Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange using PDF — Part 6: Complete exchange of printing data suitable for colour-managed workflows using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3)

ISO 15930-6:2003 specifies the use of the Portable Document Format (PDF) Version 1.4 for the dissemination of complete digital data, in a single exchange that contains all elements necessary for final print reproduction. Colour-managed, CMYK, Gray, RGB or spot colour data are supported.

Technologie graphique — Échange de données numériques de préimpression utilisant le PDF — Partie 6: Échange complets de données imprimées aptes à la gestion des couleurs utilisant le PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3)

Grafična tehnologija - Izmenjava digitalnih podatkov v grafični pripravi z uporabo PDF - 6. del: Celotna izmenjava podatkov za barvno upravljanje procesov z uporabo PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3)

General Information

Status
Published
Publication Date
08-Dec-2003
Current Stage
9093 - International Standard confirmed
Start Date
07-Oct-2009
Completion Date
04-Jun-2020

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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 15930-6
First edition
2003-12-15
Graphic technology — Prepress digital
data exchange using PDF —
Part 6:
Complete exchange of printing data
suitable for colour-managed workflows
using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3)
Technologie graphique — Échange de données numériques de
préimpression utilisant le PDF —
Partie 6: Échanges complets de données imprimées aptes à la gestion
des couleurs utilisant le PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3)
Reference number
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
ISO 2003
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
PDF disclaimer

This PDF file may contain embedded typefaces. In accordance with Adobe's licensing policy, this file may be printed or viewed but

shall not be edited unless the typefaces which are embedded are licensed to and installed on the computer performing the editing. In

downloading this file, parties accept therein the responsibility of not infringing Adobe's licensing policy. The ISO Central Secretariat

accepts no liability in this area.
Adobe is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Details of the software products used to create this PDF file can be found in the General Info relative to the file; the PDF-creation

parameters were optimized for printing. Every care has been taken to ensure that the file is suitable for use by ISO member bodies. In

the unlikely event that a problem relating to it is found, please inform the Central Secretariat at the address given below.

© ISO 2003

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,

electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and microfilm, without permission in writing from either ISO at the address below or

ISO's member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
Case postale 56 • CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. + 41 22 749 01 11
Fax + 41 22 749 09 47
E-mail copyright@iso.org
Web www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2003 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
Contents Page

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

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

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

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

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

4 Notations................................................................................................................................................ 4

5 Conforming files and equipment......................................................................................................... 4

6 Technical requirements........................................................................................................................ 5

6.1 Data structure........................................................................................................................................ 5

6.2 Colour..................................................................................................................................................... 6

6.3 Fonts....................................................................................................................................................... 8

6.4 File specifications ................................................................................................................................. 9

6.5 Data compression ................................................................................................................................. 9

6.6 Trapping................................................................................................................................................. 9

6.7 PDF file identification ........................................................................................................................... 9

6.8 Bounding boxes .................................................................................................................................. 10

6.9 Extended graphics state..................................................................................................................... 10

6.10 PostScript XObject and the PS operator ..........................................................................................10

6.11 Use of the Encrypt dictionary ............................................................................................................ 10

6.12 Alternate Images ................................................................................................................................. 11

6.13 Annotations ......................................................................................................................................... 11

6.14 Actions and JavaScripts .................................................................................................................... 11

6.15 Use of the BX/EX operators ............................................................................................................... 11

6.16 Use of Transparency........................................................................................................................... 11

6.17 Viewer preferences ............................................................................................................................. 12

Annex A (informative) PDF feature summary ................................................................................................ 13

Annex B (informative) Metadata......................................................................................................................15

Bibliography ..................................................................................................................................................... 16

© ISO 2003 – All rights reserved iii
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
ISO 15930-6:2003(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.

International Standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.

The main task of technical committees is to prepare International Standards. Draft International Standards

adopted by the technical committees are circulated to the member bodies for voting. Publication as an

International Standard requires approval by at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote.

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.

ISO 15930-6 was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 130, Graphic technology.

ISO 15930 consists of the following parts, under the general title Graphic technology — Prepress digital data

exchange using PDF:
 Part 1: Complete exchange using CMYK (PDF/X-1 and PDF/X-1a);
 Part 3: Complete exchange suitable for colour-managed workflows (PDF/X-3);

 Part 4: Complete exchange of CMYK and spot colour printing data using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-1a);

 Part 5: Partial exchange of printing data using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-2);

 Part 6: Complete exchange of printing data suitable for colour-managed workflows using PDF 1.4

(PDF/X-3).
iv © ISO 2003 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
Introduction

ISO 15930 (all parts) defines methods for the exchange of digital data within the graphic arts industry and for

the exchange of files between graphic arts establishments. It is a multi-part document where each part is

intended to respond to different workflow requirements. These workflows differ in the degree of flexibility

required. However, increasing flexibility can lead to the possibility of uncertainty or error. The goal throughout

the various parts of ISO 15930 has been to maintain the degree of flexibility required while minimizing the

uncertainty.

