Everything you need to know about commercial print


When PDF started to slowly take over from PostScript, it all started in the commercial print market segment. This is where the roots of the Ghent Workgroup lie – the specifications for the exchange of advertisements and for sheetfed and webfed offset printing where the first specifications developed by the group.

This also means they are quite stable and mature by now. The Ghent Workgroup offers two generations of specifications for commercial print: a more modern one based on the ISO PDF/X-4 standard, and older specifications based on the ISO PDF/X-1a standard.

If you are also doing digital printing, be aware that there are separate specifications for digital print. The requirements and capabilities of digital print workflows are sufficiently different that you are advised to also check out the digital print page.

Application Settings

Settings for the most commonly used applications in professional publishing workflows, to automatically and properly create and check PDF files. Simply download and install in your favorite application.



An introduction to the PDF standard, the ISO PDF/X standards built on it, and how this forms the foundation of all Ghent Workgroup specifications.

User Guide

PDF/X Workflow User Guide and/or Difference between GWG 2015 and GWG 2022 specifications

Technical Specification

This specification describes file setting and workflow processing requirements necessary to achieve the highest quality production and exchange efficiency of PDF files.
Technical content! 

Not sure your workflow or RIP are up-to-spec?


Receiving good PDF files is an important point, but your workflow and RIP need to be able to handle those files correctly as well.

Not sure they will? The Ghent Workgroup developed its Ghent Output Suite specifically to test for this.

Head over to the Output Suite and read more about it!

Looking for the technical information?

Ghent Workgroup Specification

If you’re a software or hardware developer, or feel comfortable reading more technical documentation, you can also read the the latest specification page.

Keep in mind that this was written to help developers implement the specification in preflight, editing and workflow applications.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to us in case of questions!