PDF In-Depth

PDF show-and-tell with Stephan Jaeggi

Content and highlights

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SHEA: What are the main topics of your PDF-FORUM?

JAEGGI: We have four sequential tracks in the main conference on February 2nd and 3rd. First, we talk about state-of-the-art PDF creation. There have been a lot of improvements recently, so distilling PostScript is not in all circumstances the best way of creating PDF anymore. In the afternoon, we discuss PDF for digital printing including Web-to-Print applications. At the end of this day, we will have a lively session with ten PDF vendors doing short presentations of their hottest PDF tools for print production. On Friday morning, we focus on PDF and JDF workflows for commercial printing, where we talk about the latest developments in this area. Beside well known systems from established vendors of CTP systems, we also present ways to create your own do-it-yourself PDF workflow using some interesting new tools. In the third session, we will hear reports about recent shoot-outs between PDF proofing devices in Germany and the US. Finally, in a track called Future Trends, we will discuss the requirements for device-independent PDF workflows using ICC-based color management.

SHEA: Standards like PDF/X and JDF are referenced in several of the session titles. Could you please explain a bit more about that?

JAEGGI: Yes. The Job Definition Format (JDF) is starting to play an important role in PDF workflows for digital as well as commercial printing. In a world where equipment from multiple vendors is used, we need standards in order to integrate the tools. JDF is a good addition to PDF/X -- PDF/X describes the content of the pages (what has to be printed) and JDF defines the job parameters (how it has to be printed). We will talk about these standards in several sessions. We have even added a special session right at the beginning of the conference to inform the audience about the latest developments and trends regarding these standards (JDF 1.3, PDF/X-4 and X-5). People who want to know more about JDF can attend the free JDF Day organized by CIP4 on Sunday, February 5th.

SHEA: What will be the highlights from your point of view?

JAEGGI: Certainly the keynote by Gary Cosimini from Adobe Systems on the first day. I'm proud that I could secure Gary, who has been with the Acrobat team from the beginning. He played a major role in establishing PDF as the standard for prepress and printing in the early days. At the end of the second day, we will have a special session about the new XPS format from Microsoft -- formerly known as "Metro". A lot of articles have claimed that this will be a strong competitor to PDF or even a PDF killer. We will hear firsthand from the program manager at Microsoft and the CTO of Global Graphics, who worked with Microsoft to define XPS and was responsible for the first RIP implementation, if this was really the goal. There are a few more surprises in store for delegates, but unfortunately, I cannot talk about these yet...

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