Generate PDF/X output

PDF/X is a collection of ISO standards that defines methods for the exchange of digital graphic data using PDF to ensure predictable and consistent printing in a professional print environment.

A PDF/X document is a PDF file viewable by PDF readers such as Adobe Reader, but it follows an additional set of rules defined by the ISO specifications. These rules specify both required objects and features not supported for graphics exchange. The PDF/X standard follows strict rules in color management. Publisher supports the PDF/X-1a:2003 variation of the PDF/X standard.


The generation of PDF/X output requires that you obtain the International Color Consortium (ICC) profile data file and place it under <bi publisher repository>/Admin/Configuration.

The ICC profile is a binary file describing the color characteristics of the intended output device. For production environments, the color profile may be provided by your print vendor or by the printing company that prints the generated PDF/X file. An example of an ICC profile data file is: CoatedFOGRA27.icc.

Profile data is also available from Adobe ( or (

Requirements and Limitations

PDF/X output has specified requirements and limitations.

The following lists limitations of and requirements for generating PDF/X output:

  • Supported template types: The following template types support the generation of PDF/X: RTF, FO, XPT, and XSL. There're no additional template requirements to generate PDF/X.

  • Color requirements: The color data in the template (text color, images, and SVG) is stored as RGB data, but at the time the PDF/X file is generated, the color data is converted to CMYK using an ICC profile that you must provide to Publisher. Specify the ICC profile using the PDF/X ICC Profile Data property. See the following table.

  • PDF features not supported in PDF/X documents:

    • Transparency (transparent colors render as opaque)

    • Encryption

  • Font requirements: By default, all fonts are replaced with Albany fonts. To use a different font in the output, specify the font mappings in the report configuration. If Albany fonts aren't available in the JVM font directory and you haven't specified a font mapping (that is, there isn't an embeddable font available), the output won't become a valid PDF/X file. In this case, Helvetica font is used.

  • Reprocessing by Publisher utilities isn't supported: Reprocessing of the PDF/X file using the Publisher utilities PDFBookBinder, PDFDocMerger, or PDFSignature isn't supported. The reprocessed file becomes a regular PDF file and may lose conformance to the PDF/X standard.

  • Required report configuration properties: The report run-time properties must be set as shown in the following table.

    Property Required Setting


    Must be no higher than 1.4.

    Enable PDF Security


    Must be set to false.

    Encryption Level


    Must be set to 0.


    Must be se to true.

    Formatting properties specific to PDF/X output can be set in the Report Properties dialog. Of the formatting properties, the following two are required:

    Property Description Valid Values

    PDF/X ICC Profile Data

    The name of the ICC profile data file placed under <Publisherrepository>/Admin/Configuration.

    ICC profile data file name, for example: CoatedFOGRA27.icc

    PDF/X output condition identifier

    The name of one of the standard printing conditions registered with ICC. The list of standard CMYK printing conditions to use with PDF/X-1a is provided on the following ICC website:

    A valid "Reference name," for example: FOGRA43

    For more information, see PDF/X Output Properties.

Additional Resources

For more information about the PDF/X standard, see these resources.