Many printed documents are assemblies of partial pages and/or pages created at different locations and by

different organizations. The merging of these individual elements into the final printing forme and the

subsequent printing may take place at different locations. Some of these elements may also be routed to

multiple sites for incorporation into other documents. Each of these elements is referred to in ISO 15930 as a

compound entity.

A variety of data formats and structures are used for the creation of this type of material, but with two

prevalent kinds of underlying data structures. These are vector-based data for the encoding of line art and

textual information and raster-based data for the encoding of image information, including previously

rasterized line art and textual information.

Both kinds of data structures are required along with page description information in an open electronic

workflow. The exchange of raster-based data using the TIFF/IT file format is defined in ISO 12639. The

subject of ISO 15930 is a format for the exchange of object-based data where individual objects may be in

either vector or raster data structures.

PDF/X-3 (Parts 3 and 6 of this International Standard) complements the other parts by defining a data format

and its usage to permit the predictable dissemination of a compound entity to one or more locations, as

colour-managed, CMYK, gray, RGB, and/or spot colour data, in a form ready for final print reproduction, by

transfer of a single file. This file contains all the content information necessary to process and render the

document, as intended by the sender, coded inside a single PDF file. No other parts, neither external files nor

internally embedded files, are required or permitted. This exchange requires no prior knowledge of the

sending and receiving environments and is sometimes referred to as “blind” exchange. It is platform- and

transport-independent.

These goals are accomplished by defining a specific use of the publicly available Adobe Portable Document

Format. In order to achieve a level of exchange that avoids any ambiguity in interpretation of the file, a limited

set of PDF objects that may be used is identified and restrictions to the use, or form of use, of those objects,

and/or keys within those objects are added.

This version of PDF/X-3 (Part 6 of this International Standard) amplifies and refines the information provided

in the earlier version of PDF (Part 3 of this International Standard), as follows.

 The referenced version of the Adobe Portable Document Format has been changed from 1.3 to 1.4.

 The following features, introduced in PDF 1.4, have been disallowed in PDF/X-3:2003: JBIG2,

Transparency, and Referenced PDF.

Whereas PDF/X-3 specifies the exchange of complete material, with all elements present, there are

circumstances when this is not appropriate. In certain workflows, some or all of the referenced elements may

be more logically present at the receiving site, or may be exchanged at a different time. These include high-

resolution contone-image files, line-art files, etc. These exchanges will generally require prior agreement

between sender and receiver. The requirements for such situations are addressed in PDF/X-2 (Part 5 of this

International Standard). Other exchanges may be more appropriately restricted to CMYK and spot colour data

only. Such exchanges are addressed in PDF/X-1a (Parts 1 and 4 of this International Standard).

© ISO 2003 – All rights reserved v
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)

It is anticipated that a variety of products will be developed based on PDF/X, such as readers (including

viewers) and writers of PDF/X files, and products that offer combinations of these features. Different products

will incorporate various capabilities to prepare, interpret and process conforming files based on the application

needs as perceived by the suppliers of the products. However, it is important to note that a conforming reader

must be able to read and appropriately process all files conforming to a specified conformance level.

Users are cautioned that there are several different conformance levels that may be associated with PDF/X

readers and writers. Two of these are generally referred to as PDF/X-3. These are defined in Parts 3 and 6 of

this International Standard. It is recommended that these be referred to as PDF/X-3:2002 and PDF/X-3:2003,

respectively. It is important to note that the print elements of a PDF/X-1a file meet all of the requirements of a

PDF/X-3 file and that a PDF/X-3 reader must also read a PDF/X-1a file.

Although re-purposing of data is not a primary consideration or requirement of this part of ISO 15930,

maximum flexibility will be maintained so that future requirements for re-purposing may be accommodated.

[5]

An ongoing series of Application Notes is maintained for the guidance of developers and users of the PDF/X

family of International Standards. These Application Notes, and other documents relevant to PDF/X, are

available from NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies in the

NPES Standards Workroom at .
vi © ISO 2003 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 6 ----------------------
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange using
PDF —
Part 6:
Complete exchange of printing data suitable for
colour-managed workflows using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3)
1 Scope

This part of ISO 15930 specifies the use of the Portable Document Format (PDF) Version 1.4 for the

dissemination of complete digital data, in a single exchange, that contains all elements necessary for final

print reproduction. Colour-managed, CMYK, gray, RGB or spot colour data are supported.

2 Normative references

The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application 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 15930-1:2001, Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange — Use of PDF — Part 1: Complete

exchange using CMYK data (PDF/X-1 and PDF/X-1a)

ISO 15930-3:2002, Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange — Use of PDF — Part 3: Complete

exchange suitable for colour-managed workflows (PDF/X-3)

ISO 15930-4:2003, Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange using PDF — Part 4: Complete

exchange of CMYK and spot colour printing data using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-1a)

ISO 15930-5:2003, Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange using PDF — Part 5: Partial

exchange of printing data using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-2)

PDF Reference: Adobe Portable Document Format, Version 1.4, Adobe Systems Incorporated — 3rd ed.

