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LostInTranslation

Need PDF/X-3:2002 (1.3) export

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Hi,

my printshop specifically requires files to be sent as PDF/X-3:2002 (Version 1.3) with ISO Coated v2 300% (ECI) color profile.

Publisher (and Designer too I think) offers only PDF/X-3:2003 and I am not sure if they will accept that.
I can assign the correct color profile to it though.

What is the difference between those two PDF-versions and can you add PDF/X-3:2002 as well?

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The main problem: If the RIP, which is used by your printing company, doesn’t use Adobe’s PDF Print Engine (and most don’t), you need a PDF/X standard, which „flattens“ all transparencies within your document (shadows, reduced opacity, …, …) due to the requirements of the print process.

PDF file format 1.4 doesn’t automatically flatten the output data. PDF/X-3-2003 supports PDF 1.4, X-3-2002 only supports PDF 1.3

This difference of supported PDF formats is the main difference between X-3-2002 and X-3-2003: The first one „eliminates“ transparencies by flattening, the second one allows transparencies.

In fact, the X-3 output of „Publisher“ is a PDF 1.4 format, which nevertheless flattens its output (as I tested). So your printer shouldn’t find any issues.

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Thank you for the explanation. I have written to the printers and asked if they would accept -2003 too, but have not heard back but for an automated response.
We have to major printservices here and everybody more or less uses one or the other. Both have the same requirements, PDF/X-3:2002

So it would be very helpful, if not necessary, to include them into the export formats.

 

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Unfortunately we use a third party library for some of our PDF export path, and they don't intend to support the 2001 and 2002 standards. They are 16 years old now, and the argument is that everyone should have updated to 2003. PDF/X-1a:2003 and PDF/X-3:2003 both flatten transparency, embed all fonts and generally should be fine.

If you do have a print shop who only support 2002 and not 2003, can I ask who they are?

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If you do have a print shop who only support 2002 and not 2003, can I ask who they are?

It's Flyeralarm, they are huge in Germany and Austria, and are working all over Europe.
I have no idea how big of a player they are in other countries, but they have a UK-site too:

https://www.flyeralarm.com/uk/content/index/open/id/1569/artwork-requirements.html#PDFDateien

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Flyeralarm wants this specification to make sure, that the PDF has flattened content.

The X-3 format, written by Publisher IS flattened. So Flyeralarm shouldn’t  reject it. If you have doubts, use PDF X-1a 2003. This works too. The main difference to X-3 is, that PDF-X1a only allows CMYK and spot colours.

 

By the way: Flyeralarm wants PDF files, which definitely aren’t „state of the art“ nowadays. They want all text to be converted to vectors. Frankly spoken: I’d never ever do this, because it is last-century-workflow. Converting fonts  isn’t necessary at all any more, because modern layout software embeds (subsets of) fonts correctly. Font conversion to vector might downgrade printed typo quality, because converting fonts abolishes hinting.

If you aren’t for whatever reason bound to Flyeralarm, I’d like to recommend „Die Druckerei.de“ https://www.diedruckerei.de/?dp2=onlineprinters. The print results are excellent, Prices are equal to Flyeralarm, fast turnaround times – and their data requirements are up to date (no font conversion for example, acceptance of PDF 1.4, …)

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@mac_heibu
What you say might all be true. Sadly it's out of my hands sometimes.
I am actually using Onlineprinters too, but it depends on the client.

If I already made a couple of catalogues or flyers for them and everything worked out fine at Flyeralarm (as it usually does) it can be hard to make them switch only because I suddenly have a problem with file formats.

I only deliver the printready files according to the respective specifications and they simply have to work wherever they choose to go for their printing.

I am recommending Onlineprinters to all new clients already, but for the foreseeable future I still have to be able to "work" with Flyeralarm too.

By the way, Flyeralarm does not give a §$%& about this. I asked them if they would accept other PDF versions too and the only response I got was along the lines of "please make sure to deliver your files as PDF/X-3:2002 only".
 

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@IndigoMoon Interesting, since this is practically the opposite of the answer I got from them. I wonder though, if the automated check when uploading a file is also ok with it. I can't have error messages pop up at my clients, even if it would work in the end. As soon as the final version of Publisher is available I might try it though. 

@mac_heibu I do have Acrobat 8 Pro, but I don't really use it other than sometimes checking files I get sent for dimensions, fonts and such. Also I'd rather not fiddle around with conversions and would much prefer the ability to directly export what I need.

I respect Affinity's standpoint and of course the '2002 version is pretty much dated by now and has been replaced by better versions. But, as I explained above, it's sometimes out of my hand.
In these cases I'd rather use my current software than Publisher.

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