New Standard to Address PDF, Variable-Data Workflows

ISO 16612-2 (PDF/VT), a standard currently in draft stages, is under development by a committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) whose goal is to define a variable-data printing (VDP) job-exchange format. ISO 16612-2 (PDF/VT) will specify how to use the Portable Document Format (PDF) to define and exchange all content elements and supporting metadata to produce predictable output for variable or transactional document content.

PDF/VT (Variable Transactional) is designed to enable variable-data printing in a variety of environments and is a modern PDF format that builds on new ISO standards for print job exchange [PDF/X-4 (ISO 15930-7) and PDF/X-5 (ISO 15930-8)].  It will also support the full graphics model of PDF 1.6, which includes transparency, ICC-based color management, and layers.  PDF/VT is designed for use with JDF, or a similar job-ticket format, in a production environment to define a print product and corresponding process.

Committee members involved in the PDF/VT standard development include hardware and software vendors, commercial printers, and other industry stakeholders. NPES, the Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, coordinates the activities of the US-based representatives. The committee held a meeting from April 14-15 in Paris, France, during which it discussed details of Draft 6 of the standard. Further deliberations are planned for its next meeting in Amsterdam in September, 2008. For more information, contact NPES, 1899 Preston White Dr., Reston, VA 20191, 703-264-7200, fax: 703-620-0994, Web:

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