Today I am going to talk about the benefits of converting files to PDF/X for printing. We all know that we should include our fonts and images and make sure all of our links are good. We all know that we need to convert our images to CMYK and include appropriate bleeds. BUT…how many times have we forgotten to do one or more of these steps?
We all have had conversations with our printers about what we forgot to include in our files. This is exactly why we should be converting our files to PDF/X complient files. Even if we are not going to send our printer the PDF/X file, it is a good method of pre-flighting to ensure your files print well.
PDF/X files are pdfs that contain standards for high-end press printing. Before you can save the file, Acrobat, or Distiller checks your native file against these standards and any errors are brought to your attention. This way, if your file is missing a font, or a link, it will tell you and you can fix it. PDF/X 4 will actually convert RGB and LAB images to CMYK for you, should you forget to do this step while creating the artwork. Distiller also has many options for using PDF/X in its pre-flight options, which you can tailor to the specs of your printers.
Overall, PDF/X is a great tool to ensure that you have everything in order because it is fast and it will tell you all the issues with your file in one convenient place. This will give you the opportunity to fix any issues before you send it to print.
I hope this was helpful.