(ISBN 0-201-75839-3)

PDF Reference: Adobe Portable Document Format, Version 1.4 errata dated 2003/06/18. Available from

Internet

ICC.1:1998-09, File Format for Color Profiles, International Color Consortium. Available from Internet


3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this part of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

3.1
bleed

additional printing area outside the nominal printing area necessary for the allowance of mechanical tolerance

in the trimming process
© ISO 2003 – All rights reserved 1
---------------------- Page: 7 ----------------------
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
3.2
blind exchange

exchange of compound entities that requires no additional exchange of technical information between sender

and receiver in order for the receiver to render the printed page as intended by the sender

3.3
characterized printing condition

printing condition (offset, gravure, flexographic, direct, etc.) for which process control aims are defined and for

which the relationship between input data (printing tone-values, usually CMYK) and the colorimetry of the

printed image is documented

NOTE 1 The relationship between input data (printing tone-values) and the colorimetry of the printed image is

commonly referred to as characterization.

NOTE 2 It is generally preferred that the process control aims of the printing condition and the associated

characterization data be made publicly available via the accredited standards process or industry trade associations.

3.4
CMYK

subtractive process colour model where the channels are called Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black

3.5
complete exchange

exchange of compound entities in which all elements and element resources are present as part of a single

exchange and all of the information needed to process the compound entity is either in the compound entity or

is specified within the applicable standard and its normative references
3.6
compound entity

unit of work with all text, graphics and image elements prepared for final print reproduction and that may

represent a single page for printing, a portion of a page or a combination of pages

3.7
conformance level

identified set of restrictions and requirements with which files, readers and writers must comply

3.8
element

substructure of a compound entity relative to the current processing environment, such as a block of text, a

contone picture or an outline graphic that, by itself, comprises the smallest logical composed unit of a

compound entity
3.9
font
identified collection of graphics that may be glyphs or other graphic elements
3.10
glyph
recognizable abstract graphic symbol that is independent of any specific design
[1]
[ISO/IEC 9541-1]
3.11
glyph metrics

set of information in a glyph representation used for defining the dimensions and positioning of the glyph

shape
2 © ISO 2003 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 8 ----------------------
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
3.12
ICC
International Color Consortium

industry association formed to develop standardized mechanisms for colour management

3.13
ICC profile
set of colorimetric transforms prepared in accordance with ICC.1:1998
3.14
job ticket

electronic specification of process control for print production in either a published or proprietary format

NOTE Job tickets as defined here include only data intended to affect the rendered appearance of the file. See

References [3] and [4].
3.15
non-print element

element not intended for final print reproduction, including previews, preview images and all annotations of

types other than TrapNet or PrinterMark
3.16
PDF
Portable Document Format
file format defined in the PDF Reference
3.17
PDF dictionary

associative table containing key-value pairs, specifying the name and value of an attribute for objects, which is

generally used to collect and tie together the attributes of a complex object
3.18
print element
element intended for final print reproduction including TrapNet or PrinterMark
3.19
PDF/X-1a:2001
PDF/X-1a conformance level defined in ISO 15930-1:2001
3.20
PDF/X-1a:2003
PDF/X-1a conformance level defined in this part of ISO 15930
3.21
PDF/X-2:2003
PDF/X-2 conformance level defined in ISO 15930-5:2003
3.22
PDF/X-3:2002
PDF/X-3 conformance level defined in ISO 15930-3:2002
3.23
PDF/X-3:2003
PDF/X-3 conformance level defined in this part of ISO 15930-6
© ISO 2003 – All rights reserved 3
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ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
3.24
printing-tone value

number, recorded as data in the computer, corresponding to that percentage area on a printing forme that is

intended to accept ink for transfer to the final sheet in offset lithography, or the equivalent in other printing

systems
NOTE See characterized printing condition (3.3).
3.25
process colorant

one of a set of colorants that, when printed together, produce a range of colours able to reproduce the values

specified by a colour coordinate system
3.26
reader
software application that is able to read and appropriately process files
3.27
RGB
additive process colour model where the channels are called Red, Green and Blue
3.28
spot colour

single colorant, identified by name, whose printing tone-values are specified independently from the colour

values specified in a colour coordinate system
3.29
trapping

modification of boundaries of colour areas to account for dimensional variations in the printing process by

overprinting in selected colours at the boundaries between colours that might inadvertently be left uncoloured

due to normal variations of printing press registration

NOTE Trapping is sometimes referred to as chokes and spreads or grips. This is not the same as ink trapping.

3.30
writer
software application that is able to write files
4 Notations

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

written in a bold sans serif type font; for example, the key Trapped.

Operands of PDF operators or values of dictionary keys are written in an italic sans serif font; for example the

False value for the Trapped key.

For the purpose of this part of this International Standard, references to the “PDF Reference” are to the PDF

Reference: Adobe Portable Document Format and errata dated 2003/6/18 (see Clause 2).

5 Conforming files and equipment

This part of this International Standard specifies the use of the PDF file format for the exchange of digital data

representing a compound entity.

A conforming PDF/X-3 file is a PDF file in which those features necessary for the exchange of a compound

entity are in accordance with this part of this International Standard. A conforming file may also include other

valid PDF features that do not affect final print reproduction of the compound entity.

