It is common practice in packaging and other segments of the printing industry to add additional objects and metadata in a PDF that will not be used for printing the final product. Examples are cut lines (also referred to as cut contours, or die lines), varnish, braille, legends…

The method to store these objects in a PDF document was not standardized at all, which led to problems in exchanging files between different parties and made it much more difficult to automate processes using PDF files in packaging. This prompted the packaging subcommittee of the GWG to develop a proposal on how to standardize this content. After initial work by the GWG, the proposal was adopted by the ISO (International Standards Organization).

The ISO published a modified version of the GWG proposal in July 2018. It can be consulted on the ISO web site as ISO 19593-1. As a result, the GWG proposal is no longer available for download as it has been superseded by the ISO standard.

What can still be downloaded is a ZIP package with 3 sample files containing processing step data. These sample files are fully compliant with the ISO standard and can serve to illustrate the concepts discussed in the standard.

The design, development, and production of these files were graciously provided by Phototype and the IP (Intellectual Property) rights for these specific files have been released to the GWG. The GWG retains the IP rights to these files going forward and is not releasing these rights by providing these sample files for download here.

The GWG requests that, as you use these files for testing and other development processes, you do not modify, change or remove any part of these sample files. Before using these sample files in any promotional efforts, you need to obtain permission from the GWG. Contact the GWG using, adding an explanation of how and why you wish to use these files.