New PDF processing from Ghent

The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) has released a new specification for storing data regarding production processing steps within a PDF file. This can cover things like ink specifications, embossing, and braille. It’s meant to improve productivity and lower production costs.

The idea is that keeping processing data in the same file as the content that’s being processed makes it easy to validate structural components of design through conventional proofing methods. It also makes it easier to preflight that job.

Most workflows already deal with these issues but specifying a standard means that everyone can follow the same concept.

David Zwang, Chairman of Ghent Workgroup, comments: “One PDF file can now serve multiple purposes, and can also be used by many people in the pre-production and production process according to their needs.”

GWG is offering sample files, which were provided by Phototype, to help users and vendors with testing.

Steve Carter, senior vice president of technology at Phototype, explained: “This new Processing Steps Specification will allow one PDF file to serve multiple purposes throughout the supply chain. By only having one PDF file, logistics and accuracy are simplified. This ‘one version of the truth’ PDF file will lead to a higher degree of quality and interoperability for both users and systems.”

The new specification and documentation can be downloaded for free:






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