4 © ISO 2003 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 10 ----------------------
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)

Neither the version number in the first line of a PDF file, nor the value of the Version key in the Catalog of a

PDF file shall be used in determining whether a file is in accordance with this part of this International

Standard.A conforming writer is a software application that shall be able to write files in accordance with the

requirements of this part of this International Standard. A conforming PDF/X-3 reader is a software application

that shall be able to read and appropriately process all conforming PDF/X-3 files as defined in this part of this

International Standard. A conforming PDF/X-3 reader shall also be able to read and process all files both that

conform to 6.16 of this part of this International Standard and that conform to the following International

Standards:

 ISO 15930-3:2002 having a value of (PDF/X-3:2002) for the GTS_PDFXVersion key in the Info

dictionary;

 ISO 15930-1:2001 having a value of (PDF/X-1:2001) for the GTS_PDFXVersion key and

(PDF/X-1a:2001) for the GTS_PDFXConformance key in the Info dictionary;

 ISO 15930-4:2003 having a value of (PDF/X-1a:2003) for the GTS_PDFXVersion key in the Info

dictionary.

NOTE The ability to read files prepared in accordance with ISO 15930-3:2002, the predecessor to this part of this

International Standard, is important to preserve compatibility. Further, because PDF/X-1a is technically a subset of PDF/X-

3, it is important that a PDF/X-3 reader also recognize the PDF/X conformance keys that point to PDF/X-1a.

Although PDF Reference permits compliance with earlier versions of PDF, features described in versions of

the PDF specification earlier than 1.4, but which are not described in PDF Reference, should not be used in a

conforming PDF/X-3 file. Such features may be ignored by a PDF/X-3 reader.

All conforming readers shall parse all PDF files but may ignore those features not required by this part of this

International Standard. A reader may ignore an annotation’s Print flag, except for those in a TrapNet

annotation.

Rendering of conforming files shall be performed as specified in the PDF Reference and as restricted by this

part of this International Standard. To the extent that the PDF Reference and this part of this International

Standard permit more than one rendering of a conforming file, a conforming reader may use embedded job-

ticket or metadata information to control the rendering of the file more precisely.

EXAMPLE 1 (Trapping) If a conforming PDF/X-3 file specifies Trapped=False, a conforming reader might use job-

ticket information to determine details of how the file is to be trapped. If the file specifies Trapped=True, a conforming

reader must is required to ignore any trapping information in an embedded job ticket.

EXAMPLE 2 (Screening) A conforming reader may use embedded job-ticket information to determine the screening to

be used to render the file. Note that a conforming PDF/X-3 reader is permitted to ignore screening information in the

PDF/X-3 file (see 6.9). A conforming reader might use screening data from the PDF/X-3 file, from the job ticket, or from

local system defaults.
6 Technical requirements
6.1 Data structure

A PDF/X-3 file consists of four sections: header, body, cross-reference table, and trailer. The body of a

PDF/X-3 file contains a sequence of numbered objects (such as numbers, names, strings, dictionaries and

streams) representing the text characters, graphics, images and their associated resources describing the

compound entity being exchanged. The specific PDF features required by this part of this International

Standard are defined in 6.2 to 6.17, inclusively and are summarized in Annex A. These features shall be used

as prescribed in the PDF Reference and as further specified by this part of this International Standard.

In order to achieve the requirements of a blind exchange, the use of a pre-separated PDF file (where the

separations for each page are described as separate page objects, each painting only a single colorant) shall

not be permitted.
© ISO 2003 – All rights reserved 5
---------------------- Page: 11 ----------------------
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)

NOTE 1 This does not prohibit the use of pre-separated workflows in which the separations of a page are combined

into a single PDF page object.

A PDF/X-3 file may contain two classes of elements: those intended for final print reproduction (print

elements), and those not intended for final print reproduction (non-print elements). All components of a

compound entity intended for complete exchange in compliance with this part of this International Standard

shall be contained in the body of a single PDF/X-3 file.
“Complete” means the exchanged files shall include

 all PDF resources (listed in the PDF Reference) used in the file including all fonts, font metrics, font

encodings, and colour space resources;
and

 all print elements, properly prepared for a single characterized printing condition.

NOTE 2 For partial exchange of compound entities, refer to ISO 15930-5. For complete exchange using CMYK data

refer to ISO 15930-1:2001 and ISO 15930-4:2003.
6.2 Colour
6.2.1 General

Non-print elements may make use of any PDF colour space and the provisions of 6.2.3 to 6.2.8, inclusive, do

not apply to non-print elements. Print elements may be exchanged either as output device code values or as

colorimetrically defined data. However, both types of data, if present in print elements in a PDF/X-3 file, shall

be prepared for a single characterized printing condition prior to exchange. This characterized printing

condition is defined by either a named condition or an ICC output profile.

