MadeToPrint & MadeForLayers
support Processing Steps

The latest versions of the Axaio plug-ins for InDesign and Illustrator MadeToPrint and MadeForLayers allow the definition and the PDF export of layers with Processing Steps metadata:

PDF Processing Steps were defined by the Ghent Workgroup and will soon be releases as ISO-Standard 15993. PDF Processing Steps allow standardized identification of non-printing objects in packaging files (e.g. dieline, braille, varnish, folding) and help automating production.


PDF Accessibility enhancements in InDesign 2018

The InDesign update to version 13.0 (2018) released in October 2017 features some enhancements in the export of accessible PDFs:

  • Alternate text for graphics and InDesign objects
  • Group level tagging
  • Support for footnote
  • Anchored text frames and anchored groups tagging
  • Master pages tagging
  • Index tagging
  • List tag language
  • List tagging
  • Caption tagging
  • TOC tagging structure

Callas pdfToolbox 9.4 with PDF 2.0

Callas has released version 9.4 of pdfToolbox. The update supports the new ISO standard 32000-2 (PDF 2.0). In addition there is a new feature for comparing two profiles:

This comparison feature will certainly help me in the  development of upcoming versions the thirty PDFX-ready preflight profiles.

Weiterlesen / Read more …Callas pdfToolbox 9.4 with PDF 2.0

One year PDFX-ready Online Tools

In the morning of Octobre 26th, 2016 we have launched the PDFX-ready Online Tools. which I had developed for PDFX-ready. Right at the beginning we offered three tools:

There is a FREEWARE and PREMIUM versions for members of PDFX-ready.

The experience we made in the past year is pretty good. The Enfocus Switch server with the applications Callas pdfToolbox and ColorLogic ProfileTagger is running very stable. But of course there were a few problems.

Weiterlesen / Read more …One year PDFX-ready Online Tools

ZePrA 6 from ColorLogic with PantoneLIVE integration

Version 6 of the ColorLogic color server features an integration with PantoneLIVE. This allows to online access spectral definitions of spot colors.

There are additional improvements in the area of spot color iteration and better administration of spot color libraries. In addition there are improvement in handling queues and configuration.

In the online help for the ZePrA the new features are covered indepth.


eciCMYK (FOGRA53) as new CMYK exchange color space

ECI has released the ICC color profile eciCMYK.icc. It’s based on the printing condition FOGRA53 defined by Fogra. The goal is a large gamut exchange space which covers all printing technologies (offset, gravure, digital). The eciCMYK profile can be download for free.

Since the gamut of eciCMYK is larger than any real printing gamut and the profile allows a high total ink coverage (TAC), this profile is not suitable for printing.

Weiterlesen / Read more …eciCMYK (FOGRA53) as new CMYK exchange color space

Impact of PDF 2.0 on Print Production

Martin Bailey, CTO of Global Graphics and member of serveral ISO committees regarding PDF standards, talks about the impact of PDF 2.0 in a whitepaper (19 pages) and a webinar (YouTube, 40′). He also covers the risks and gives some recommendations for the transition to PDF 2.0.


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).

Nine reasons to preflight

The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) has published an interesting poster:

On the front page the GWG is presented. On the back nine reasons to preflight are listed (compiled by belgian VIGC). Each topic is illustrated with an eample.

This page can be used to check how certain PDF definitions are displayed in different viewers (Acrobat/Reader, Apple Preview, etc.) and output devices (printer, proofer, imagesetter).

In addition one should check this PDF with a preflight tool in order to also detect the problems which are not visible. For this the preflight profiles GWG2012 or GWG2015 (part of Acrobat DC Pro, Callas pdfToolbox, Enfocus PitStop Pro) and of course the preflight profiles for Acrobat Pro from PDFX-ready are highly recommended.


Is JPEG2000 compression suitable
for PDF files for prepress?

For the new Adobe InDesign export settings V2.5 for PDF/X-4 CMYK+RGB from PDFX-ready the technical committee of PDFX-ready has investigated if a change of the compression method from the traditional JPEG to the newer JPEG2000 would be useful.

JPEG2000 uses a completely different compression technology (wavelet transformation) than the old JPEG (discrete cosine transformation). The new technology promises a better quality together with smaller file sizes. JPEG2000 also allows images with more than 8 bits per channel and up to 256 channels. That sounds promising…

We already knew from tests of the Ghent Workgroup that not all PDF viewers (especially on mobile devices) can handle PDFs with JPEG2000. With other PDF viewers (including Acrobat/Reader) displaying JPEG2000 images is much slower than JPEG images.

But after all we wanted to know if we could recommend JPEG2000 compression for prepress data. That’s why we decided to perform a series of practical tests with a calendar with highres images in different color spaces (Device-CMYK, ICC-CMYK, ICC-RGB). Peter Kleinheider has done the output tests with two different RIPs and I did the export tests with Adobe InDesign CC2017.

When comparing the test results we noticed some unexpected surprises!

Weiterlesen / Read more …Is JPEG2000 compression suitable
for PDF files for prepress?

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.

PDFX-ready Preflight profiles
V1.5 / V2.5 released

PDFX-ready has update their preflight profiles for Acrobat Pro. The latest versions feature the following changes:

  • V2.5 (for PDF/X-4):
    • Removed check for single-color hairlines (< 0.125 pt) since these lines are no longer problematic in modern CTP and Digital workflows.
    • Check of multi-color objects (text < 8 pt; lines < 0.25 pt) also for Digital Printing.
    • More details in explanation for spot color check.
    • Compatibility with PDF/X-4 created by QuarkXPress 2016/2017.
  • V1.5 (for PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3):
    • New checks for recognition of black texts and vektors which most probably were re-separated (was alredy in V2.4).
    • More details in explanation for spot color check.
    • Removal of check “Annotation of this type not allowed (GWG)” (alignment with V2.x).

Presentation on PDFX-ready Online Tools
at PDF Days Europe 2017 in Berlin

At the PDF Days Europe 2017 organized by the PDF Association  in Berlin I was invited to give an english presentation on the PDFX-ready Online Tools:

Download PDF-Days2017_PDFX-ready-Online-Tools.pdf (PDF, 2.73MB)


PDF/X in a Nutshell

At the PDF Days Europe PDF Association has published a brochure entitled PDF/X in a Nutshell with these chapters:

  • The history of PDF/X
  • PDF/X: The key facts
  • Technical side and requirements of PDF/X
  • Users and industry segments
  • Tools and usage
  • PDF/X-Plus
  • PDF/X and the other PDF standards

I have contributed a chapter on PDF/X-Plus (about the Ghent Workgroup and PDFX-ready).


ESKO workflows compliant with Ghent PDF Output Suite 5

ESKO confirmes  confirm compatibility of the Esko Software Platform with new Ghent PDF Output Suite version 5.0.

All 48 test patches in the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 were processed perfectly using Esko Software Platform applications and workflows.