Graphic technology -- Use of PDF to associate processing steps and content data

This document describes a method for storing data in a PDF file that correspond to the processing steps of printed products. This method has three parts: 1) metadata identifying processing steps; 2) limitations on the interaction between PDF graphics objects that are part of a processing step and other PDF graphics objects; 3) limitations on PDF graphics objects in processing steps. This method is intended to be generic, i.e. not specific to packaging and labels. In addition, this document defines the following packaging- and label-specific groups of processing-steps data: — data corresponding to finishing steps, such as cutting, folding or glueing; — Braille; — information panels; — indications of physical dimensions; — indications of intended positions of graphical elements; — printed white, for example on transparent or metallic surfaces; — printed varnish.

Technologie graphique -- Utilisation du PDF pour associer les étapes de traitement et les données de contenu

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Status
Published
Publication Date
16-Jul-2018
Current Stage
6060 - International Standard published
Start Date
07-Jun-2018
Completion Date
17-Jul-2018
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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 19593-1
First edition
2018-07
Graphic technology — Use of PDF
to associate processing steps and
content data —
Part 1:
Processing steps for packaging and
labels
Technologie graphique — Utilisation du PDF pour associer les étapes
de traitement et les données de contenu —
Partie 1: Étapes de traitement 2016
Reference number
ISO 19593-1:2018(E)
ISO 2018
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO 19593-1:2018(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2018

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

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Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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ISO 19593-1:2018(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Notations....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

5 Conformance ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 2

6 Storing processing-steps data in PDF — generic requirements ......................................................................... 3

6.1 Processing-step optional content groups ........................................................................................................................ 3

6.2 Processing-step OCG metadata ................................................................................................................................................. 3

6.3 Colouring and positioning of processing-step objects .......................................................................................... 4

6.3.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................................................................... 4

6.3.2 Colouring and positioning of processing-step objects in off-bleed areas ....................... 4

6.3.3 Colouring and positioning of processing-step objects allowed to overlap

with print content ........................................................................................................................................................... 4

6.4 Limitations on processing-step PDF objects describing paths and surfaces .................................... 5

6.5 Evaluating processing steps ........................................................................................................................................................ 5

6.5.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................................................................... 5

6.5.2 Processing steps describing paths .................................................................................................................... 6

6.5.3 Processing steps describing a surface ........................................................................................................... 6

7 Storing processing-steps data in PDF — packaging and labels requirements .....................................6

7.1 Groups of processing-step OCGs .............................................................................................................................................. 6

7.1.1 Structural data (CAD) .................................................................................................................................................. 6

7.1.2 Braille ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 7

7.1.3 Legend ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

7.1.4 Dimensions ........................................................................................................................................................................... 8

7.1.5 Positions .................................................................................................................................................................................. 9

7.1.6 White .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.1.7 Varnish ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.2 Values for GTS_ProcStepsGroup ............................................................................................................................................10

7.3 Values for GTS_ProcStepsType ...............................................................................................................................................10

7.3.1 Structural processing step group ...................................................................................................................10

7.3.2 Positions processing step group ......................................................................................................................11

7.3.3 Other processing step groups ............................................................................................................................12

7.4 Colouring and positioning of processing-step objects .......................................................................................12

7.4.1 Surface of the printed product ..........................................................................................................................12

7.4.2 Colouring and positioning of processing-step objects in off-bleed areas ....................12

7.4.3 Colouring and positioning of processing-step objects allowed to overlap

with print content ........................................................................................................................................................13

7.4.4 Colouring and positioning of custom processing-step objects .............................................13

7.5 Limitations on processing-step PDF objects ..............................................................................................................13

7.6 Evaluating processing steps .....................................................................................................................................................13

7.6.1 Processing steps describing paths .................................................................................................................13

7.6.2 Processing steps describing surfaces ..........................................................................................................13

7.6.3 Other processing steps ............................................................................................................................................14

8 Example of a processing-step OCG ..................................................................................................................................................14

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................15

© ISO 2018 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO 19593-1:2018(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see www .iso

.org/iso/foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 130, Graphic technology.

