32 Replies Latest reply on Sep 18, 2013 6:18 AM by rob day

    PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…

    DBLjan Level 2

      Hi folks,

       

      as to make for our new printing partner a colorserver work, we have to export our documents now in PDF/X-4 out of InD, usually we go with PDF/X-1a.

      Our company font is the beloved Futura, and we use Light regulary.

      After export the small "ö" is missing, this wont happen with the Futura Book or Bold, only with Light.
      We contacted our font supplier and reinstalled our Futura, no success. Only the small "ö" is gone.
      I checked the glyphs and noticed that the ö is the last character. Maybe the InD 5.5-Export is somehow buggy?

       

      Can anyone help out?

       

      Bildschirmfoto 2013-09-13 um 11.21.28.png

        • 2. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
          DBLjan Level 2

          I know that, but why does it dissapear when exporting with PDF/X-4, only in the Light, and don't dissapear if I export with PDF/X-1a ??

           

          To give you some Infos:

          OSX 10.6.8

          InD CS5.5

          Fontmanager: the OSX includes one

          Futura ND is type1, dated from February 2000

          • 3. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
            matthew stuart Level 2

            Hmm... PDF/X-1a is the lowest level format giving the best compatibility for print, so it's odd that you should have an issue with higher level pdf formats!

             

            Have you tried creating the PDF in /X-1a format and then have your printer convert it within Acrobat?

             

            If they can do that, see if the ö remains in place once converted.

            • 4. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
              DBLjan Level 2

              How exactly do I covert the PDF/X-1a file with my AcrobatProX(10.1.8) to PDF/X-4?

               

              I tried to destill the PDF, which doesnt work 'cause PDF as input is not accepted. By the way: the DestillerX only has up to PDF/X-3 presets… odd.

               

              But I made a X4-preflight on the X1a, showed no errors. But how do I convert it?

              • 5. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                What exactly are your PDF settings when Exporting to PDFx1a and what exactly are the settings when exporting to PDFx4?

                • 6. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                  matthew stuart Level 2

                  With distiller, you create a postscript file (by print) that then gets distilled and turned into a PDF.

                   

                  You can also add joboptions files to distiller by Settings -> Add Adobe PDF Settings.

                   

                  Actually, you will be able to see a report of what is going on during PDF creation by using Distiller. Drop the psotscript file on your distiller window, and as it's processing it will tell you what it's at and wheter there are any issues.

                   

                  As for converting X-1a to X-4, open your PDF (X-1a as it should be the most compliant standard), click Tools -> Print Production -> Preflight -> PDF Compliance... choose your required setting and click analyze and fix. You may need to save a copy. Once done you get a report telling you of problems.

                   

                  Hopefully you still have umlaut over your little o!

                   

                  As for dstiller, it's a rarely use thing nowadays because (correct me if I'm wrong), I think that the pdf creation via InDesign uses the same engine that is in Distiller.

                  • 7. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                    Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                    matthew stuart schrieb:

                     

                    With distiller, you create a postscript file (by print) that then gets distilled and turned into a PDF.

                     

                    You can also add joboptions files to distiller by Settings -> Add Adobe PDF Settings.

                     

                    Actually, you will be able to see a report of what is going on during PDF creation by using Distiller. Drop the psotscript file on your distiller window, and as it's processing it will tell you what it's at and wheter there are any issues.

                     

                    As for converting X-1a to X-4, open your PDF (X-1a as it should be the most compliant standard), click Tools -> Print Production -> Preflight -> PDF Compliance... choose your required setting and click analyze and fix. You may need to save a copy. Once done you get a report telling you of problems.

                     

                    Hopefully you still have umlaut over your little o!

                     

                    As for dstiller, it's a rarely use thing nowadays because (correct me if I'm wrong), I think that the pdf creation via InDesign uses the same engine that is in Distiller.

                    Please don't use the Distiller any way as you should not use other PostScript based files neither.

                    Only one thing the Distiller is good for installing settings, but it is much simplier than you described, you need only drag a setting into the open Distiller window. That will install this setting.

                    Please don't recommend to use PDF/X-1a. Any X-standard has the same requirements when it comes to font embedding, so this makes no difference. PDF/X-4 should be used when placing files into InDesign or other application, exporting (not printing) PDFs in X-1a should only be done when the printer requires it for a CMYK workflow. X-3 should not be used at all, because as one of its authors (Olaf Drümmer) described in a German forum that it can cause unreliable results.

