[scribus] PDFX1A

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Tue Apr 7 18:48:57 CEST 2009

On Tuesday 07 April 2009 12:46:10 pm Gerard Cunningham 
> For a project I'm working on, the printer requires PDFX1A
> (or should that be PDF/X-1A).
is required by LSI. If you don't have it they may rasterize 
the file twice. Apparently this is a big deal for covers 
but not so big for interiors. 

The only sure  way I know to get to this obsolete but 
required format is via Adobe Distiller.  My alternate 
recommendation is to  save the file selecting the pdf 1-3 
standard in Scribus. To flatten it load it into Open Office 
Writer, save to a print file, and then use the Ghostcript 
script ps2pdf13 to put it back into pdf form. 
Transparencies and gradients will fail unless you flatten.

If it weren't for the Ingram connection I would leave LSI 
like a shot and use someone more cooperative, like 360 
Digital Books, who specify pdf 1.5 but when it comes to 
distribution LSI owns the bat and the ball so you have to 
play the game by their rules.
It also helps if you leave off the bar code, and just put an 
appropriate white rectangle where you want it placed.  That 
way if LSI feels compelled to rasterize it twice they will 
at least not fuzz the barcode.

I have asked that the obsolete pdf X/1a:2001 format be added 
to Scribus but those who don't deal with LSI don't fully 
grasp why it is important to those of us who do.  If the 
cover file pdf doesn't have that code string embedded then 
LSI will mess with the cover prior to prepress.  PDF 1.3  
(almost the same standard) isn't sufficient for LSI AFAIK.   
> I have Scribus v1.3.3.12 which I understand is the latest
> stable version, running on Ubuntu 8.10.
> Can someone point me to a non-technical explanation of
> how to export the PDF in the format required (assuming
> that its possible to do so) or to a reasonable workaround
> if not.
See above.
> I gather I need to add CMYK plugins, what else do I need
> to do?

You should set up to work in CMYK from the beginning. With 
NO document active go to edit>colors and select the CMYK 
set from e.g. Open Office Writer. This won't work if you 
have a document active.  The change is persistent.

HTH. I share your pain.
John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters

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