PDF/X-6 (ISO 15930-9:2020)
is (finally) published

After several delays (mainly due to the delay of ISO 32000-2:2020 (PDF 2.0 dated revison) the new ISO standard for prepress digital data exchange PDF/X-6 (ISO 15930-9:2020) has finally been published.

PDF/X-6 incorporates the following new features of PDF 2.0:


  • Parameters for black point compensation (BPC)
  • Page based Output Intent
  • DPart Metadata
  • Spectral information on spot colors (with CxF/X-4)
  • Mixing Hints (printing order, opacity of spot colors)

Some restrictions of previous PDF/X versions are relaxed:

  • Admission of notes and graphic annotations (non-printable)
  • Actions (as long as the appearance of the page is not  affected)
  • Form fields
  • Digital signatures

Besides PDF/X-6 there are also two sub-versions for special applications:

  • PDF/X-6p: References to ICC- Profiles (successor of PDF/X-4p)
  • PDF/X-6n: Use of multi-color profiles (successor of PDF/X-5n)

The previous PDF/X versions will remain valid.

The new Callas pdfToolbox 12 is the first program to support PDF/X-6.

However, before PDF/X-6 can be used in daily production,  developers of layout applications (Adobe, Quark, Affinity) must incorporate the new standard into their software. Some tricky tasks have to be solved (e.g. defining the black point compensation for individual images, defining the page-based Output Intents, …) This could take some time!

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