                     

                    What I suppose that the font has a problem.

                    Which kind of font did you use? I would recommend to use an OTF version.

                    Do you work on Windows or on Mac?

                    If you create the PDF on the Mac (as you screenshoot is from), did you use a font for Mac (OTF or other fonts created for the Mac) or did you use a WIndows version, which would work on the Mac, but could cause some problems similliar to yours.

                    Could it also be that the font is simply corrupted?

                    Does it help if you change the font embedding into complete glyphs and not only embedding subsets of the font?

                    • 8. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      I think it's the font. I'm not seeing any problem here with Futura Std OpenType or with Futura Light BT TrueType fonts. What version are you using, and where does it come from?

                      • 9. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                        BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        Check post 2. It's a very old Type 1 font.

                         

                        Personally, I wouldn't trust a font that old.

                        • 10. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                          DBLjan Level 2

                          I guess we bought that font ages ago… ill try to get my hands on a fresh Futura OT to fiddle around, see if the "ö" still gets lost.
                          What do you think, should our font-resellers "update" our purchase for free (seems to have a problem after all), or do we have to buy again?

                          • 11. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                            From 13 years ago? I would highly doubt it.

                             

                            You really don't want to be using fonts that old with only 256

                            characters in them. It's very limiting.

                             

                            Get the OpenType version.

                            • 12. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                              I supposethat you should buy the font in a OpenTyp Pro version with all available glyphs and styles.

                              You write you are using T1 fonts, this could be a Windows font or a Mac font, as both can be used on the Mac, but it happened to me sometimes that Windows fonts lost some Glyphs on the Mac and some did not work at all and others exchanged their slots. So I avoid using Windows fonts on the Mac.

                              • 13. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                I have both the Bitstream (1990) and Adobe (1995) versions of futura and both are Exporting to to the default PDF/X-4 preset correctly. I did not test from Distiller.

                                • 14. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                  DBLjan Level 2

                                  So, we will buy an up-to-date font in OpenType, for sure.

                                   

                                  But, after all these last years having no trouble at all with our Futura, i find it very odd, that this happens, now, and only with the PDF/X-4 export.

                                   

                                  I tried my luck in a german forum and found users having the same issue, dissappearing characters.

                                  Probarly the "ö" is marked a ".notdef glyph", which is used as a fallback for characters used but missing in older fonts (e.g. the €, when it was not around).

                                   

                                  But why should my "ö" be fine all the time, even in PDF/X-1a, and for PDF/X-4 its broken and is replaced with a blank as fallback glyph??

                                  • 15. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    as to make for our new printing partner a colorserver work, we have to export our documents now in PDF/X-4 out of InD, usually we go with PDF/X-1a.

                                     

                                    Maybe you should talk to the printer about the font issue and see if they will let you to use X-1a? It sounds like you know what the press profile will be, so there shouldn't be a problem with handling the color management on export rather than delaying it to output.

                                    • 16. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      So, we will buy an up-to-date font in OpenType, for sure.

                                       

                                      If you are working from existing documents be prepared for a new version to set differently.

                                       

                                      The Adobe and BT versions are different in weight and width (Bitstream top):

                                       

                                      Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 9.03.30 AM.png

                                      • 17. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                        matthew stuart Level 2

                                        I don't mean to sound funny when asking this, as I am genuinely curious, but why should one NOT use PDF/X-1a nowadays? Why is PDF/X-4 better?

                                         

                                        I much prefer to send a printer an X-1a file as what I am looking at on screen is what I am getting from the printer because InDesign, or Distiller has created a flat PDF. I have often found that PDF's that are not flat can be liable to interpretation by the rip that is processing for print.

                                         

                                        I don't know where you are based, but here in the UK, most glossy mags want PDF based adverts created to pass4press standards (which are X-1a) otherwise they won't put them in the mags... but you'll still get charged!

                                         

                                        Admittedly, I haven't released any adverts to glossy mags for about nine months, so have glossy's moved on and are prepared to accept X-4 standards now?

                                         

                                        I'd like to know for my own benefit, so please don't assume I am questionng your views.

