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Version 4 Specifications

Version 4 Specifications

Naming Conventions

All version 4 specifications have a specific naming convention. This document describes the different parts in that naming convention.

Download here (English, pdf)

Download here (Spanish, pdf)


Specification Details

This document describes the details of the version 4 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.

Download here (English, pdf) (Final version, correction 1)

Download here (Spanish, pdf) (Final version, correction 1)


Release Notes

This document gives information about the usage of the version 4 specifications and is a guidelines to create compliant PDF files.

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Technical Information on Font related requirements

Problems and constraints regarding the use of fonts in publishing have been around for a long time. As early as the ISO PDF/X-1a standard, a start was made to standardize the use of fonts in order to avoid as many problems as possible. Over the years the array of checks executed to ensure font quality slowly increased and the implementation of those checks in commercial preflight applications became more mature.

The most common issues with fonts – and possible fixes for those problems are described below. Keep in mind that some fonts are just not good enough for professional publishing work and selecting a different font may in some cases be the only fix available.

Issue: A missing glyph error is an indicator that something went wrong with one of the fonts in during the PDF creation. Unfortunately, some PDF creation applications do not correctly embed the glyph for the “SPACE” character. This end result can be attributed to the creation application, its settings, and/or the affected font.

Possible Fix: use the most current version of software to create PDF/X compliant files directly out of the application using the published GWG specifications and setting, or try a different way to create the PDF. Alternatively, some preflight applications offer fixes if “Missing glyph” is reported for the SPACE character – however, as with all automatic fixes, be sure to check the results after such a fix.

Issue: A character is referencing the .notdef glyph for output (rendering on output device, whether screen or image setter). This error can result in a missing or different character in output since the use of .notdef glyph is an indicator that something went wrong in the PDF creation. This error can be attributed to the creation application, its settings, and/or the affected font. It can also happen as a result of a workflow that post-processes PDF files.

Possible Fix: use the most current version of software to create PDF/X compliant files directly out of the application or or try a different way to create the PDF. Alternatively, some preflight applications offer fixes if “.notdef glyph” is reported for the SPACE character – however, as with all automatic fixes, be sure to check the results after such a fix.

Issue: The inter-character spacing (glyph width) of text looks fine on screen, but characters are misplaced in output. This can be caused when the PDF creation software does not create matching tables for glyph widths when creating the PDF.

Possible Fix: use the most current version of software to create PDF/X compliant files directly out of the application or try a different way to create the PDF. Some preflight applications offer a fix to correct this issue – however, as with all automatic fixes, be sure to check the results after such a fix. Since this requirement is part of PDF/X-4, you can also try using appropriate software to directly export a PDF/X-4 file and then flatten and convert to PDF/X-1a if you need to use a that type of workflow.