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Is that so difficult to support PDF/X1a-2001 on Affinity Products?


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8 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

We do not have any duty to list or explain the things that the software doesn't do, that's faintly ridiculous.

Find me any software website anywhere that has an unsupported features list... it would be infinitely long.

ok, understand. 
I was suggesting this to reduce frustrated users. I don't care about 2001 problem much personally, so I'll stop talking about it.
I don't wanna be a complainer.

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  • 6 months later...

Hello everybody.

I would like to add my view on this subject. I also miss having PDF/X1a-2001 for sending work for printers, yesterday I had to download Creative Cloud products although I like Affinity software.

You could consider different markets of buyers for Affinity, for example, Brazil would be a really big one because of the number of people in the country, about 212 million and low value of the local currency makes Adobe products 6 times more expensive compared to dolar, euro or pounds currencies.

You could counsider other countries outside the zone of Euro, Dolar and Pounds, (not only Brazil)  because of numbers, there are buyers outside there and their needs would be to have a software that save files in PDF/X1a-2001. Many of these people do not speak English to come to this forum, maybe that is the reason there are not more posts about it.

I think that the software companies can easily benefit and profit from global markets. Why not taking care of this little detail, "PDF/X1a-2001"? Adobe and Corel are more aware of this feature and they keep it.

Regards

😎

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  • 2 months later...
On 4/24/2020 at 10:47 PM, Trovalds said:

a) have to spend some extra bucks on a third-party software ONLY to convert to PDF/X1a-2001; or

Some companies ask files with specifications, and for example, they won't be approved until they meet the requirements. 

It means that clients should pay to convert their files or buy an app. For big clients, it's not a problem, but for creators that try to provide the correct files and to give good vibe with fine work and look professional, it's certainly a problem when they're asked to modify xxx export parameters in their files.

 

Another important improvement to the Affinity apps would be to be able to import/read .joboptions* files (they contain readable data but some comments in some languages). Clients are usually provided specifications, and a link to an archive containing an ICC profile, a joboptions file and instructions to install them for ID).

*joboptions: contains informations to create a PDF preset  ready to export your files once the ICC profile is installed.
X-1a_ICV2_300_papier_couche.joboptions

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Since I have access to such a Pitstop server, I tested 's @Lagarto files, and here are the reports (they failed by lack of bleed area, and because the ICC profile ISO v2 300% isn't the one  recommanded by GWG.org).

Pitstop is set to correct minor errors and to refuse non-X-1a:2001 files (errors occuring i the last days while checking provided files,which make me think about this thread, and test the files).

If possible, I'll ask why not accept X-1a: 2003, but they won't modify Pitstop's profiles, since the huge machinery is set like this, and proved to be errorless (if this word exists :D). (With huge publications, you don't change settings on a whim, and you 'd rather have clients sending compliant files, than having to refund them if the colours are wrong or something else).
From what I read here and there, other companies do the same.

Adding those options to Affinity apps can only be good.

 

TEST_original_pdfx1a_2003_report.pdf

TEST_converti_pdfx1a_2001_by_AdobeAcrobat_report.pdf

TEST_converti_pdfx1a_2001_by_PDFX_report.pdf

 

@Lagarto  strangely your original file didn't get the expected error (cf. example with another file below)...

image003v2.jpg.c427382e03e54ae536e9b4dc308fd25a.jpgimage007v2.jpg.0bfa8441b6826ef1b85ba3d490b1aec9.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Working in a pre-press department the lack of PDF/X-1a:2001 support is annoying for our customers and ourselves, making suggestions on how their artwork can be uploaded directly for pre-flighting and failing for something that they cannot correct. At least adding the option to change the PDF version to 1.3 would avoid some of these issues. Because it's an old standard doesn't mean it's outdated or wrong in the right situation. 

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6 hours ago, Lagarto said:

I think it is a bit problematic that these kinds of strict requirements are used as generic tests (?) for auto-passing or failing PDF print files (?).

Those are generic in some sort, but infact,in my new job — thanks Covid... — I  check lot of files, mainly ads, and the 1st stage of tests are "me" and Pitstop checking different properties for different magazines, depending of format and paper (cover/inside). In this case, Pitstop can correct some minor errors, but we can't modify files in most of the cases, because the price for those ads is such that if there's a problem, it's better if it's the client responsability. 
So I help them the best I can, and if they really failed to correct the file — some clients lack knowledge and skills to install and use profiles, or InDesign's joboptions (for now, all the files I got were created with inDesign) —, in the worst case, they/we ask a photoengraver to correct the file.

