Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0
The Ghent Workgroup is offering a new service called Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 Conformance Certification. Print service providers can prove that their PDF output workflow is compliant with the PDF/X-4 standard (ISO 15930-7:2010).
The well-known Ghent PDF Output Suite is used which was developed to help testing PDF/X-4 compliancy of PDF output workflows. The Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 consists of several dozen patches each testing a specific aspect of the PDF/X-4 standard. The GWG has put together a great number of these patches into six amalgamated test pages:
This test file is fully PDF/X-4 compliant and contains only valid PDF/X-4 features which could also be part of every regular PDF/X-4 production file.
The pages of the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 are grouped into two conformance levels:
- Conformance Level 1: pages 1–4 with CMYK and Spot colors
- Conformance Level 1+2: pages 1–4 (CMYK and Spot) AND pages 5–6 with ICC based colors
Level 2 involves color management and is therefore more demanding.
The GWG is offering two separate Conformance Certificates:
- Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 Conformance Certification – Level 1
- Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 Conformance Certification – Level 1+2
Since 2017 has a PDF Output Suite 5.0 Compliancy program exclusively for the GWG vendor members. Recently serveral GWG members expressed the wish to offer a Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 Conformance Certification.
GWG has created the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 Conformance Certification program in spring 2021. Participating GWG members can offer this program to their members, customers, community, etc. The certification program is for companies not individuals and targeted to end users(e.g. print service providers) not vendors, developers or system integrators. They can participate in the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 Compliancy program.
The certification is not directly offered by the Ghent Workgroup but by participating GWG members (associations, vendors, industry members, educational members). The GWG member manages the certification process. They also determine the cost of the certification for their candidates.
The following GWG members already expressed interest to offer this conformance certification:
- ARTOPTION (Germany)
- CAPT (China)
- CEC LATAM (Latin America)
- EFI (International)
- Four Pees (Europe)
- Future Schoolz (India)
- Government Institute of Printing Technology Mumbai (India)
- UiTM (Malaysia)
- University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
- VIGC (Belgium)
In spring 2021 GWG has successfully conducted a pilot project with the new GWG member CEC LATAM in Latin America. They have included the certification in their latest PDF training program. We were able to award four Level 1 certificates and five Level 1+2 certificates.
A company (candidate) can request a Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 Conformance Certification at a participating GWG member. If the candidate meets the requirements (this may include paying a fee) the GWG member creates a personalized test file* with six pages and sends this together with a short guideline, a questionnaire and comprehensive ReadMes to the candidate.
* Certification is only possible using a test file personalized for the candidate.
(A preliminary test run is already possible with the public version of the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 test file.)
The candidate processes the six pages of the personalized PDF/X-4 file (page size: 210 x 279 mm = 8.25 x 11 inch) like a regular production PDF delivered by a customer in his output workflow including production output (traditional or digital press).
If the candidate thinks the result is OK, he takes a picture of each printed page and one picture with all the printed pages together (e.g. using a cell phone):
Alternatively to pictures of single pages, a picture of an imposed signature (sheet) can also be delivered.
The candidate sends the result back to the GWG member who checks the result. In case of errors the candidate is informed and he can perform another trial.
When the GWG member is convinced that the result is OK (at least for Level 1) the result together with the questionnaire can be sent to the GWG Admin for validation.
If the validation is positive the GWG admin sends a personalized certificate (Level 1 or Level 1+2) and a label (.pdf and .png) to the GWG member who forwards this to the successful candidate. The candidate may use the certificate and the label for their marketing purposes (e.g. on company web page, marketing collateral).
All valid certificates are listed on: https://www.gwg.org/gos5/conformance-certificates
The certification is valid for two years. Afterwards the certification must be renewed.