A list of all parts in the ISO 19593 series can be found on the ISO website.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/members .html.
iv © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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ISO 19593-1:2018(E)
Introduction

It is common practice in the packaging segment, and other segments of the printing industry, to work

with PDF files that contain PDF graphics objects to be used for printing and additional PDF graphics

objects and metadata to be used for other steps in the production of the final product. These non-

printing PDF objects and metadata correspond to additional processing steps, for example die cutting

or creasing. In this way a PDF file can serve as a container for all production data, printing and non-

printing, of a printed product, such as a package or a label.
These processing-steps data are used in various steps of the production chain:
— a graphic designer may use them to correctly position graphical elements;

— a quality controller may use them to verify correctness of the design before producing the printed

element;

— a system performing layout of the printed products on a substrate may use them to determine an

optimal layout with minimal waste of substrate;
— they can be used to manufacture tools for production;
— they can be used directly by digitally controlled finishing devices.
In a typical example workflow:
a) all PDF graphics objects are rendered for proofing and viewing purposes;

b) in the final production printing only PDF graphics objects intended for printing are used and the

PDF graphics objects intended to describe additional processing steps are ignored;

c) in a finishing step of the final production workflow the PDF graphics objects intended for printing

are ignored while a set of PDF graphics objects corresponding with this processing step are used.

Without an established standard, multiple ad hoc methods are used to store such data in a PDF file

depending on the application used to generate the PDF file and the preferences of the user. For example,

in a PDF file the cut line can be stored in a layer called “CAD” using a contour with a stroke in spot

colourant “coupe”, or the cut line can be stored in the same layer as the graphics and represented as a

contour with a stroke in spot colourant “cut”.

The use of multiple ad hoc methods leads to problems of interoperability between companies and

systems. When a PDF file is sent from one participant in the packaging supply chain to another, the

recipient needs to know how processing-steps data are stored in the PDF file and his or her workflow

(often automated) must be able to handle the particular mechanisms used by the sender. When the

recipient receives files from multiple senders that all use different mechanisms, this becomes complex

and error-prone. For example, if a converter has configured RIPs to ignore separations with spot

colourant “cut” in incoming PDF files and the recipient subsequently receives a PDF file with a spot

colourant “coupe”, he or she risks wasting a printing plate or, even worse, erroneously printing the die

line on the package.

This document defines standardized mechanisms to store graphics objects and metadata corresponding

to processing steps in a PDF file. These mechanisms are intended to be generic and applicable not only

to packaging and label production but also to other segments of the printing industry.

Besides metadata identifying processing steps, requirements are defined describing how objects related

to a particular processing step may interact with the content of other processing steps or regular print

content. For example, objects related to a cutting processing step should not knock out regular print

objects. Additional requirements define which objects can reasonably be part of certain processing

steps. For example, halftone images do not make sense for a cutting processing step.

This document defines the syntax for defining processing steps and technical rules for possible

interdependencies between certain processing step information and other content.
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ISO 19593-1:2018(E)

This document also defines a first set of processing groups and types that are applicable to the

packaging and label segment of the printing industry. Although defined specifically for packaging and

labels, these groups and types may also be applicable to other segments of the printing industry such as

sign and display or commercial print.

Subsequent parts of the standard might either extend the list of defined processing groups and types to

address the needs of other segments of the printing industry or define new groups and types needed in

the packaging and labels segment.
vi © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 19593-1:2018(E)
Graphic technology — Use of PDF to associate processing
steps and content data —
Part 1:
Processing steps for packaging and labels
1 Scope

This document describes a method for storing data in a PDF file that correspond to the processing steps

of printed products. This method has three parts:
1) metadata identifying processing steps;

2) limitations on the interaction between PDF graphics objects that are part of a processing step and

other PDF graphics objects;
3) limitations on PDF graphics objects in processing steps.

This method is intended to be generic, i.e. not specific to packaging and labels.

In addition, this document defines the following packaging- and label-specific groups of processing-

steps data:
— data corresponding to finishing steps, such as cutting, folding or glueing;
— Braille;
— information panels;
— indications of physical dimensions;
— indications of intended positions of graphical elements;
— printed white, for example on transparent or metallic surfaces;
— printed varnish.
2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For

undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 32000-1, Document management — Portable document format — Part 1: PDF 1.7
ISO 32000-2, Document management — Portable document format — Part 2: PDF 2.0
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https: //www .iso .org/obp
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ISO 19593-1:2018(E)
— IEC Electropedia: available at http: //www .electropedia .org/
3.1
processing step

step in production of print products other than regular printing of colour on the print surface

EXAMPLE Cutting, printing of white, varnish or similar.
3.2
contour
path or text PDF graphics object
3.3
processing-step PDF object
PDF graphics object associated with a processing step
3.4
surface of the printed product
area of the printed substrate that will be used for the final printed product

Note 1 to entry: Each part of the ISO 19593 series contains a precise definition of the surface of the printed

product. For this document this definition can be found in 7.4.1.
3.5
spot colourant
colourant that is not a process colourant

Note 1 to entry: It is defined in a separation colour space or a DeviceN colour space.

