The GWG Explains PDF/VT, the Easiest Route to Variable Data Printing Workflow Success, in New White Paper

The GWG Explains PDF/VT, the Easiest Route to Variable Data Printing Workflow Success, in New White Paper

Production sites prepared to use PDF/VT will lead the market in higher quality output and faster turnaround, according to experts at the GWG

Ghent, Belgium – April 9, 2014 – The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) today announces the release of its white paper regarding PDF/VT, the ISO PDF standard that makes PDF/X workflows for variable data and transactional (VT) projects highly reliable and predictable. The GWG has released the white paper so that variable data and transactional production environments can prepare to incorporate PDF/VT, because fully compliant PDF/VT creation tools and supporting DFE and mainstream workflow updates will be released over the next several months.

The white paper explains what PDF/VT is, its advantages, and how it makes PDF/VT workflows successful, regardless of system configuration. The free download of the PDF/VT white paper is located at


The early bird catches the worm

GWG experts agree that it’s in the best interests of the variable and transactional markets to get ready for PDF/VT.

“There are always a few in the lead when a new technology or standard is released – people who get a leg-up on the competition, and end up not only pleasing their regular customers, but often acquiring new ones in the process,” says Jason Lisi, GWG Documentation Officer and the white paper’s author.

“There is no doubt there will be significant competitive advantage for those who jump on this now,” GWG chairperson and industry veteran, David Zwang, concurs. “The big names – the usual suspects – are already getting ready, and many who are members of the GWG are ahead of the game, anyway.”

There are a number of vendors that have included PDF/VT as a file format option in their software, and the GWG has confirmed that at least one of these options on the market today is producing fully compliant PDF/VT creation files. Further, the GWG has determined that a number of developers are close to delivering a robust and competitive group of workflow and DFE updates, and creation tools, for the job. The GWG will inform the market as to which are fully compliant; i.e., not only providing acceptable functionality, but also created in the spirit of openness and fairness, which is the ISO standard authors’ intent.

PDF/VT white paper contents

Readers of the white paper will learn how the PDF/VT format, a version of PDF/X, was designed to enable a unified workflow for conventional static, as well as variable, printing in a variety of environments; as opposed to other variable data formats that are frequently vendor- or process- specific,

The PDF/VT white paper covers the following:


PDF/VT: An Overview

  • What exactly is PDF/VT?
  • How does PDF/VT work?
  • PDF/VT versus other variable data formats
  • Advantages of PDF/VT for variable data printing

PDF/VT in Practice

  • PDF/VT forecasts
  • Ideal markets for PDF/VT
  • The future of PDF/VT

Conclusion and further information


Future outlook and ideal markets: PDF/VT

Engineers have been exploring the best ways to utilize PDF/VT since it became a standard, in 2010. Today, expert engineers are maximizing the standard’s capabilities in the form of support for PDF/VT in DFE processes and mainstream workflows, as well as creation tools. As a result, PDF/VT usage will increase, and the benefits of PDF/VT will be actualized in real-world production settings.

The GWG strongly believes that PDF/VT has the potential to improve on existing procedures and processes for many different market segments that require variable data From marketers to transactional printers, digital book printers to packagers, and all sorts of unique printing applications in between, there is a lot of potential for PDF/VT to revolutionize the way variable data is managed for print.


Free Educational Resources at

The GWG website contains a large amount of useful information regarding the GWG and its specifications and deliverables – all of which are free to the marketplace. The site caters to vendors, associations and end-users, and also features a user forum where viewers can interact with their peers and ask questions.

Other white papers and educational resources are also available for download, at no cost, at:


About the GWG

The Ghent Workgroup, formed in June 2002, is an international assembly of industry associations and suppliers from across Europe and the United States. The Ghent Workgroup’s objective is to establish and disseminate process specifications for best practices in graphic arts workflows.

Since its inception over ten years ago, the organization has consistently produced numerous process specifications for PDF exchange, as well as developing useful tools for automating processes and establishing consistent PDFs for print and publishing – all available free at:

Members are comprised of graphic arts associations including: BPIF (UK), CMBO (the Netherlands), JPPOL (Denmark), ERA (Germany), Febelgra (Belgium), FESPA (UK), FTA (USA), IDEAlliance (USA), Medibel+ (Belgium), PDFX-ready (Switzerland), Printing Industries of America (USA), (Norway), TAGA Italia (Italy), UNIC (France), VIGC (Belgium), and VSD (Switzerland).

Vendor members include: Adobe, Agfa, Callas, Dalim Software, EFI, Enfocus, Esko, GMG Color, Kodak, Quark, Remote Director, and Specle.

Industry members are: Litografia Rosés, Phototype, Pragmeta, Sagamgraphics, Sanoma Media Belgium, Soluzionisubito, and Square.

Educational members are: Ryerson University, and University of Wuppertal.


Click here to download this press release in Word document.


For more information about the GWG, including a full list of its members and objectives, visit
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Media Contact:
Amanda Kliegl
1 407 346 9800