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 …

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 …

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.


EFI Fiery DFEs and Workflows Process
the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0

EFI has announced that the six pages with 48 test elements of the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 can be flawlessly processed by  Fiery DFEs und workflows.

On the web site of the Ghent Workgroup one can find the settings used for the successfull output of the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 (also for some other vendors).


Use of GWG preflight profiles
with Agfa Apogee Prepress 10

Agfa offers in Apogee Prepress 10 a choice of two different preflight processes. Apogee Preflight is a solution developed by Agfa while Preflight is based on Enfocus PitStop. For both there are now preflight profiles available which are compliant with the lastest GWG2015 specifications of the Ghent Workgroup.

In a short instruction the use of the GWG2015 profiles with both preflight processors in Apogee 10 is described.


Agenda of PDF Days Europe 2017 in Berlin

PDF Association has published the agenda of the PDF Days Europe from 15. – 17.5.2017 in Berlin.

In the centre of the interest is the presentation of new extensions to the PDF technology which are currently under development at the PDF Association under the code name «Next Generation PDF» aka «Camelot2».  I am following this development since serval months. It’s a marriage of PDF and Web technologies which will bring exiting new features to PDF. The real name of «Camelot2» and it’s purpose will be revealed at the PDF Days in Berlin for the first time in public. (The code name «Camelot2» is derived from the code name of the first PDF project of John Warnock in the early ninties.)

Of course PDF 2.0 is also an important topic of the conference. The publication of ISO standard 32000-2 is planned for the second half of this year.

A couple of presentations will deal with cloud based PDF solutions. On May 15th at 14h15 I will present our PDFX-ready Online Tools.

Readers of PDF-AKTUELL can benefit from a rebate on the ticket for PDF Days Europe (EUR 355.81 instead of EUR 451.01 incl. VAT) by entering the promotion code PDE-Camelot-PDFX at the bottom of the registration page.


Preview of PDF 2.0

In his latest article on PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2) which is scheduled for publication in mid 2017 Martin Bailey, CTO of Global Graphics, describes some of the changes in PDF 2.0. The article covers new encryption algorithms, new header information, text encoding, print scaling, document structures (DPart), deprecated definitions and how PDF readers will treat them.

In order to clarify these topics PDF Association with the support of Global Graphics is organizing two PDF 2.0 Interops in England and the US. There developers can test their applications against each other.