                                         

                                        Thanks.

                                        • 18. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                          Depends what for:

                                           

                                          • If you use a PDF to place into InDesign or Photoshop or Illustrator you should use a X4 because this enables you to export out from InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop true X4, X3 and X1a.
                                          • If you place a X3 or X1a you will stick in the output process with them from.
                                          • X4 is a reach PDF compared to the the older standards. Which means that it has more original information. E.g. it has live transparency.
                                          • But when it comes to the printer you should use the standard he requires. With X4 you have more flexibility to output to all other standards.
                                          • 19. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                            X-1a is about as dumbed down as it can get. No transparency, no RGB.

                                             

                                            X-4 supports transparency and RGB workflows.

                                             

                                            That said, always speak to the printer or the publication first. Many

                                            publications have very out of date file specs that they haven't bothered

                                            updating from their QuarkXPress 3 days.

                                            • 20. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              I don't mean to sound funny when asking this, as I am genuinely curious, but why should one NOT use PDF/X-1a nowadays?

                                               

                                              If you know what the destination profile is going to be  there's nothing wrong with X-1a. X-4 delays any color managed conversions to output, but assuming you are using the same destination profile as the printer would, the final output values will be the same whether they are at export or output.

                                               

                                              There can be an advatage to seeing the actual output CMYK values, which you don't necessarily see with X-4. In general X-4 is better for  users who don't know how to handle flattening and color conversions.

                                              • 21. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                                If you use a transparency flattened PDF when placing a file in InDesign you are stucked for printing with a specific CMYK color space. Any export to file types which are for screens like EPUB, JPEG, interactive PDFs and others have a loss in quality because of an RGB to CMYK to RGB conversion and you might get stitching lines caused by flattening transparency, see example here, I placed a RGB image and above a text with the transparency effect drop shadow and exported as X-1a and X4. Both files again in InDesign placed as images and exported as JPG, same result might happen with EPUB and other screen output:

                                                platziert.jpg

                                                • 22. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  you are stucked for printing with a specific CMYK color space

                                                   

                                                  Right, you wouldn't want to use x-1a if there will be multiple outputs to different devices. But there are plenty of print jobs that get output once to one destination press and repurposing isn't a consideration.

                                                   

                                                  I think x-4 makes sense as a recommended default preset, but x-1a shouldn't be looked at as a dead format like eps. There are cases where it's perfectly reasonable to finalize color  at export.

                                                   

                                                  And X-4 doesn't guarantee anything. It invites CMYK-to-CMYK conversions and unexpected gamut shifts both of which can be as problematic as stitching. With stitching I can at least see the problem before the file goes out—and I hardly ever see it with the hi res preset.

                                                   

                                                  Screen Shot 2013-09-14 at 8.19.16 PM.png

                                                  • 23. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                    matthew stuart Level 2

                                                    Yeah, I'm in agreement with you on this Rob with regards to X-1a not being dead. The OP spoke of X-1a, so he's used to that intent, and that's why I suggested my process. Distiller is an excellent trouble shooter, and that's all I use it for, but to use distiller you need to create a postscript file. So although postscript isn't part of a daily workflow, it's still an important piece of the jigsaw for me when there are issues to overcome. I can pinpoint to the page where issues are, and if you have 500+ pages, that's useful.

                                                     

                                                    If PDF is ultimately the same until output, then that doesn't explain why X-1a retains umlaut, but X-4 doesn't. There is obviously more information in a file than is required which IS creating unexpected changes at the output stage. I'm personally not comfortable with that. On the basis that the OP mentioned X-1a, I assumed he is going to CMYK press print, and when you've done a print run of any size, unreliable results are expensive mistakes.

                                                     

                                                    The trouble with this industry is that the likes of adobe introduces new standards ALWAYS for the better, and some can be easily taken up and become the norm, but with print in the real world, print houses invest millions in their equipment, so to take up a completely new PDF intent can be cost prohibitive let alone time consuming to implement and trial to ensure all is printing as expected. They operate with an attitude of if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

                                                     

                                                    My experience of these print houses is they dictate to publishing houses what kind of PDF is required. Publishing houses have to update their printing guidelines, at least they do here in the UK, because magazines are bid for and will often shift from one publishing/design house to another, so it's a requirement to ensure they have a list of current magazines.

