The Ghent Workgroup (GWG, Ghent Belgium) has published a new user guide that provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about PDF standards. The guide was written by David van Driessche, Executive Director of the Ghent Workgroup and co-chair of the Specification and Process Control Sub-committee.
“If you work with PDF documents, chances are that sooner or later you’re going to encounter PDF standards” said the organization. “You might knowingly save a PDF conforming to this or that standard, but you might also use standards without even being aware of them. Why? Because many of the vendors who create software using PDF implement standards for you – saving a PDF file for a specific use from that software likely uses some standard under the hood.”
It is, of course, always better to be aware of what you are doing. Using PDF standards correctly is important, and knowledge about the different standards and what they can and will not accomplish for you can make all the difference in getting the result you’re looking for. That’s why Ghent Workgroup thought it might be interesting to create a document that clarifies some of the language you might encounter, demystify some of the statements you might hear, and provide pointers to help you navigate the world of PDF standards.
Some of the questions covered in the user guide include: What’s the difference between PDF standards and PDF specifications? What should I know about PDF/X-1, PDF/X-4 and PDF/X-6? What version of PDF/X should I be using? What is PDF/A and what are the different versions?…..and so on.