4 Notations

PDF operators, PDF keywords, the names of keys in PDF dictionaries and other predefined names are

written in bold; for example, the key BM. Operands of PDF operators or values of PDF dictionary keys

are written in italic; for example, the multiply value for the BM key.
5 Conformance

This document defines the use of processing step PDF graphics objects for the exchange of processing-

steps data.

A PDF file conforming to this document shall be one in which processing-steps data are included in the

PDF using a method that adheres to this document. Such a PDF file shall conform with the requirements

of both Clause 6 and Clause 7. A conforming file may also use additional methods to describe processing-

steps data. If used, these alternative methods shall not contradict the data stored using the method

described in this document.

A conforming file shall conform to at least one of the following standards: ISO 32000-1 or ISO 32000-2.

A conforming reader is a software application that shall be able to read and appropriately process all

files conforming to this document and conforming to at least one of ISO 32000-1 or ISO 32000-2.

NOTE Since a PDF/X-4 file can conform with ISO 32000-1, this document does not exclude the usage of files

conforming to ISO 15930-7.
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ISO 19593-1:2018(E)
6 Storing processing-steps data in PDF — generic requirements
6.1 Processing-step optional content groups

The use of optional content groups (OCGs) allows labelling graphics objects throughout a PDF file in

such a way that they can easily be included or excluded from output. While an OCG can easily be used to

group graphics objects together, there is no standardized mechanism to store identifying information

in such an OCG.

A processing-step OCG is an OCG with an additional GTS_Metadata key in the OCG dictionary, as

described in 6.2. The value of this key is a dictionary containing standardized identifying information

for the processing step which this processing-step OCG corresponds to.

A processing-step OCG shall only contain PDF graphics objects whose intended usage is consistent with

the processing step defined by GTS_Metadata.

NOTE The Name key of the OCG cannot be used for identification because it is a) not standardized and b)

often used for display in user interface which conflicts with the possibility of standardizing it. Although it might

be acceptable for an English user, for example, to work with an OCG called “Die cut” and learn to standardize on

it, the same would likely not be true for a Dutch or Chinese user.
6.2 Processing-step OCG metadata

The optional content group dictionary of a processing-step OCG shall contain the GTS_Metadata key,

the value of which shall be a dictionary, as indicated in Table 1. The GTS_Metadata dictionary shall

contain the GTS_ProcStepsGroup key. For some values of the GTS_ProcStepsGroup key, the GTS_

ProcStepsType key shall also be present. The combination of the value of the GTS_ProcStepsGroup

and the value of the GTS_ProcStepsType key uniquely define the processing step.

A PDF file may contain multiple OCGs with the same combination of values of GTS_ProcStepsGroup

and GTS_ProcStepsType. These OCGs correspond with the same kind of processing step.

Table 1 — Additional GTS_Metadata entry in an optional content group dictionary
Key Type Value

GTS_Metadata dictionary (Required for processing-step OCG) GTS_Metadata dictionary

containing keys defined in Table 2

It is often necessary to preserve hierarchical information about processing steps. For automated

tools, for example, it might not be enough to know that graphics objects are related to a “Structural”

processing step; one might need to be able to discern the difference between cut and crease lines. To

enable this, the GTS_Metadata dictionary contains enough information to preserve such hierarchy.

The GTS_ProcStepsGroup defines the group of processing steps the graphics objects in this OCG

belong to. GTS_ProcStepsType optionally defines the type of processing steps for the graphics objects

in the OCG as indicated in Table 2.
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ISO 19593-1:2018(E)
Table 2 — Entries in a GTS_Metadata dictionary
Key Type Value

GTS_ProcStepsGroup name (Required) Name of the processing step group this processing step

belongs to.
The value of this key shall be taken from a list of predefined val-
ues in the relevant part of the ISO 19593 series when such value
is applicable.
If the relevant part of the ISO 19593 series does not define an ap-
plicable value, a custom value may be used in a conforming file. All
custom values for this key shall be second-class names as described
in ISO 32000-1:2008, Annex E.