Colorimetrically defined data shall be described either using an ICC profile in an ICCBased colour space or

using an equivalent mechanism, namely a CalGray, CalRGB or Lab colour space. Device code values may

be defined in DeviceRGB, DeviceCMYK, DeviceGray, Separation, DeviceN, Indexed and Pattern colour

spaces as specified and restricted by 6.2.2 to 6.2.8.
6.2.2 Identification of characterized printing condition

The characterized printing condition (i.e. the process colour model for the output device) for which data have

been prepared is identified by use of an OutputIntents array in the Catalog object. The OutputIntents array

shall contain exactly one output intent dictionary in which the value of the S key is the name GTS_PDFX. This

dictionary is referred to as the PDF/X output intent object. Additional output intent dictionaries may be present;

but if so, they shall use different values for the S key and they shall be ignored by a PDF/X-3 conforming

reader.

The PDF/X output intent object shall include the OutputConditionIdentifier key, the value of which shall be

encoded following the rules of the PDF tex
...

SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST ISO 15930-6:2005
01-januar-2005

*UDILþQDWHKQRORJLMD,]PHQMDYDGLJLWDOQLKSRGDWNRYYJUDILþQLSULSUDYL]XSRUDER

3')GHO&HORWQDL]PHQMDYDSRGDWNRY]DEDUYQRXSUDYOMDQMHSURFHVRY]
XSRUDER3') 3');

Graphic technology -- Prepress digital data exchange using PDF -- Part 6: Complete

exchange of printing data suitable for colour-managed workflows using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-

Technologie graphique -- Échange de données numériques de préimpression utilisant le

PDF -- Partie 6: Échange complets de données imprimées aptes à la gestion des
couleurs utilisant le PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3)
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: ISO 15930-6:2003
ICS:
35.240.30 Uporabniške rešitve IT v IT applications in information,
informatiki, dokumentiranju in documentation and
založništvu publishing
37.100.01 *UDILþQDWHKQRORJLMDQD Graphic technology in
VSORãQR general
SIST ISO 15930-6:2005 en

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
SIST ISO 15930-6:2005
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
SIST ISO 15930-6:2005
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 15930-6
First edition
2003-12-15
Graphic technology — Prepress digital
data exchange using PDF —
Part 6:
Complete exchange of printing data
suitable for colour-managed workflows
using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3)
Technologie graphique — Échange de données numériques de
préimpression utilisant le PDF —
Partie 6: Échanges complets de données imprimées aptes à la gestion
des couleurs utilisant le PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3)
Reference number
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
ISO 2003
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
SIST ISO 15930-6:2005
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
PDF disclaimer

This PDF file may contain embedded typefaces. In accordance with Adobe's licensing policy, this file may be printed or viewed but

shall not be edited unless the typefaces which are embedded are licensed to and installed on the computer performing the editing. In

downloading this file, parties accept therein the responsibility of not infringing Adobe's licensing policy. The ISO Central Secretariat

accepts no liability in this area.
Adobe is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Details of the software products used to create this PDF file can be found in the General Info relative to the file; the PDF-creation

parameters were optimized for printing. Every care has been taken to ensure that the file is suitable for use by ISO member bodies. In

the unlikely event that a problem relating to it is found, please inform the Central Secretariat at the address given below.

© ISO 2003

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,

electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and microfilm, without permission in writing from either ISO at the address below or

ISO's member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
Case postale 56 • CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. + 41 22 749 01 11
Fax + 41 22 749 09 47
E-mail copyright@iso.org
Web www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2003 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
SIST ISO 15930-6:2005
ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
Contents Page

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

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

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

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

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

4 Notations................................................................................................................................................ 4

5 Conforming files and equipment......................................................................................................... 4

6 Technical requirements........................................................................................................................ 5

6.1 Data structure........................................................................................................................................ 5

6.2 Colour..................................................................................................................................................... 6

6.3 Fonts....................................................................................................................................................... 8

6.4 File specifications ................................................................................................................................. 9

6.5 Data compression ................................................................................................................................. 9

6.6 Trapping................................................................................................................................................. 9

6.7 PDF file identification ........................................................................................................................... 9

6.8 Bounding boxes .................................................................................................................................. 10

6.9 Extended graphics state..................................................................................................................... 10

6.10 PostScript XObject and the PS operator ..........................................................................................10

6.11 Use of the Encrypt dictionary ............................................................................................................ 10

6.12 Alternate Images ................................................................................................................................. 11

6.13 Annotations ......................................................................................................................................... 11

6.14 Actions and JavaScripts .................................................................................................................... 11

6.15 Use of the BX/EX operators ............................................................................................................... 11

6.16 Use of Transparency........................................................................................................................... 11

6.17 Viewer preferences ............................................................................................................................. 12

Annex A (informative) PDF feature summary ................................................................................................ 13

Annex B (informative) Metadata......................................................................................................................15

Bibliography ..................................................................................................................................................... 16

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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.

International Standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.

The main task of technical committees is to prepare International Standards. Draft International Standards

adopted by the technical committees are circulated to the member bodies for voting. Publication as an

International Standard requires approval by at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote.

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.

ISO 15930-6 was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 130, Graphic technology.