The last test, when sending the pages to be automatically added to the magazines, it's going through more complex' checkings. I don't know if it's another Pitstop, I just got emails about conformity/rejection of the file.

 

It's different from before, when we could modify and correct files for lesser important publications. The problems were of a different scale too.
I can remember when we had to reprint a booklet when I imported a PDF from a client and we had transparency problems... too bad to avoid reprinting.

I'm working for an old and huge house, so I suspect they know better about the best settings to avoid problems. Everything is set to produce correct files internally. I can't say the same with clients' files, and can be surprised when big companies and their graphical agencies can't provide correct ones. The amount of pages produced is too huge to spend time on details, when correct settings are simple to get.

Another reason why it would be nice for Affinity apps to be able to read .joboptions files and create appropriate presets… and have PDF/X-1a:2001.
From what I read here, that's requirements in other countries or places too.

---

About the bleed, same here, we require it mainly for full pages on each side, since it's for magazines.
When I was creating books, etc.,  the requirements were different depending of the job, and I worked with my production manager/maker (not sure how to translate "chef de fabrication", the one who decide the specifications of a document) to produce the right file.
I was in a hurry when I did the tests. I'll have more time later, since I'm more at ease and finished coding small tools I needed... 'Till I get new ideas :)  

 

 

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Did export PDF/X-1a:2001 version 1.3 PDF ever exist in Affinity Publisher? I believe it did in Serif Page Plus although I never used it. Would certainly help them compete with other Adobe products rather than having to get another piece of software to make it compliant.  

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@Chris66

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums :) 

31 minutes ago, Chris66 said:

Did export PDF/X-1a:2001 version 1.3 PDF ever exist in Affinity Publisher? I believe it did in Serif PagePlus

You are right PagePlus did have PDF/X-1a:2001, but (as Lagarto points out above) the library that PagePlus used to write PDFs [PDFLib] is an earlier revision of the current one that Affinity needs. That PDFLib Library no longer supports exporting to that format. (Put another way, in order to support Affinity's more advanced features we have used the latest PDFLib, not the old version that PagePlus used and we consequently do not have the ability to export to PDF/X-1a:2001) 

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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There are some workaround converter tools available, which claim to convert just the needed cover image for a books front matter (thus an image to PDF/X-1a:2001) ...

... some prepress print services tell the conversion procedure for those who have Adobe Acrobat Professional or the PDFL SDK etc.

However, usually I would expect every better prepress print service to do that conversion service wise then for the customer!

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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15 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

However, usually I would expect every better prepress print service to do that conversion service wise then for the customer!

You'd think so, but the reality is that automated pre-flight systems looks for a specific type of PDF, it naive to expect the magazine print industry to change that anytime soon. Of course we can correct and convert our clients' PDF files, that's not the issue. It's when we advise of what they'd need to do so it wouldn't fail through an automated preflight system. I'd then have to list third party applications to them so they can correct the issue? They simply won't be interested in doing that or even understand why it would need doing. 

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3 minutes ago, Chris66 said:

It's when we advise of what they'd need to do so it wouldn't fail ...

That's not what I meant here, since casual users usually don't have any clues about that materia.

5 minutes ago, Chris66 said:

Of course we can correct and convert our clients' PDF files, that's not the issue.

That's what was meant instead, since you may know that most of the casual users will mess the things up here and will be overwhelmed with that process. 

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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  • 1 year later...

I’ve done some research, and I have sadly to confirm that also in Italy PDF/X1a-2001 is the commonly requested format. The printer I use most often says that there isn't a particular reason, other than it is tried and tested, works fine, and there is no need to retrain the team to deal with something that might only be marginally better to them.

If I understand correctly, this format is deprecated, due to the lack of accessibility. This was fixed with PDF 1.4, that introduced tags. I guess this feature, fundamental for onscreen reading, is completely irrelevant during prepress.

Paolo

 

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7 hours ago, PaoloT said:

... also in Italy PDF/X1a-2001 is the commonly requested format. ...

If I understand correctly, this format is deprecated, due to the lack of accessibility. This was fixed with PDF 1.4, ...

Your understanding is not correct, PDF1.4 is not the replacement for PDF/X1a-2001, It is an improved PDF export format.  The alternative (or replacement) is PDF/X1a-2003 the difference is subtle.

I don't understand why PDF/X1a-2003 is not used by these printers instead of 2001.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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1 hour ago, Old Bruce said:

Your understanding is not correct, PDF1.4 is not the replacement for PDF/X1a-2001, It is an improved PDF export format.

PDF/X1a-2003 is based on the specifications of PDF1.4, that include tags. PDF/X1a-2001 was based on PDF1.3, lacking tags, and therefore not accessible.