GTS_ProcStepsType name (Optional; required for some values of GTS_ProcStepsGroup) Name

of the type of processing step within the group defined by the value
of GTS_ProcStepsGroup.
The value of this key shall be taken from a list of predefined val-
ues in the relevant part of the ISO 19593 series when such value
is applicable.
If the relevant part of the ISO 19593 series does not define an ap-
plicable value, a custom value may be used in a conforming file. All
custom values for this key shall be second-class names as described
in ISO 32000-1:2008, Annex E.
6.3 Colouring and positioning of processing-step objects
6.3.1 Introduction

This subclause defines alternative sets of requirements for processing steps. The relevant part of

the ISO 19593 series indicates which set of requirements is applicable to which groups or types of

processing steps and may specify alternative requirements that differ from these.

The purpose of the sets of requirements is to guarantee that rendering of the device colourants within

the surface of the printed product on the intended final printing device (i.e. the printing device that will

be used to print the content of the conforming file in production) are not affected by the presence of

processing-step objects in the PDF.
6.3.2 Colouring and positioning of processing-step objects in off-bleed areas

This set of requirements is applicable to processing-step PDF objects that are not allowed to overlap

with the actual print content.

— These processing-step PDF objects may have any PDF-conforming colouring, overprint or

transparency blending.

— These processing-step PDF objects shall be positioned in an “off-bleed” area, i.e. they shall not

overlap geometrically with the surface of the printed product. Determination of overlapping shall

use areas marked by the actual graphics objects and shall not be defined by a rectangular bounding

box or similar method.

The specific definition of the surface of the printed product to be used shall be taken from the relevant

part of the ISO 19593 series.

6.3.3 Colouring and positioning of processing-step objects allowed to overlap with print content

This set of requirements is applicable to processing-step PDF objects that are allowed to overlap with

print content.
— These processing-step PDF objects may appear anywhere on the PDF page.
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ISO 19593-1:2018(E)

— These processing-step PDF objects shall be coloured using a spot colourant. Colourants used for

page content that does not form part of a processing-step OCG shall not be used to colour these

processing-step PDF objects. Colourants with the name All, None, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow or Black

shall not be used to colour these processing-step PDF objects.

— The graphics state for these processing-step PDF objects shall have the overprint parameter set to

true for stroke when the object is painted with a stroke. The graphics state for these processing-

step PDF objects shall have the overprint parameter set to true for fill if the object is painted with

a fill. These processing-step PDF objects shall not use PDF transparency, either directly or through

membership of a transparency group other than the page-level transparency group. The method to

determine if a PDF object uses transparency shall be as described in ISO 32000-2:2017, Annex Q.

— Page content that does not belong to a processing step shall be placed in the appropriate order of

the content stream such that no PDF graphics objects are drawn on top of and overlapping with

these processing-step PDF objects. Determination of overlapping shall use areas marked by the

actual graphics objects or within the area of a soft mask and shall not be defined by a rectangular

bounding box or similar method.
6.4 Limitations on processing-step PDF objects describing paths and surfaces

The purpose of this set of requirements is to limit the types of PDF objects in certain processing steps

describing paths or surfaces. The relevant part of the ISO 19593 series indicates for which group or

type of processing steps these requirements are valid and may specify alternative requirements that

differ from these.

— These processing-step OCGs shall only contain PDF path objects, PDF text objects and form XObjects.

PDF objects in these form XObjects shall follow the requirements of 6.4.

— Processing-step objects in these processing-step OCGs describing paths shall have a stroke. They

should not have a fill.

— Processing-step objects in these processing-step OCGs describing surfaces shall have a fill or a

stroke or both a fill and a stroke.

— The Pattern colour space shall not be used for either stroke or fill of these processing-step PDF

objects.
— Type 3 fonts shall not be used for defining these processing-step PDF objects.

— Text rendering mode 3 should not be used for these processing-step PDF objects. Text rendering

modes 4, 5, 6 and 7 shall not be used for these processing-step PDF objects.

— 0 % tint of a colourant should not be used for colouring these processing-step PDF objects.

— The graphics state for these processing-step PDF objects shall not have a clipping path that partially

or completely clips these objects.
6.5 Evaluating processing steps
6.5.1 Introduction

This clause defines alternative sets of requirements for processing steps. The relevant part of the

ISO 19593 series indicates which set of requirements is applicable to which groups or types of

processing steps.

The purpose of the sets of requirements is to describe the usage of these processing-step objects by a

conforming reader evaluating processing steps, for example for the purpose of performing a production

step such as cutting.
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ISO 19593-1:2018(E
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