                                                     

                                                    My problem is if I send a PDF to print for a client, and the printer comes back saying there's an issue, in the client's eyes that looks like I have made a mistake which undermines the image I have about a being a capable and competent designer.

                                                     

                                                    Any experience I've had with stiching lines is they disappear when printed, actually they disappear and reappear as you zoom in and out, but if I have it, I would place an original file such as as a .psd, .ai or a .indd which overcomes any embedded profiles if you're running a synced set of applications. At this point, you are then able to output any format regardless of final destination.

                                                     

                                                    I'm just pitching in my point of view based on my journey through life!

                                                    • 24. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                      Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                                      I have never written that X-1a is dead, but it is only usea le at the end of a workflow.

                                                      But using Distiller is no solution, only some steps more to have the possibility to make something wrong.

                                                      Only export.

                                                      • 25. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                        My problem is if I send a PDF to print for a client, and the printer comes back saying there's an issue, in the client's eyes that looks like I have made a mistake which undermines the image I have about a being a capable and competent designer.

                                                         

                                                        There's definately an "X-4 is good X-1a is bad" thing going around, but both standards are valuable and address different needs. 

                                                         

                                                        With x-4 there's always the assumption that the printer will handle CM correctly  downstream, but that's not necessarily the case. I might design an annual report that's printing on Mohawk Superfine on a sheefed press. If I ask the printer what my Color Settings should be and they come back with the common "use the default North American Prepress and you'll be fine" or the dreaded "turn off color management", I know I can't send that printer X-4, because there's no way I'm letting a SWOP separation print on an uncoated sheet.

                                                         

                                                        On the otherhand if I'm designing an ad that will print in a dozen magazines I really can't be second guessing the printing—exported X-4 with RGB color is the only good choice.

                                                        • 26. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                                                          On behalf of and as chairman of ISO TC130 WG2/TF2 (the ISO committee responsible for the PDF/X specifications), a few comments about PDF/X-1a versus PDF/X-4 (as well as PDF/X-4p and the various PDF/X-5 variants):

                                                           

                                                          (1)     There is nothing wrong about using the PDF/X-1a standard if there is absolutely no transparency in your original content – including transparency effects such as drop shadows, feathering, mirroring, etc. and even clipped images using masks, not clipping paths – and that you know exactly what print conditions you are going to. PDF/X-1a was designed prior to the common usage of transparency and color management in Adobe and other graphic arts applications. Furthermore, at the time most PDF was printed by internal conversion to PostScript – PostScript was what as actually RIPed. PostScript has no native support for either ICC color management or live transparency!!

                                                           

                                                          (2)     There is no question by those who really understand the underlying technology that the correct place to do transparency blending is at the RIP at the same time the content (whether text, vector, raster, or a combination of same) rendering, color management and other functions including trapping are being performed. We know the exact final color space as well as the resolution and geometry of the raster that the RIP process produces. There are no intermediate formats that can and will introduce imaging artifacts.

                                                           

                                                          (2)     Contrast this to the situation in which content with live transparency is exported to PDF/X-1a. In the process of exporting PDF/X-1a, all transparency and transparency effects must be flattened into opaque objects. To do a credible job at this, you must know the resolution of the target device as well as its CMYK color space. If you mis-specify either of these, you are likely to get various flattening artifacts including pixelation of text, image stitching problems, as well as color rendition issues. And even if you do properly specify both resolution and output color space for the PDF export, you may still see some artifacts. If  you have ever downloaded a PDF copy of a magazine that is either PDF/X-1a or simply is all CMYK with transparency flattened, you often see the artifacts as white lines on the screen!

                                                           

                                                          (3)     This brings up another liability of PDF/X-1a! You effectively are married to a particular output condition and cannot readily repurpose your output including placement into another InDesign document without the possibility of serious problems. If you keep imagery in its native ICC profile-tagged RGB color spaces, keep live transparency, and export PDF/X-4 and decide to print to a device with different color characteristics, most advanced RIPs provide options for use of device link profiles to safely convert CMYK to C'M'Y'K' and the actual device output profile to conver the RGB to the C'M'Y'K' color space, possibly taking advantage of greater color game of the other device (or for that matter to a C'M'Y'K'OG device)!

