set as per the “ISOcoated V2.icc” and proof need to be FOGRA 39 standard in V3 media wedge.

But to do the above exercise, we need to have the below

• Should have a densitometer and also a plate (Calibrated one. Prefered instruments are Ihara R730, Techkon Spectrodens for press and Ihara Accudot or Techkon spectroplate for plate dot measurement)

• you need to print minimum of 3000 sheets of your full paper size of 115/135 gsm art glossy paper with Fresh CMYK ink in the inking unit. When the target is the ISO 12647-2 standard, the used ink series should be ISO conform. Values given below for reference. We can check Ink manufacturer for the confirmation.

• The printing press has to be in a well maintained condition

• Blankets need to be in a clean and proper condition

• New blankets should be washed with water and cleaning solvent

• Verify the blanket tension with a torque key (for tension values check the machine manual)

• The Packing has to be done as per the standards

• The Pressure between blanket/plate have to be in a range of “kiss print”

• The Pressure between blanket/substrate have to be in a range of “kiss print”

• The Ink deck have to be washed clean

• All rollers have to be well adjusted

• Ink- /dampener rolls have to be well adjusted especially to the plate

• The ink distributor roller have to be checked

• Verify the machine manual for adjusting the rollers according to the machine manufacturer

• The pH-value of the fountain solution should be at a level between 4.7 – 5.3

• The percentage of alcohol in the dampening solution should be at a level between 5 – 10%

If you have any doubts are clarifications, please feel free to come back to us



DF/VT is a hot topic these days. In a nutshell, it’s a standard for describing a file format based on PDF, specifically for delivery of jobs for variable data printing. The “VT” part of the name stands for “Variable and Transactional.” It was designed to address all VDP needs, from personalized specialty items, through direct mail, to phone bills and credit card statements.

PDF/VT was published as ISO 16612-2 in 2010, and the first implementations were shown at Ipex in that year, but it took until early 2012 for most of the commonly used document composition vendors to release products that support it. Like many of the other PDFbased standards, PDF/VT uses a file-centric approach. A PDF/VT file encapsulates all of the graphical content for a VDP print job and does so in such a way that an external job ticket can be associated with it to control how it’s processed in the print service provider’s systems. So what benefits does PDF/VT provide? It boils down to four things:

1. Robust content delivery.

PDF/VT builds on nearly two decades of work in CGATS and then in ISO to define the PDF/X standards for the delivery of print jobs. PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3 and PDF/X-4 are now in common use, but primarily for the delivery of static print jobs. Those standards increase the reliability of printing workflows across multiple companies or sites by requiring that all fonts used are embedded and that all color is specified completely enough to preflight, proof and print correctly. All PDF/VT files must also be valid PDF/X files, so all of the experience encapsulated into those standards is automatically inherited.

2. Integrated data about page ranges.

A PDF/VT file can contain something called a “DPart” structure, which comprises a hierarchy of information about the various pages in a job (this is often called “metadata” because it’s data about data). A specific range of pages may be identified as a personalized catalog for a specific recipient of a direct mail campaign, for example. The next page can be marked as a cover letter to accompany the catalog for the same recipient. At the next level up in the hierarchy, the recipient’s title, address, etc. can be included, pulling all of the printed pieces that must be delivered together. In the level above that, metadata about all recipients within a ZIP code area can be pulled together, and the next level up might show which ZIP codes fall into the area covered by a specific distribute and print service provider site. The hierarchy is designed to be flexible and accommodate whatever data you need in your workflow. It can then be connected with a template-based jobticketing solution to control imposition, rendering, printing, finishing and fulfillment. This can be useful if you’re printing a very large number of relatively short jobs and need a way to ensure that your workflow is correctly configured for each one. But it is most important if you’re printing and fulfilling jobs where each recipient receives different numbers of pages, especially if the output needs to be bound and finishing equipment needs to respond to those differences.

3. Performance optimization hints.

Most rendering workflows designed for VDP include some form of optimization to reduce the amount of processing required for graphical page elements that are used multiple times in a job, so that the rendering process doesn’t slow the press down. Examples might be the background image on a direct mail postcard, the logo or an ad in a TransPromo piece, etc. Each workflow includes its own approach, and these vary in sophistication and effectiveness. Most of them try to render such elements only once, to cache the results of that rendering and then to reuse the cached results multiple times. PDF/VT tries to help in this process by defining some hints that can be written into jobs by the document composition tool as the file is created. These were designed to enable a rendering workflow to identify those reused elements more easily and to therefore make better decisions about caching strategies more quickly. Unfortunately, VDP is a market in which technology is developing so rapidly that the PDF/VT hints are already a little too simple and don’t offer much value to the best current rendering solutions.