ISO 15930 consists of the following parts, under the general title Graphic technology — Prepress digital data

exchange using PDF:
 Part 1: Complete exchange using CMYK (PDF/X-1 and PDF/X-1a);
 Part 3: Complete exchange suitable for colour-managed workflows (PDF/X-3);

 Part 4: Complete exchange of CMYK and spot colour printing data using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-1a);

 Part 5: Partial exchange of printing data using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-2);

 Part 6: Complete exchange of printing data suitable for colour-managed workflows using PDF 1.4

(PDF/X-3).
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Introduction

ISO 15930 (all parts) defines methods for the exchange of digital data within the graphic arts industry and for

the exchange of files between graphic arts establishments. It is a multi-part document where each part is

intended to respond to different workflow requirements. These workflows differ in the degree of flexibility

required. However, increasing flexibility can lead to the possibility of uncertainty or error. The goal throughout

the various parts of ISO 15930 has been to maintain the degree of flexibility required while minimizing the

uncertainty.

Many printed documents are assemblies of partial pages and/or pages created at different locations and by

different organizations. The merging of these individual elements into the final printing forme and the

subsequent printing may take place at different locations. Some of these elements may also be routed to

multiple sites for incorporation into other documents. Each of these elements is referred to in ISO 15930 as a

compound entity.

A variety of data formats and structures are used for the creation of this type of material, but with two

prevalent kinds of underlying data structures. These are vector-based data for the encoding of line art and

textual information and raster-based data for the encoding of image information, including previously

rasterized line art and textual information.

Both kinds of data structures are required along with page description information in an open electronic

workflow. The exchange of raster-based data using the TIFF/IT file format is defined in ISO 12639. The

subject of ISO 15930 is a format for the exchange of object-based data where individual objects may be in

either vector or raster data structures.

PDF/X-3 (Parts 3 and 6 of this International Standard) complements the other parts by defining a data format

and its usage to permit the predictable dissemination of a compound entity to one or more locations, as

colour-managed, CMYK, gray, RGB, and/or spot colour data, in a form ready for final print reproduction, by

transfer of a single file. This file contains all the content information necessary to process and render the

document, as intended by the sender, coded inside a single PDF file. No other parts, neither external files nor

internally embedded files, are required or permitted. This exchange requires no prior knowledge of the

sending and receiving environments and is sometimes referred to as “blind” exchange. It is platform- and

transport-independent.

These goals are accomplished by defining a specific use of the publicly available Adobe Portable Document

Format. In order to achieve a level of exchange that avoids any ambiguity in interpretation of the file, a limited

set of PDF objects that may be used is identified and restrictions to the use, or form of use, of those objects,

and/or keys within those objects are added.

This version of PDF/X-3 (Part 6 of this International Standard) amplifies and refines the information provided

in the earlier version of PDF (Part 3 of this International Standard), as follows.

 The referenced version of the Adobe Portable Document Format has been changed from 1.3 to 1.4.

 The following features, introduced in PDF 1.4, have been disallowed in PDF/X-3:2003: JBIG2,

Transparency, and Referenced PDF.

Whereas PDF/X-3 specifies the exchange of complete material, with all elements present, there are

circumstances when this is not appropriate. In certain workflows, some or all of the referenced elements may

be more logically present at the receiving site, or may be exchanged at a different time. These include high-

resolution contone-image files, line-art files, etc. These exchanges will generally require prior agreement

between sender and receiver. The requirements for such situations are addressed in PDF/X-2 (Part 5 of this

International Standard). Other exchanges may be more appropriately restricted to CMYK and spot colour data

only. Such exchanges are addressed in PDF/X-1a (Parts 1 and 4 of this International Standard).

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It is anticipated that a variety of products will be developed based on PDF/X, such as readers (including

viewers) and writers of PDF/X files, and products that offer combinations of these features. Different products

will incorporate various capabilities to prepare, interpret and process conforming files based on the application

needs as perceived by the suppliers of the products. However, it is important to note that a conforming reader

must be able to read and appropriately process all files conforming to a specified conformance level.

Users are cautioned that there are several different conformance levels that may be associated with PDF/X

readers and writers. Two of these are generally referred to as PDF/X-3. These are defined in Parts 3 and 6 of

this International Standard. It is recommended that these be referred to as PDF/X-3:2002 and PDF/X-3:2003,

respectively. It is important to note that the print elements of a PDF/X-1a file meet all of the requirements of a

PDF/X-3 file and that a PDF/X-3 reader must also read a PDF/X-1a file.

Although re-purposing of data is not a primary consideration or requirement of this part of ISO 15930,

maximum flexibility will be maintained so that future requirements for re-purposing may be accommodated.

[5]

An ongoing series of Application Notes is maintained for the guidance of developers and users of the PDF/X

family of International Standards. These Application Notes, and other documents relevant to PDF/X, are

available from NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies in the

NPES Standards Workroom at .
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 15930-6:2003(E)
Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange using
PDF —
Part 6:
Complete exchange of printing data suitable for
colour-managed workflows using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3)
1 Scope

This part of ISO 15930 specifies the use of the Portable Document Format (PDF) Version 1.4 for the

dissemination of complete digital data, in a single exchange, that contains all elements necessary for final

print reproduction. Colour-managed, CMYK, gray, RGB or spot colour data are supported.

