[Scribus] pdf standards

Timothy Boyden tboyden
Fri Feb 29 21:27:58 CET 2008

A simple string of "PDF/X" doesn't make a file a PDF/X compliant file.

What does make a PDF compliant could be a lengthy discussion because of
the technical detail involved, but suffice to say, it's generally the
PDF configuration settings applied by the utility creating the PDF, in
Scribus's case, the PDF exporter tool.

Most PDF creation utilities will give you as part of the export or print
properties screen, a drop-down box that let's you choose a PDF Profile
to export the PDF as. These profiles are equivalent to Adobe Distiller
settings files that define certain attributes that the exported or
printed PDF will have. It's these attributes that make a PDF a PDF/X-1a
or /X-3 PDF. Some of the required attributes are: Required Fonts
embedded, images are a certain resolution, OPI comments removed, color
intent is set, color profile is specified, etc... However setting these
attributes do not guarantee that the resulting PDF will meet the
requested profile. It's up to the PDF printer/exporter utility to
enforce the requested settings and "fix up" those attributes that can be
modified, or fail completely on missing fonts or low resolution
graphics. This is where a preflight tool comes in handy if you are
generating PDFs from a tool that you are unsure how to configure


-----Original Message-----
From: scribus-bounces at kirsche.altmuehlnet.de
[mailto:scribus-bounces at kirsche.altmuehlnet.de] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 7:54 PM
To: scribus at kirsche.altmuehlnet.de
Subject: Re: [Scribus] pdf standards

On Thursday 28 February 2008 03:20:09 pm Timothy Boyden wrote:
> PDF/X-1a:2001 is actually equivalent to Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) version 
> files (according to the InDesign export feature anyways).
> If you use the Scribus PDF export tool I believe it defaults to X-1a 
> or
> X-3 (which is the same PDF version, but with a more definitive color 
> profile description) which should be acceptable to your printer.
> If you want a tool to verify it, you'll need a preflight tool like 
> what is included in Acrobat or another 3rd party product like 
> FlightCheck from Markzware. There's freeware preflight software 
> available, but I have not had a chance to compare those with 
> commercial tools for accuracy. One of the advantages of a commercial 
> preflight tool is that it can make adjustments that would make a PDF 
> compliant with the X-1a or
> X-3 specification.
> -Tim

Thanks for the reply. My source on such things tells me that if the
string "PDF/X" does not appear in the pdf file then it won't be accepted
for running on the OCE printer by LSI.  No pdf files that I have looked
at, Scribus, TeX, whatever, have that exact string.  I can of course
patch that in with an editor but I doubt that it would pass the
preflight review.  

Does the presence/absence of graphics have an impact on how Scribus
annotates the file? 

For some time now the Scribus site has bragged about X/3 qualification. 
Shouldn't some indication of that occur in the file also?

John Culleton
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