5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2011 11:19 PM by Dov Isaacs

    Indesign CS5 & PDF/X

    Matt Finlay

      Hello All,


      I was wondering if anyone could clear this up for me:


      I have been noticing that indesign creates PDF/X files that seem to have the wrong level of PDF?


      PDF/X Standard     Indesign PDF     Web Link (below)

      PDF/X-1a:2001      1.3                      1.3

      PDF/X-1a:2003      1.3                      1.4

      PDF/X-3:2001        1.3                      1.3

      PDF/X-3:2003        1.3                      1.4

      PDF/X-4:2008        1.4                      1.6




      The information marked in the column Web Link was taken from the above link.

      The information marked in the column Indesign PDF was recorded from PDF files created by exporting to the relevant PDF/X Standard using Indesign CS5 7.0.4


      Is this a bug?

        • 1. Re: Indesign CS5 & PDF/X
          Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I had the same question a while back


          • 2. Re: Indesign CS5 & PDF/X
            Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Here's something on it from Planet PDF




            Not sure how accurate it is.

            • 3. Re: Indesign CS5 & PDF/X
              Glenn McDowall Level 1

              from the bottom of your web link:


              PDF 1.4 and later files support live transparency, but until the PDF/X-4:2007 standard, PDF/X files did not. Thus, you can save a PDF 1.4 file from InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop, and any transparency remains live; but the resulting PDF 1.4 file is not a valid PDF/X file. For this reason, CS3 components create PDF/X files in PDF 1.3 format, as valid PDF/X files, with properly flattened transparency.

              • 4. Re: Indesign CS5 & PDF/X
                Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                There is absolutely nothing wrong with the level of PDF generated by InDesign 7.0.x (CS5) for the PDF/X standards.


                PDF/X-1a:2003 allows for PDF 1.4 without live transparency, but doesn't require PDF 1.4. PDF 1.3 does suffice and the PDF/X-1a:2003 generated by InDesign does fully comply with the standard. In other words, PDF/X-1a:2003 absolutely does not require PDF files so-tagged to be also tagged as PDF 1.4. The exact same issue applies to PDF/X-3:2003 versus PDF/X-3:2001.


                With regards to PDF/X-4:2008, the PDF 1.4 files with live transparency exported by InDesign 7.0.x (CS5) and 6.0.x (CS4) fully comply with the PDF/X-4:2008 standard. PDF/X-4:2008 allows features in PDF 1.5 and PDF 1.6 that don't exist in PDF 1.4 such as JPEG 2000 raster image compression, layers, and more highly-compressed object streams, but it doesn't require there use of that the file be tagged as PDF 1.6.


                InDesign 7.5.x (CS5.5) does support PDF/X-4:2010 including the additional features of PDF 1.5 and 1.6 that are not in PDF 1.4 or supported by earlier versions of InDesign.


                          - Dov (chair of ISO TC130 WG2/TF2 PDF/X)

                • 5. Re: Indesign CS5 & PDF/X
                  Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                  There is no such standard as PDF/X-4:2007. The first approved PDF/X-4 standard was PDF/X-4:2008 which was first supported by InDesign 6.0.x (CS4). PDF/X-4:2008 was totally replaced by PDF/X-4:2010, supported by InDesign 7.5.x (CS5.5) in 2010.


                  Note that all valid PDF/X-4:2008 files qualify and validate as valid PDF/X-4:2010 files. PDF/X-4:2010 provides less stringent rules for support of layers. InDesign 7.5 supports layer export for PDF/X-4:2010 as well as the other PDF 1.5 and PDF 1.6 features supported by PDF/X-4 in PDF 1.6.


                  Note that InDesign 5.x (CS3) supported export of PDF/X-4 (Draft) based on a late, but not final draft specification of PDF/X-4. Such files for the most part are absolutely not valid PDF/X-4 files, failing validation for same with Acrobat Pro or any other proper preflight software!
                            - Dov