4. Support for pseudostreaming.

Historically, data formats defined for transactional printing, such as AFP, have allowed for streaming print workflows, i.e., the first pages of the job can be printed while the composition system is still creating the definitions for later pages. A single PDF file is not well constructed to support streaming (the “optimized PDF” structures to support byte-serving from web sites should not be confused with streaming for print; the requirements are very different). PDF can, however, be used in a “chunking” workflow, where multiple PDF files are created, each containing one chunk of a single job. The first chunk might contain the pages for the first ten thousand recipients of a direct mail piece, for instance, with the next ten thousand recipients in the next chunk. This allows something very close to streaming to be achieved, by printing from one chunk while later chunks are still being written. The efficiency of this mechanism can be improved further by extracting any large shared graphics into a separate PDF file and referring to them from the chunks themselves, so that they only need to be delivered once instead of in every chunk. The PDF/VT standard includes a conformance level called PDF/VT-2, which is specifically designed to support this kind of chunking workflow. It’s even possible to bundle all of the chunks back together into one continuous stream, although that’s more likely to be a good choice for the light production end of the digital production print spectrum than for high-volume printing.


The PDF/VT standard offers some real benefits for the construction of robust, flexible and efficient workflows, encapsulating rendering, printing, finishing and fulfillment. But files must still be constructed well to take advantage of those benefits. It’s important to understand what PDF/ VT offers and what it doesn’t.

Much of what I’ve described above is optional. You can make a perfectly valid PDF/VT file that doesn’t include the DPart structure or optimization hints. It can still be valid even if it’s not constructed in a well-optimized way, even if an image that appears on every page is included separately on every one of those pages, bloating the file and reducing the speed at which it can be processed at the print site. PDF/VT is not the silver bullet that will magically make all your frustrations around VDP print jobs go away, but it is a good foundation that best practice solutions and workflows can be built on.


When you’re evaluating a solution for variable data printing, whether it’s on the composition side or on the print site, support for PDF/VT is likely to be a good thing, but there’s no substitute for testing that solution to ensure that it meets your specific needs. At both ends there can also be configuration issues that can have a significant bearing on how efficient the results can be; it’s often worth asking if your vendors have guidelines on best practice and on integration with the other components in your whole workflow.

Martin Bailey is the Chief Technology Officer of Global Graphics Software. He’s also the UK’s principle expert to the PDF and PDF/VT committee in ISO and chaired the CGATS and ISO committees working on PDF/X for many years

PDF Settings Download

Usually we never know what is the right settings for creating a PDF.  Please find below some of the best recommended settings.  Please download and give your feedback.

Download and Install PDF Presets
For use with Adobe Indesign & Illustrator

Download For Mac OS X (10.4 and later)

Download For Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7

Note: You only need to import into either INDESIGN or ILLUSTRATOR, it will share the same PDF PRESET.


From INDESIGN at the top of the window go to > FILE > ADOBE PDF PRESETS > DEFINE > LOAD > Navigate to the PDF Preset file that you downloaded > HIGHLIGHT PDF PRESET FILE > OPEN > DONE. PDF Preset is now loaded into Adobe Indesign.



NOTE: File name should not be any longer than 31 characters including the .pdf extension.


From ILLUSTRATOR at the top of the window go to > EDIT > PDF PRESETS > IMPORT > Navigate to the PDF Preset file that you downloaded > HIGHLIGHT PDF PRESET FILE > OPEN. PDF Preset is now loaded into Adobe Illustrator.



NOTE: File name should not be any longer than 31 characters including the .pdf extension.

4. If you have Adobe Acrobat Distiller and you would like to import the PDF Preset. From ADOBE ACROBAT DISTILLER at the top of the window go to > SETTINGS > ADD ADOBE PDF SETTINGS > Navigate to the PDF Preset file that you downloaded. >HIGHLIGHT PDF PRESET FILE > OPEN. PDF Preset is now loaded into Adobe Acrobat Distiller.