                                                           

                                                          (4)     Every RIP as well as software upgrades for existing RIPs over the last half dozen years has fully and properly supported PDF/X-4 including every RIP that is based on the Adobe PDF Print Engine or even those of Adobe erstwhile competitor, Global Graphics (Harlequin). If you are using a print service provider that hasn't updated their RIP software in six years, you are really taking big risks!

                                                           

                                                          (5)     We understand from our own enquiries that many print service providers that publish specs requiring PDF/X-1a, will indeed take PDF/X-4. Typically, we find that print service providers who won't take PDF/X-4 at all are either ignorant as to what the newer PDF/X standards are, feel that it is safer for them to make the creative professional customer do all the color management and transparency flattening and blame all problems on the customer – “the customer is always wrong,” are fearful of anything “new” or “innovative” (quite a few Luddites in the print industry), or a combination of these factors! Of course, we know of print service providers who place PDF files in QuarkXPress 3.32b documents for imposition and others who actually try to use Photoshop as a RIP yielding CMYK separations as individual TIFF files. I can truly say that the print industry is often its own worst enemy!

                                                           

                                                          (6)     I believe that someone in this thread mentioned something about European printing. Be aware that the latest Ghent Workgroup PDF standards are now based on PDF/X-4 (albeit only CMYK + spot, but with live transparency). Most UK and European print associations based their standards on the Ghent Workgroup standards (even if fighting and kicking all the way).

                                                           

                                                          (7)     As indicated by others responding to this thread, you should never try to force something like PDF/X-4 on a reluctant print service provider. If they really don't want it, even if their software does support it, they will show you somehow that they were right. (That having been said, I have worked closely with some local printers for some personal projects and have showed them how to user PDF/X-4 to their advantage - I now have really good friends who will turn fairly complex print jobs overnight for me because they now realize how reliable the PDF/X-4 files I provide to them actually are.)

                                                           

                                                                    - Dov

                                                          • 27. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                            Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                                            Dov, many thanks for this clarification. Exactly that is what I try to communicate.

                                                             

                                                            There is one reason, why I oft insist that people should take X-4 are the requirements we have here in Germany from Newspapers and Magazines, what they do is, I qoute, I don't think that is a good requierement:

                                                            1. "PDF/X-3 in CMYK" If they really need CMYK, why don't they require X-1a? But exactly these publications are often published as print (printed on different locations under different conditions on different placec in Germany and Austria and even with slightly different scaling format and parallel as Download-PDF, as APP for iPad and exported to HTML from the printed content. This would require a X-4.)
                                                            2. "Convert text to Outline." This step drives me angry. So I have decided to ignoere it. If the printer uses any normal RIP or even is placing software into a layout application like InDesign or Quark it works fine. The only problem I have, are tose which are opening PDFs in Illustrator or Photoshop (ok Photoshop makes no problem here.) are claiming an error. That gives me the chance to detect such printers (I did not choose them) but often also to discuss them their workflow by phone which I see not as an offense against them but as a chance to improve their processes. Some have been glad, some were angry about the succeeding discussions.

                                                            I use X-1a only if the printer requires it and I know that it is only printed there once.

                                                            I avoid X-3 if possible, if I can't avoid it because the file check would not accept a X-1a as valid standard and reject my files I would produce a X-3 to X-1a specifications.

                                                            • 28. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                              Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                              I avoid X-3 if possible, if I can't avoid it because the file check would not accept a X-1a as valid standard and reject my files I would produce a X-3 to X-1a specifications.

                                                               

                                                              @Willi – I know what your are talking about from personal experience.

                                                              I'll do it like you: if the printers want a PDF/X-3 in this case (and reject a X-1a),

                                                               

                                                              I output a PDF/X-1a and change it to a X-3 after.
                                                              Since PDF/X-1a is a subset of PDF/X-3 no damage is done.


                                                              The printers are happy then ;-)
                                                              I gave it up to educate the specific printers in this case.

                                                              It's sad, but some people beg to get cheated…

                                                               

                                                              Uwe

                                                              • 29. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                feel that it is safer for them to make the creative professional customer do all the color management and transparency flattening and blame all problems on the customer

                                                                 

                                                                In that case the printer might be a luddite or simply responding to the business problems created by the liability of color managing at output.

