GWG 2012 Specifications

GWG 2012 Specifications


In the world of the Ghent Workgroup, a specification is a set of guidelines to which a PDF file should conform. A practical example of a guideline could be the color spaces allowed in a PDF file or the image resolution required for images in a PDF file.

The Ghent Workgroup defines a number of different specifications. The reason multiple specifications exist is to support different market segments, different output processes or different workflows. As a practical example, a magazine advertisement workflow is going to have totally different guidelines than a commercial sheetfed workflow.

The 2012 version specifications bring some marked new developments to the table:

  • Based on PDF/X-4 but limited to CMYK variants
  • New functionality is addressed: transparency allowed but checked in detail, less restrictive for layers.
  • New or improved requirements to address feedback from the market.
  • The standard set of specifications has been fully updated for the newest software releases.
  • Updated list of standardized ICC profiles for the various market segments, now part of the specification and replaces the previous standardized ICC profiles list

–> Download the white paper PDF to get information on the GWG2012_CMYK Specification, the variants within it, and how they can be used in common workflows employing popular DTP, PDF generation, and PDF verification applications.

–> Download the specification
This section is intended for associations and vendors who want to examine all settings in detail. This document describes the details of the 2012 specifications and what the rules are for compliant PDF documents. This document uses plain English language to give the guidelines to which compliant PDF files have to adhere.

UPDATE JUNE 2013: Download the GWG2012_CMYK Specification, Errata A

Market Segments

The GWG2012 specifications are restricted to the following market segments:

  • Advertising for newspapers
  • Advertising for magazines
  • Commercial sheet offset printing
  • Commercial web offset printing