PDF 2.0 (ISO standard 32000-2)
is (finally) published!

After nine years of (hard) work the ISO has published PDF 2.0 as ISO standard 32000-2:2017. This is the first PDF specification which was completely developed by more than 30 PDF experts from all over the world in an ISO working group. ISO 32000-1:2008 was basically a takeover of PDF 1.7 from Adobe. PDF 2.0 is more an evolution than a revolution. An important goal was compatibility to older PDF versions.

Seven chapters of the specification (971 pages in total) have been completely rewritten (e.g. transparency, tagged PDF). The goal was not to introduce new features but to eliminate ambiguities and errors of old specifications.

Beside other new features there are also some enhancements for digital prepress data:

  • Setting to activate black-point compensation (BPC) for each object. This allows to define predictable color conversions.
  • Output Intent per page (optional). E.g. Coated for the cover pages and Uncoated for the body pages of the same PDF.
  • Use of spectral data for spot colors (using CxF/X-4).
  • Definition of the printing order (e.g. for sheetfed offset).
  • Enhanced halftone features (origin, halftone dot shape).

Review of PDF Days Europe 2017
in Berlin

On May 15th to 17th PDF Days Europe, organized by the PDF Association, took placed again in Berlin. The event, organized for the first time as PDF Technical Conference in 2012 in Basel with less than 60 attendees (mostly developers), was attentended by more than 200 vendors and users this year.  

This year the upcoming publication of PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2) and a (somewhat vague) preview of next-generation PDF, which is supposed to allow a better use of PDF on mobile devices, were the primary focus of the event. The concept became clearer only at the Hackathon on the third day.

Slides and video recordings are available of most presentations (please allow enough time to load the video previews on the page). There is also a YouTube video posted of my english presentation about the PDFX-ready Online Tools.

PDFlib 9.1 with new color features

Version 9.1 of the well known PDFlib from the developer by the same name in Munich contains new features for color handling. This is very important for highend prepress files:

  • Support for DeviceN and NChannel color spaces with an arbitrary number of colorants
  • PDF/X-5n for exchange of n-colorant production files, e.g. in the packaging industry
  • SVG color extension for ICC profiles, spot and DeviceN color as well as Gray/RGB/CMYK device color for increased usability of SVG for print production
  • Pantone Extended Gamut Coated (XGC) spot colors and Pantone Plus 2016 update
  • Color gradients with an arbitrary number of stop colors for flexible color blends
  • Color gradients between different spot colors, e.g. blends of Pantone colors
  • Default color spaces can be specified for pattern, templates and Type 3 font glyphs
  • Extended treatment of color-related topics in the PDFlib Tutorial and Cookbook

Callas pdfChip 1.2
with easier template creation

pdfChip converts HTML into good, standards-compliant PDF documents. The pdfChip 1.2 update focuses on ease-of-use and implements improvements for barcode and SVG workflows.

For users of Adobe InDesign callas released the pdfChip template generation export filter for Adobe InDesign with the pdfChip 1.2 update. This export filter converts an InDesign document into a correct pdfChip template, correctly taking over the positions of all elements on the page, the color and styles of page elements and more. This allows to dramatically reduce the time required to build a correct pdfChip template.

Weiterlesen / Read more …

Enfocus launches Appstore

With the Update 1 to Switch 13 Enfocus launches the Enfocus Appstore. Channel partners, system integrators, consultants and end users can offer their extensions for Switch globally for a yearly subscription.

Initially there are only a few products in the Enfocus Appstore. They first apps come from Apago, Impressed and also Enfocus. It will be interesting to see the development…

PDF/VT Application Notes

PDF Association has published the PDF/VT Application Notes which have been assembled during serveral month by a working group of the PDF/VT Competence Center chaired by Martin Bailey (CTO of Global Graphics). Some parts of the brochure Do PDF/VT Right by Global Graphics have been integrated.

The 47 page document is targeted to developers as well as users of system for creation and output of variable data and describes the advantage and use cases of the ISO standard PDF/VT (VT stands for variable data and transaction printing). Many tipps for building efficient PDF/VT are listed in order to avoid unnecessary computation during output.

First update of Callas pdfChip

Callas Software has released an update of pdfChip to version 1.1. Now one can define variables when calling the application in the command line. List (e.g. for table of contents or figures) can easily be defined. pdfChip 1.1 supports DeviceN colors (e.g. for spot color gradients). For placing PDF pages the page geometry information can be used.

callas software releases new product: pdfChip

callas pdfChip (Conversion of HTML into PDF) is a CLI application which converts HTML using CSS and JavaScript into high quality standards-compliant PDF documents (PDF/X, PDF/A).

Callas has enhanced the standard HMTL language with missing features like definition of spot colors, ICCbased colors, page geometry boxes, output intent as well as barcodes. In addition there a special operators for pagination.

With these additional features it becomes possible to create high qualtity printing files using HTML. By using the ability to import PDF pages even imposition is possible.

pdfChip is a command line application without user interface. The product is mainly dedicated to developers and advanced users with good knowledge of HTML, CSS and PDF who want to create many high quality PDF documents in an automated way (e.g. by a Web2Print application).