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Generally use PDF/X files in order to exchange known good files. In the print industry, you commonly use the PDF/X format as an exchange format for sending pages between a page preparation site and a printing site. A PDF/X file is intended to be more predictable because it has commonly agreed-on characteristics. Prinergy Evo software supports PDF/X-1a:2001 and PDF/X-3:2004 files.

Technical requirements of PDF/X files

  • Fonts must be embedded.
  • Images must be embedded. Prinergy Evo software automatically uses OPI replacement to swap the high-resolution image and embed the images.
  • Transfer functions (TR and TR2) are not allowed. Prinergy Evo software fails pages containing custom transfer functions.
  • Pre-separated pages are not allowed. For whole-page copydot DCS input, Prinergy Evo software will try to recomposite the file, which would allow a PDF/X-1a:2001-compliant page.
  • Spot colors and CMYK are allowed; RGB and L*a*b are not allowed. Prinergy Evo software fails pages with RGB or L*a*b.
  • LZW and JBIG2 compression are not allowed. Prinergy Evo software fails pages with LZW and JBIG2 compression.
  • Bounding boxes are restricted. Each page must have a Media box that can include either a Trim box or an Art box, but not both. A page can have a Bleed box or Crop box. The Trim box or an Art box must be entirely inside the Bleed box or Crop box.
  • Halftone issues:
    • Named halftones are not permitted. This means you cannot use DotShop screening, since Prinergy Evo software relies on the halftone name to choose the screening. When refining to PDF/X-1a:2001, Prinergy Evo removes any halftone dictionary that contains a HalftoneName key, including DotShop halftone dictionaries.
    • No Halftone Phase (HTP) key
    • Halftone Type can only be 1 or 5 (no threshold screening)
  • No embedded PostScript and no PDF features beyond PDF 1.3. Thus, transparency cannot be present; Prinergy Evo software will flatten transparencies in PDF 1.4 input.
  • Annotation use is limited. Annotations are allowed if they lie entirely outside the Bleed box, or outside the Art box or Trim box if there is no Bleed box. The exception is the Trapnet annotation, which is allowed without restrictions. Note: Prinergy Evo software does not use Trapnet annotations for trapping.

When refining to PDF/X-1a:2001, Prinergy Evo software will detect and deal with all of the above issues where possible. If it is not possible to make a PDF/X-1a:2001-compliant file, Prinergy Evo software will fail the page.

What happens during refining

When you refine to PDF/X-1a:2001, the Normalize, Spot Color Handling, Match Colors, and Overprint Conversion options in the refine to PDF process template are required.

During Normalize:

  • OPI replacement is done. (The Do OPI Image Replacement option is automatically enabled. It can be disabled.)
  • Fonts are embedded.

During color management, the input color space is converted to CMYK plus spot colors.
Caution: L*a*b color space is not allowed for PDF/X-1a:2001 files. If you are using L*a*b color libraries, the Use Alternate Color Definition from Color Editor option may cause Prinergy Evo software to fail the file. If Use Alternate Color Definition from Color Editor is cleared, and color recipes in the file are defined using L*a*b, Prinergy Evo software may also fail the file.

What about PDF/X-3?

PDF/X-3 enables you to create a PDF that contains all elements necessary for final print reproduction. The PDF/X-3 file is color-managed, and contains all supported CMYK and spot color data in any combination outside of the PDF/X-1a specifications, for example, CIELab and RGB.
The system will warn you if PDF/X-3 input files contain OutputIntents and will show the value of the OutputIntents in the history log. This happens automatically; you do not have to select an option in a process template or elsewhere in Prinergy Evo software to enable this feature.

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