ISO approves PDF/X digital data exchange standard
First in a series of graphics arts standards based on Adobe PDF

22 January 2002

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) announced earlier this month that it has formally approved the first of a series of PDF/X standards for digital data exchange, based upon Adobe PDF.

The standard -- titled ISO 15930-1:2001, Graphic Technology -- is based on an earlier standard developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited Committee for Graphic Arts Standards Technologies (CGATS). According to NPES, "the standard is revolutionizing the exchange of material between providers and publishers/printers in the graphic arts industry."

The approved standard covers complete exchange using CMYK data (PDF/X-1 and PDF/X1a); it's based on version 1.3 of the Adobe PDF Specification (Acrobat 4). Other PDF/X standards under development include PDF/X-2 (partial exchange) and PDF/X-3 (blind exchange suitable for color-managed workflows). Copies of the PDF/X-1 standard are available for $50 from the NPES; download a 23-page interactive order form [PDF: 2 MB].

For a detailed explanation of the technology and issues addressed, please read "From PDF to PDF/X" by standards expert David Q. McDowell, republished with permission on Planet PDF.


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