Paolo

 

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11 minutes ago, PaoloT said:

PDF/X1a-2003 is based on the specifications of PDF1.4, that include tags. PDF/X1a-2001 was based on PDF1.3, lacking tags, and therefore not accessible.

Paolo

Thanks for the correction, it amazes me how I can be so wrong about stuff I should actually know.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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58 minutes ago, PaoloT said:

PDF/X1a-2003 is based on the specifications of PDF1.4, that include tags. PDF/X1a-2001 was based on PDF1.3, lacking tags, and therefore not accessible.

And the great irony here is that the Affinity apps do not currently support exporting tagged, accessible PDFs. 🤦

I tried, I really did, but the Affinity Suite v2 is truly awful to work with (so many bugs and UI/UX issues), and yet Serif management still persist with their trademark 'radio silence' nonsense. Apparently, everything is a known issue, and everything is still 'logged with developers'. Good luck to all who continue to shout into the void of the Affinity Forums about long-standing bugs, and unanswered feature requests—I truly hope Serif starts listening one day.

Sadly, after 8+ years of waiting (and hoping), it's time for me to call it a day. 👋

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  • 5 months later...

The only tool that I know that can properly convert a PDF to PDF/X-1a:2001 is Adobe Acrobat Pro. pdfToolbox by callas software can most probably do it, as well. PDF Tools included in PDF/X-Change package can take PDF/X-1a:2003 or PDF/X-3 (i.e., already transparency flattened file) produced by Affinity apps and properly convert it to PDF/X-1a:2001 without making other changes to the document, but this app is for Windows only.

But if the input contains transparencies or blend modes and needs to be flattened, the latter will rasterize transparencies and will retranslate rasterized colors in the process even if the color profile stays the same. Adobe Acrobat Pro can take a pure vector PDF (e.g. PDF 1.4 from Affinity apps) containing transparencies and blend modes) and convert that to PDF/X1a:2001 (a transparency flattened file) without rasterizing anything and without changing any color information already in CMYK. This is not a trivial task, and probably the reason why converting from PDF 1.4 (allowing transparencies, e.g. PDF/X-3) to PDF 1.3 (not allowing transparencies, e.g. PDF/X-1a:2001) is not commonly available, and why the feature is not available in PDFLib that Affinity apps use for PDF exports.

But if PDF/X-1:2003 produced by Affinity apps (with possibly rasterized transparencies) is good enough, and there is just a technical issue of needing to have strictly PDF/X-1a:2001 (PDF v1.3) file delivered and accepted by preflight checks, then PDF Tools (by Tracker Software) would be an economical and useful tool to accompany Affinity apps.

PDF 1.4 (all CMYK) from Affinity apps, containing blend modes and transparencies, text, overprints and a spot color all content in vectors:

pdf14_complex.pdf

 Flattened and made to PDF/X-1a:2001 (PDF v 1.3) by Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020:

pdf14_complex_pdfx1a2001_acrobat.pdf

Flattened and made to PDF/X-1a:2001 (PDF v1.3) by PDF Tools (rasterized colors with retranslated color values):

pdf14_complex_pdfx1a2001_pdfxchange.pdf

PDF-X1a:2003 produced by Affinity apps, just converted to PDF/X-1a:2001 by PDF Tools -- no other changes made to Affinity produced file where transparencies were already flattened by rasterization):

pdf14_complex_pdfx1a2003_pdfx1a2001_pdfxchange.pdf

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FYI the PDF converter I linked costs less than $20.
I suppose it has mostly the same ability as PDF Tools in terms of PDF/X conversion.


UPDATE: It seems that it's a little hard to buy it from outside of Japan unless you know how to fake your location.

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1 hour ago, ashf said:

UPDATE: It seems that it's a little hard to buy it from outside of Japan unless you know how to fake your location

Yep, I tried to purchase it (it would have been under EUR 17 so a bargain), but could not create a user account which is obligatory, and only Japanese locations, telephone numbers etc. are supported, so could not get it. The app seems to be pretty competent as it had even 1.3 mentioned as supported formats. If that is true, and the output can be RGB, that would be useful tool since many self-publishing companies have RGB workflows and require flattened transparencies. PDF 1.3 (not PDF/X-based which is CMYK-based, specifically PDF/X-1 which is CMYK only; Affinity apps also convert native RGB to CMYK when exporting to PDF/X-3, which is a pity) would be useful with Affinity apps that can produce transparency flattening only in context of PDF/X-based workflows producing CMYK (yet they leave the blend mode typically RGB-based which may cause all kinds of issues).

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