2 Normative references

The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application 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 15930-1:2001, Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange — Use of PDF — Part 1: Complete

exchange using CMYK data (PDF/X-1 and PDF/X-1a)

ISO 15930-3:2002, Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange — Use of PDF — Part 3: Complete

exchange suitable for colour-managed workflows (PDF/X-3)

ISO 15930-4:2003, Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange using PDF — Part 4: Complete

exchange of CMYK and spot colour printing data using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-1a)

ISO 15930-5:2003, Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange using PDF — Part 5: Partial

exchange of printing data using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-2)

PDF Reference: Adobe Portable Document Format, Version 1.4, Adobe Systems Incorporated — 3rd ed.

(ISBN 0-201-75839-3)

PDF Reference: Adobe Portable Document Format, Version 1.4 errata dated 2003/06/18. Available from

Internet

ICC.1:1998-09, File Format for Color Profiles, International Color Consortium. Available from Internet


3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this part of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

3.1
bleed

additional printing area outside the nominal printing area necessary for the allowance of mechanical tolerance

in the trimming process
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3.2
blind exchange

exchange of compound entities that requires no additional exchange of technical information between sender

and receiver in order for the receiver to render the printed page as intended by the sender

3.3
characterized printing condition

printing condition (offset, gravure, flexographic, direct, etc.) for which process control aims are defined and for

which the relationship between input data (printing tone-values, usually CMYK) and the colorimetry of the

printed image is documented

NOTE 1 The relationship between input data (printing tone-values) and the colorimetry of the printed image is

commonly referred to as characterization.

NOTE 2 It is generally preferred that the process control aims of the printing condition and the associated

characterization data be made publicly available via the accredited standards process or industry trade associations.

3.4
CMYK

subtractive process colour model where the channels are called Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black

3.5
complete exchange

exchange of compound entities in which all elements and element resources are present as part of a single

exchange and all of the information needed to process the compound entity is either in the compound entity or

is specified within the applicable standard and its normative references
3.6
compound entity

unit of work with all text, graphics and image elements prepared for final print reproduction and that may

represent a single page for printing, a portion of a page or a combination of pages

3.7
conformance level

identified set of restrictions and requirements with which files, readers and writers must comply

3.8
element

substructure of a compound entity relative to the current processing environment, such as a block of text, a

contone picture or an outline graphic that, by itself, comprises the smallest logical composed unit of a

compound entity
3.9
font
identified collection of graphics that may be glyphs or other graphic elements
3.10
glyph
recognizable abstract graphic symbol that is independent of any specific design
[1]
[ISO/IEC 9541-1]
3.11
glyph metrics

set of information in a glyph representation used for defining the dimensions and positioning of the glyph

shape
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3.12
ICC
International Color Consortium

industry association formed to develop standardized mechanisms for colour management

3.13
ICC profile
set of colorimetric transforms prepared in accordance with ICC.1:1998
3.14
job ticket

electronic specification of process control for print production in either a published or proprietary format

NOTE Job tickets as defined here include only data intended to affect the rendered appearance of the file. See

References [3] and [4].
3.15
non-print element

element not intended for final print reproduction, including previews, preview images and all annotations of

types other than TrapNet or PrinterMark
3.16
PDF
Portable Document Format
file format defined in the PDF Reference
3.17
PDF dictionary

associative table containing key-value pairs, specifying the name and value of an attribute for objects, which is

generally used to collect and tie together the attributes of a complex object
3.18
print element
element intended for final print reproduction including TrapNet or PrinterMark
3.19
PDF/X-1a:2001
PDF/X-1a conformance level defined in ISO 15930-1:2001
3.20
PDF/X-1a:2003
PDF/X-1a conformance level defined in this part of ISO 15930
3.21
PDF/X-2:2003
PDF/X-2 conformance level defined in ISO 15930-5:2003
3.22
PDF/X-3:2002
PDF/X-3 conformance level defined in ISO 15930-3:2002
3.23
PDF/X-3:2003
PDF/X-3 conformance level defined in this part of ISO 15930-6
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3.24
printing-tone value

number, recorded as data in the computer, corresponding to that percentage area on a printing forme that is

intended to accept ink for transfer to the final sheet in offset lithography, or the equivalent in other printing

systems
NOTE See characterized printing condition (3.3).
3.25
process colorant

one of a set of colorants that, when printed together, produce a range of colours able to reproduce the values

specified by a colour coordinate system
3.26
reader
software application that is able to read and appropriately process files
3.27
RGB
additive process colour model where the channels are called Red, Green and Blue
3.28
spot colour

single colorant, identified by name, whose printing tone-values are specified independently from the colour

values specified in a colour coordinate system
3.29
trapping

modification of boundaries of colour areas to account for dimensional variations in the printing process by

overprinting in selected colours at the boundaries between colours that might inadvertently be left uncoloured

due to normal variations of printing press registration

NOTE Trapping is sometimes referred to as chokes and spreads or grips. This is not the same as ink trapping.

3.30
writer
software application that is able to write files
4 Notations

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

written in a bold sans serif type font; for example, the key Trapped.

