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PDF Output Styles for QuarkXPress – Part 2

PDF Logo[June 4, 2019] As described in the first part, XPress's new output technologies are increasing the number of possible output settings. You will certainly use only a few of the output styles offered here, but the breadth of this elaboration gives you a possible naming system and shows on the other hand what you should pay attention to and what you can understand by comparing the individual settings.

The output style groups offered here are based on the following output scenario:

  • You want validated PDF files according to X-4 or X1a
  • You want PDF files of high or highest image quality
  • You want PDF files from typical PDF acceptance systems to pass the test at "normal" printers or Internet printers.

»»  Download of output styles in Revision B

The output settings for AsIs - i.e. unchanged - output have been integrated by me in spite of small errors in XPress 2018. In QuarkXPress 2017 and older you should not use the AsIs output styles with X-verification, these XPress versions cannot yet create valid PDF/X files with contained RGB images.

The strengths and weaknesses of DeviceN, AsIs or CMYK output will be explained here soon.

If the amount of data in the PDF files – generated by one of the provided suggestions – becomes too large for you despite fast Internet technology, you can use Acrobat or pdfToolbox to downsample the images in the resulting PDF files or to tighten the compression method (= deteriorate quality) – or you can "on your own" define the compression of the images in XPress. In the output styles, high-quality values are already preset for this case.

Keep in mind that XPress does not have a threshold value when downsampling images: If you set 300 ppi, every image with a resulting resolution above 300 ppi will be downscaled to 300 ppi – even images with 301 ppi will be recalculated.

XPress: Importing the downloaded Output Styles

There you go:

  • XPress is started
  • Go to the menu command Edit > Output Styles...
  • In the window that opens, click on the Import... button at the bottom left.
  • In the window that opens, navigate to the file you just downloaded and unpacked and open this .xml file.
  • At any time you can delete unnecessary output styles here in this window.
  • Finally save the output styles. That's it.

The color output settings are automatically integrated into the output styles. But XPress does not display them immediately. You can only see the color output settings in XPress in the list if you have edited at least one suitable output style.

The used nomenklatura of the output styles in the download using an example::

  • 00A-B | X-4 | HQ | ISOcoated v2 300 DeviceN | 3mm – 1st block, 1st position: digit stands for selected output profile
    0 = ISO coated v2 300%
    1 = PSO coated v3
    2 = ISO coated v2
    3 = PSO uncoated v3
    4 = ISOnewspaper26v4
    usw.
  • 00A-B | X-4 | HQ | ISOcoated v2 300 DeviceN | 3mm – 1st block, 2nd position: digit stands for XPress fine-tuning in the output profile
    0 = DeviceN
    1 = AsIs+ with UDIC (Unchanged – the plus sign stands for Preserve Spot Inks – with "Use Device Independent Color")
    2 = AsIs+ (Unchanged – the plus sign stands for Preserve Spot Inks)
    3 = CMYK+  (the plus sign stands for Preserve Spot Inks)
    4 = CMYK
    usw.
  • 00A-B | X-4 | HQ | ISOcoated v2 300 DeviceN | 3mm – 1st block, 3rd position: character stands for output setting variations such as validation to X, compression of images and transparency/shadow settings, bleed, etc.
    A = X-4, highest image quality and 3 mm bleed
    B = X-4, highest image quality and 0 mm bleed
    C = X-4, highest JPG quality and 3 mm bleed
    D = X-4, highest JPG quality and 0 mm bleed
    E = X-1a, highest image quality and 3 mm bleed
    F = X-1a, highest image quality and 0 mm bleed
    etc.
  • 00A-B | X-4 | HQ | ISOcoated v2 300 DeviceN | 3mm – 1st block, 5th position: character stands for Revision
    A = 1. Revision – may be supplemented by subversions
    B = 2. Revision
    etc.
  • 00A-B | X-4 | HQ | ISOcoated v2 300 DeviceN | 3mm – 2nd block stands for PDF specification and/or transparency information
    X-4 = Validation on X-4
    X-1a = Validation on X-1a
    tsp = Transparent output without X-verification
    flat = Non-transparent output without X-verification
    A2-u = Validierung on A-2u
    etc.
  • 00A-B | X-4 | HQ | ISOcoated v2 300 DeviceN | 3mm – 3rd block stands for image compression and matching transparency/shadow setting
    HQ = no downsampling of images, lossless image compression, high resolution shadows
    JPGmax = no downsampling of the images, JPG image compression in highest quality, shadows with high resolution
    JPGmax 300 = Downsampling of the halftone images to 300dpi, JPG image compression in highest quality, shadows with matching resolution
    etc.
  • 00A-B | X-4 | HQ | ISOcoated v2 300 DeviceN |  3mm – 4th block stands for summarized and written out color output settings of the 1st and 2nd position of the 1st block.
  • 00A-B | X-4 | HQ | ISOcoated v2 300 DeviceN | 3mm5th block stands for bleed values and whether register marks are used.

In a 3rd part the setting of the ColorManagements in XPress will be described soon.

In a 4th part the checking of created PDF files will be described soon.