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PDF Standards (PDF/A/X)

BCL easyPDF Printer supports PDF creation of PDF/A-1b, PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3 file formats. PDF/A, PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3 are subset or types of PDF. PDF/A is obtained by retaining the PDF features that are suited to long-term archiving, while PDF/X (PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3) is created to facilitate graphics exchange. BCL easyPDF Printer enables users to easily create 100% PDF/A/X compliant documents.

PDF/A Conformance

PDF/A-1b has the goal of reproducing the visual appearance of the original document accurately. PDF/A-1b falls under ISO 19005-1 Level B conformance which ensures that the rendered visual appearance of the file is reproducible over a long-term.

BCL easyPDF Printer supports the following standards:

  1. ISO 19005-1:2005(E) Level B conformance (Compatible with Acrobat 7)
  2. TC1:2007 or PDF/A-1:2005/TC1:2007 Level B conformance (Compatible with Acrobat 8, but it's not backward compatible. Therefore it does not validate in Acrobat 7’s Preflight)

PDF/X Conformance

PDF/X file formats are a group of ISO standards for digital document exchange in PDF. The objective of PDF/X file format standards is to confirm that the content prints predictably, irrespective of the document type and the printing service provider. The standards are subset of the Adobe PDF Specification 1.3.

We support the two most widely used PDF/X standards:

  1. PDF/X-1a:2001 (ISO 15930-1:2001) and
  2. PDF/X-3:2002 (ISO 15930-3:2002)

PDF/X-1a is a CMYK-based document format compatible with PDF-1.3. It requires that all font files used be embedded, and the document shall not be encrypted.

PDF/X-3 adds color management features to the PDF/X-1a standard.

If you are unsure about which PDF/X standard to use, you should ask your printing service provider. Generally speaking, currently PDF/X-1a is the most common format in North America. In Europe PDF/X-3 is the preferred choice on digital presses, but PDF/X-1a is commonly accepted as well.

Note that once you convert a PDF document to PDF/A/X, PDF/A/X will lose elements such as hyperlinks, bookmarks, metadata, etc.

CMYK Color Space

How this property behaves depends on whether PDF/A, PDF/X, or dual standard (both PDF/A and PDF/X) output is specified.

For PDF/A, the color space can be either RGB or CMYK. If no CMYK profile is specified, then "sRGB", the standard color space of the Internet, will be used. A CMYK profile must be explicitly specified in order to generate CMYK based PDF/A output.

For PDF/X, the color space is always CMYK. If no CMYK profile is specified, then a default will be chosen. For PDF/X-1a:2001, the default is "USWebCoatedSWOP" and for PDF/X-3:2002 it is "CoatedFOGRA27".

For dual standard output, the same rules as for PDF/X apply.

If the output is neither PDF/A nor PDF/X, then the color space will always be DeviceRGB and any CMYK profile specified here will be ignored.

Below is a list of the CMYK files:

  1. Coated FOGRA27 (ISO 12647-2:2004)
  2. Coated FOGRA39 (ISO 12647-2:2004)
  3. Japan Color 2001 Coated
  4. Japan Color 2001 Uncoated
  5. Japan Color 2002 Newspaper
  6. Japan Web Coated (Ad)
  7. Uncoated FOGRA29 (ISO 12647-2:2004)
  8. U.S. Sheetfed Coated v2
  9. U.S. Sheetfed Uncoated v2
  10. U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2
  11. U.S. Web Uncoated v2
  12. Web Coated FOGRA28 (ISO 12647-2:2004)

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