Operands of PDF operators or values of dictionary keys are written in an italic sans serif font; for example the

False value for the Trapped key.

For the purpose of this part of this International Standard, references to the “PDF Reference” are to the PDF

Reference: Adobe Portable Document Format and errata dated 2003/6/18 (see Clause 2).

5 Conforming files and equipment

This part of this International Standard specifies the use of the PDF file format for the exchange of digital data

representing a compound entity.

A conforming PDF/X-3 file is a PDF file in which those features necessary for the exchange of a compound

entity are in accordance with this part of this International Standard. A conforming file may also include other

valid PDF features that do not affect final print reproduction of the compound entity.

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Neither the version number in the first line of a PDF file, nor the value of the Version key in the Catalog of a

PDF file shall be used in determining whether a file is in accordance with this part of this International

Standard.A conforming writer is a software application that shall be able to write files in accordance with the

requirements of this part of this International Standard. A conforming PDF/X-3 reader is a software application

that shall be able to read and appropriately process all conforming PDF/X-3 files as defined in this part of this

International Standard. A conforming PDF/X-3 reader shall also be able to read and process all files both that

conform to 6.16 of this part of this International Standard and that conform to the following International

Standards:

 ISO 15930-3:2002 having a value of (PDF/X-3:2002) for the GTS_PDFXVersion key in the Info

dictionary;

 ISO 15930-1:2001 having a value of (PDF/X-1:2001) for the GTS_PDFXVersion key and

(PDF/X-1a:2001) for the GTS_PDFXConformance key in the Info dictionary;

 ISO 15930-4:2003 having a value of (PDF/X-1a:2003) for the GTS_PDFXVersion key in the Info

dictionary.

NOTE The ability to read files prepared in accordance with ISO 15930-3:2002, the predecessor to this part of this

International Standard, is important to preserve compatibility. Further, because PDF/X-1a is technically a subset of PDF/X-

3, it is important that a PDF/X-3 reader also recognize the PDF/X conformance keys that point to PDF/X-1a.

Although PDF Reference permits compliance with earlier versions of PDF, features described in versions of

the PDF specification earlier than 1.4, but which are not described in PDF Reference, should not be used in a

conforming PDF/X-3 file. Such features may be ignored by a PDF/X-3 reader.

All conforming readers shall parse all PDF files but may ignore those features not required by this part of this

International Standard. A reader may ignore an annotation’s Print flag, except for those in a TrapNet

annotation.

Rendering of conforming files shall be performed as specified in the PDF Reference and as restricted by this

part of this International Standard. To the extent that the PDF Reference and this part of this International

Standard permit more than one rendering of a conforming file, a conforming reader may use embedded job-

ticket or metadata information to control the rendering of the file more precisely.

EXAMPLE 1 (Trapping) If a conforming PDF/X-3 file specifies Trapped=False, a conforming reader might use job-

ticket information to determine details of how the file is to be trapped. If the file specifies Trapped=True, a conforming

reader must is required to ignore any trapping information in an embedded job ticket.

EXAMPLE 2 (Screening) A conforming reader may use embedded job-ticket information to determine the screening to

be used to render the file. Note that a conforming PDF/X-3 reader is permitted to ignore screening information in the

PDF/X-3 file (see 6.9). A conforming reader might use screening data from the PDF/X-3 file, from the job ticket, or from

local system defaults.
6 Technical requirements
6.1 Data structure

A PDF/X-3 file consists of four sections: header, body, cross-reference table, and trailer. The body of a

PDF/X-3 file contains a sequence of numbered objects (such as numbers, names, strings, dictionaries and

streams) representing the text characters, graphics, images and their associated resources describing the

compound entity being exchanged. The specific PDF features required by this part of this International

Standard are defined in 6.2 to 6.17, inclusively and are summarized in Annex A. These features shall be used

as prescribed in the PDF Reference and as further specified by this part of this International Standard.

In order to achieve the requirements of a blind exchange, the use of a pre-separated PDF file (where the

separations for each page are described as separate page objects, each painting only a single colorant) shall

not be permitted.
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NOTE 1 This does not prohibit the use of pre-separated workflows in which the separations of a page are combined

into a single PDF page object.

A PDF/X-3 file may contain two classes of elements: those intended for final print reproduction (print

elements), and those not intended for final print reproduction (non-print elements). All components of a

compound entity intended for complete exchange in compliance with this part of this International Standard

shall be contained in the body of a single PDF/X-3 file.
“Complete” means the exchanged files shall include

 all PDF resources (listed in the PDF Reference) used in the file including all fonts, font metrics, font

encodings, and colour space resources;
and

 all print elements, properly prepared for a single characterized printing condition.

NOTE 2 For partial exchange of compound entities, refer to ISO 15930-5. For complete exchange using CMYK data

refer to ISO 15930-1:2001 and ISO 15930-4:2003.
6.2 Colour
6.2.1 General

Non-print elements may make use of any PDF colour space and the provisions of 6.2.3 to 6.2.8, inclusive, do

not apply to non-print elements. Print elements may be exchanged either as output devi

...

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