Missing PDF/X entry in PDF/X-4 files from QuarkXPress

During the preparation of the PDFX-ready settings and recipes for the PDF/X-4 export out of QuarkXPress we have recognized that QuarkXPress 2015 and 2016 do not write a GTS_PDFXVersion entry into the PDF. (See Acrobat menu File > Properties… > Custom.)

A preflight with the PDFX-ready profiles generates an error message since we check this entry. When creating PDF/X-1a files Quark is correctly writing this information into the PDF. All other PDF/X creator I am aware do also write this entry in their PDF/X files.

This is the reason that we have decided not to publish the PDFX-ready settings and recipes for the PDF/X-4 export out of QuarkXPress yet until Quark has solved the problem.

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2 thoughts on “Missing PDF/X entry in PDF/X-4 files from QuarkXPress”

  1. Hi Stephan,

    unfortunately that is not completely correct, as QuarkXPress DOES write the entry PGTS_PDFXVersion into the X4 and exactly there, where ISO requires it (which is within the XMP meta data).

    Therefore Acrobat certifies PDF/X-4 out of QuarkXPress 2015/2016 as standards compliant PDF/X-4 files.

    Where your observation is correct is that QuarkXPress 2015/2016 does NOT write an ADDITIONAL entry about PDF/X-4 version complacency into the Document Information Dictionary. This is what you see when you – as you write – look at File > Properties > Custom in Acrobat and what the pdfxready profiles seem to check.

    ISO states, that that this entry IS ALLOWED in X4 BUT NOT REQUIRED. Whereas in PDF/X-1a and /X-3 this entry IS the relevant entry, so there’s a significant difference between X1/3 and X4.

    Where you are correct is that most applications capable of exporting PDF/X-4 do write this redundant entry into the Document Information. That’s why we are currently evaluating with our OEM partner who does these checks for us, whether we can add this additional entry in future updates, so that the current pdfxready profiles will work too.

    Bottomline: QuarkXPress 2015/206 exports ISO compliant PDF/X-4 files and that’s what Acrobat as well as callas’ pdfToolbox also confirm.

    Best regards
    Matthias Guenther
    (at Quark Software responsible for QuarkXPress)

  2. Since years PDFX-Ready uses the check “PDF/X Version” in Acrobat preflight. This has worked well with all PDF/X creators so far. But now this check fails with PDF/X-4 files created from QuarkXPress.

    We will discuss this topic in the technical working group of PDFX-ready and may switch to an other check in the next version of the PDFX-ready preflight profiles.


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