Ghent Output Suite

The Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG) announces availability of the Ghent Output Suite, designed to help professionals determine whether PDF files are behaving as expected in graphic arts workflows. GWG is the international congress of graphic arts professionals established to create, test and disseminate best practices and specifications for publishing workflows.

The Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG) announces availability of the Ghent Output Suite, designed to help professionals determine whether PDF files are behaving as expected in graphic arts workflows. GWG is the international congress of graphic arts professionals established to create, test and disseminate best practices and specifications for desktop publishing annex PDF workflows. The first series in the Ghent Output Suite consists of 11 PDF test patches along with manual and individual readme files for each patch, covering the most common issues relating to PDF for print workflows.

“Our goal is to increase the already high level of predictability in PDF workflows by delivering best practice guidelines for the testing and evaluation of PDF reading applications,” says David Zwang, vice chairman of the GWG. “The Ghent Output Suite represents an international group effort to create, test and publish test suites that can be used by end users of graphic arts equipment—as well as developers of applications that handle PDF files—to better manage and improve the quality of their production workflows.”

The following GWG committee members participated in the creation and testing of the first series of the Ghent Output Suite under the direction of the RIP output subcommittee chairman, Andy Psarianos of FE Burman Limited, U.K.: Martin Bailey, Global Graphics, United Kingdom; Peter Claes, Sagamgraphic, Belgium; Elli Cloots, Gradual Software, Belgium; Olaf Drummer, Callas GMBH, Germany; Dov Isaacs, Adobe Systems Incorporated, United States; Stephan Jaeggi, PrePress-Consulting, Switzerland; Paul Feenstra Kuiper, Roto Smeets, Netherlands; Andy Psarianos, F E Burman Limited, United Kingdom; Goosen Rindjers, Wegener ICT Kranten, Netherlands; Andy Den Tandt, Enfocus Software, Belgium; David L. Zwang, Zwang & Company, United States.

The Ghent Output Suite is distributed as a series of test patches. In each case the patches are distributed with appropriate documentation. The patches have been constructed in such a way as to show clearly, in a graphic fashion, when a test within a patch has been rendered incorrectly. All the issues tested by these patches are real world issues that can be found in a production environment; however, these patches do not reflect normal production files and so the results may, in some cases, appear extreme. They have been carefully constructed to allow effects that are in real-life situations too subtle to be seen clearly and unambiguously, and this should be taken into account when evaluating the results of any tests based on these patches. All patches conform to either the PDF/X-1a or PDF/X-3 ISO standard; they do not always conform to the Ghent PDF Workgroup specifications. This is because the patches have been developed to also show issues that may arise when a policy exists to fix non-conforming files, as well as issues that arise with the handling of conforming files.

It is likely that this Suite will be updated, new patches will be added, and existing patches will be revised. For this reason the documentation for each individual patch is distributed along with the patch. It is advised that users check regularly for updates to the Suite on the Ghent PDF Workgroup website at http://www.gwg.org.

Also available for download on the GWG website are the latest specifications, released late 2005. GWG Version 3 Specifications are designed for the use of PDF/X-1a:2001 PLUS in vertical segments.

The Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG), formed in June 2002, is an international assembly of industry associations and suppliers from across Europe and the United States. The GWG’s objective is to establish and disseminate process specifications for best practices in graphic arts workflows.

Members comprise graphic arts associations in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Austria, Norway, The United Kingdom, Spain, Austria and the United States, as well as observer-status organizations from Sweden, and Germany. Vendor members are to date: Adobe, Agfa, Apago, Artwork Systems, Callas, Creo now Kodak, CGS, Dalim, Enfocus Software, Esko Graphics, Global Graphics, Gradual Software, Heidelberg, One-Vision, pub-specs, Quark, Quickcut Limited, and Screen. For more information about the GWG, including a full list of its members and objectives, visit http://www.gwg.org.

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