Newly-Released Testing File Suite from the GWG Insures Up-to-Date Functionality of PDF Workflows

Newly-Released Testing File Suite from the GWG Insures Up-to-Date Functionality of PDF Workflows

Companion Whitepaper with Case Study Teaches by Example Both the Test Suite and Whitepaper Are Free from the GWG

Ghent, Belgium – May 10, 2013 – The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) today announces the release of its latest Ghent PDF Output Suite v4.0, a group of test files that check a workflow’s ability to support up-to-date PDF/X-4 functionality and the latest standards. This latest test suite introduces additional PDF/X-4 patches for testing new PDF/X-4 features. The free patches are available for download here.

Ghent PDF Output Suite Test Patch

Ghent PDF Output Suite Test Patch
Image depicts incorrect rendering; each “X” indicates an error. Click image to download.

Ghent PDF Output Suite Test Patch
Image depicts incorrect rendering; each “X” indicates an error. Click image to download.
The GWG also compiled a whitepaper dedicated to the newest version, entitled: The Ghent PDF Output Suite 4.0, which provides further details about the patches, suggests ways in which the patches might be used, and contains a case study citing real-world examples of its use. Download the free whitepaper here.

In addition to developing PDF/X Plus specifications that define the proper PDF file format for different applications, such as sheet fed, web offset or newspaper ads; the GWG has a long-standing tradition of creating files for testing PDF workflow processing and output.

New in V4
Until version 3, test files only covered PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3 standards. New version 4 features additional patches for testing new features of PDF/X-4 workflows, such as:

  • Transparency
  • 16-bit images
  • JPEG2000 compression
  • OpenType fonts and optional content (layers)
  • Addition of some PDF/X-1a patches for DeviceN overprinting
  • Improvement of some existing patches

About the New Test File Patches
The test files are available as 35 single patches, each covering a specific feature of PDF/X and which can be used individually to test a particular topic on its own; or combined with other patches to represent a “real world” situation where multiple PDF pages are combined on a sheet (imposition), or on a page (ads).

All new patches feature a short description of the objects, as well as an explanation of how a failure can be identified. In addition, a ReadMe document with more detailed information is available for each patch, or group of patches.

Ghent PDF Output Suite Test Patch

Ghent PDF Output Suite Test Patch
Image depicts correct rendering; no clear “X” is visible. Click image to download.


Whitepaper: Ghent PDF Output Suite 4.0: Overview and Practice
The newest GWG whitepaper provides a summative overview of the Ghent PDF
Output Suite 4.0, and offers examples of ways that the Suite can assist companies with developing and maintaining workflows that process and utilize PDF/X files in a correct and consistent manner.

The document also contains a case study of how one organization used this Suite to standardize RIP and application settings across several file creators and printers, to create a national standard for digital ad submissions for magazine publishing.

Stephan Jaeggi, Technical Officer and Chairman of the GWG Process Control Subcommittee responsible for creating the Ghent PDF Output Suite V4.0, says, “The ease of use of these test files make them an ideal tool not only for developers, but especially for end users. Every print shop that accepts PDF/X-4 files should process the four GWG test pages like they would process customer files through their entire workflow.”

The pages can be processed directly in a PDF output workflow (e.g. imposed as a 4-up sheet), or placed like ads on a newspaper or magazine page. Unlike other test files available for testing PDF workflows, the Ghent patches are simple to evaluate. A failure is most typically indicated by the appearance of a large, visible cross. When this cross indicator is not possible to display, an integrated reference image will show the correct result.
“The Suite will show them precisely what is wrong, and what the correct result should be,” Jaeggi says.

Included in the Free Download
For the first time, the Ghent PDF Output Suite 4.0 ships with a 4-page PDF and 32 assembled patches.

For more information, or to download the complete package, which contains 35 single patches, four assembled test pages, and accompanying documentation; and whitepaper, go to:

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 ten years ago, the organization has consistently produced numerous process specifications for PDF dissemination 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), DDPFF (Denmark), ERA (Germany), Febelgra (Belgium), FESPA (UK), FTA (USA), IDEAlliance (USA), Medibel+ (Belgium), Nederlands Uitgeversverbond/Cebuco (The Netherlands), PDFX-ready (Switzerland), Printing Industries of America (USA), (Norway), TAGA Italia (Italy), UNIC (France), VIGC (Belgium), and VSD (Switzerland).

Vendor members are: Adobe, Adstream, Agfa, Callas, CGS, Dalim Software, EFI, Enfocus, Esko, GMG Color, Kodak, Quark, Remote Director, and Specle.
Industry members are: Bleuprocess, Litografia Rosés, Phototype, Sagamgraphics, Sanoma Magazines Belgium, Soluzionisubito, and Square.
Educational members are: Mediagraf, Ryerson University, and University of Wuppertal.

For more information about the GWG, including a full list of its members and objectives, visit

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Media Contact:
Amanda Kliegl
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