Evolving a standard for the exchange of PDF documents in the print and publishing industry is always a challenge, but we believe it’s necessary to keep up with recent technological developments. The GWG2015 specification, based on the ISO PDF/X-4 standard, is the result of that necessity.


The GWG2015 specification as developed and documented by the Ghent Workgroup is dry and terse material, more suitable for application developers than printers, publishers or creative professionals. This GWG2015 PDF/X workflow document explains what the differences in your workflow need to be between 1v4 and GWG2015 and how you can best take advantage of the new specification as a creator and receiver.

If you are in fact an application developer, or if you want to understand the new specification in more technical detail, this paper can be an introduction, but you shouldn’t stop here. Download the full specification documentation for a complete understanding of all preflight requirements.

Additional downloads

The paper mentions a number of additional deliverables. Some of these can be downloaded as separate files. It is advised to read the PDF/X workflow document before using these deliverables though.

The GWG2015 PDF export settings and color profiles can be found in the GWG application settings download section.


The 1v4 and the GWG2015 specifications are fundamentally different; we don’t expect an immediate change. Our expectation is that the GWG2015 specification will be picked up as an acceptable alternative to 1v4 and that the current 1v4 specification will disappear only after a lengthy transition period. This has already been formulated as the plan to go ahead by a number of national and international branch organizations.

We expect (and hope!) that the complete workflow, including its software, hardware, and operating procedures will be thoroughly tested to make sure this new GWG2015 specification is correctly supported. Especially when color-managed RGB images are allowed in the workflow.