                                                                 

                                                                X-4 clearly has many advantages but for it to work the source and destination profiles have to be correct—the printer has to be sure the customer's display profiling is accurate (and she understands gamuts) and the customer has to be sure the printer's output profile is accurate.

                                                                 

                                                                With X-4 there's an explicit understanding that the printer is going to take the incoming  color and transform it for the output device—he might not print the values provided. So in my example where the printer suggests that default SWOP will be ok on Superfine, I know X-4 won't work because the output profile could be wrong  (and no I can't go find another printer).

                                                                 

                                                                On the flip side the printer is going to take on the liability of transforming the provided color and has to be sure I'm working on a well calibrated and profiled display (good luck with that).

                                                                 

                                                                Let's say my monitor profile is wrong and I provide the color below. The out-of-gamut green will change appearance, and the 50% black will likely change in appearance because of my bad display profile. Because I'm providing default SWOP the 50% black will be converted to some other 4-color value when the printer correctly outputs to an uncoated profile.

                                                                 

                                                                So in this case the printer has not printed the values I provided and the appearance is almost guaranteed to be wrong. There's going to be an argument that the printer will likely lose.

                                                                 

                                                                Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 8.52.39 AM.png

                                                                • 30. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                                  Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                                                                  It really doesn't make much of a difference if you use PDF/X-1a or PDF/X-4 if your monitor is wrong and as a content creator you don't know your *** from your elbow when it comes to color. You'll still have problems with the printed output. 

                                                                   

                                                                  The problem is that most content creators don't know squat about printing color spaces and the output device resolution. And furthermore, increasingly, print service providers need the freedom to dynamically chose the actual output device based on device availability, run length, economics, etc. That is where PDF/X-4 shines over PDF/X-1a, even forgetting about all transparency flattening issues!

                                                                   

                                                                            - Dov

                                                                  • 31. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                    It really doesn't make much of a difference if you use PDF/X-1a or PDF/X-4 if your monitor is wrong

                                                                     

                                                                    Right, a bad display profile would be an equal problem with either format, but x-4 creates a different business problem. A print provider can't control the content provider's display environment, so the question is when they agree to take in X-4 and make conversions will they be willing to absorb the cost of problems caused by the unknown display?

                                                                     

                                                                    You can say printers requiring X-1a are stuck-in-the-mud luddites, or they might  be smart enough to know they are asking for trouble when they convert 50% black to 46|36|36|1 without knowing if the client display is profiled correctly.

                                                                     

                                                                    Your generalization about content providers may be true, but what if they know enough get out their loupe and check the sheet when things aren't going well? In that case I don't understand how the printer can get away with "it must be your display profile" when they are not printing the provided values.

                                                                     

                                                                    A reverse  generalization might also be true–all print providers are color management geniuses. If that's the case I should be able to ask any printer for the correct output profile for my Mohawk Superfine job and never get "just use SWOP" back—then I would be much more comfortable providing x-4.

                                                                    • 32. Re: PDF/X-4 export Futura Light "ö" missing…
                                                                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                      Looking at some proofs this morning that are real world illustrations of my hypothetical cases.

                                                                       

                                                                      I use two large online printers for lowend shortrun printing. Vista Print for uncoated postcards and Moo Cards for business cards and small postcards. For both printers I've had target prints output so I know if they are converting or not.

                                                                       

                                                                      Vista Print recommends that I provide SWOP CMYK for the uncoated sheet and then they make CMYK-to-CMYK conversions for all color, even when I provide SWOP CMYK. So obviously they've decided I'm not smart enought to work with their real output profile for the uncoated sheet and are happy to absorb the shortrun costs if there is a color complaint. And the color is not awful, but it's not right either. All of the problems associated with CMYK-to-CMYK are there—color casts to neutral colors and contaminated primaries. I would never print longrun with Vista.

                                                                       

                                                                      Moo Cards has a very different approach. They tell me their press profile is FOGRA39 and my target print tells me that's what they are outputting. Untagged and FOGRA tagged CMYK prints unchanged and the appearance is what I expect. Neutral tagged RGB converts without a cast—the printing is gorgeous. I can confidently send Moo Cards X-4 (or X-1a if I'm feeling retro).

                                                                       

                                                                      The printing at MooCards isn't better because I provide x-1a or x-4, but because they provide and I use their output profile.