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About the contributor
Olaf Drümmer

Olaf Drümmer is founder and managing director of callas software, a Berlin/Germany based company specializing in PDF analysis and processing, and of axaio software, developer of software extensions for Adobe Indesign and QuarkXPress. In addition he has been actively involved in the development of PDF standards within ISO since 1999.
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PDF 2.0 examples now available

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PDF 2.0 interops help vendors

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PDF/VT Special Interest Group (SIG) Captures Limelight for High-Volume Transaction Printing


April 8, 2011 (Berlin) – The PDF/A Competence Center, already known for its promotion of the flexible file format for archiving electronic documents, is now launching a Special Interest Group for PDF/VT, a standard of interest to variable data and transactional printers. With the launch of the PDF/VT SIG, the PDF/A Competence Center has diversified its PDF expertise to embrace another increasingly relevant data format. The new SIG acts as a platform for the exchange of experiences of manufacturers and for conducting interoperability tests around the PDF/VT format. In addition, the considerable know-how of the SIG will soon be available in the form of white papers, webinars and other educational materials. The aim of the PDF/A Competence Center is to ensure the widest possible recognition of PDF/VT.

Published in August 2010 by the ISO, the International Standard offers numerous advantages over previous formats for variable data printing, particularly a very high degree of interoperability. It also makes the known benefits of the popular PDF format available to the world of personalized printing. This includes the option for long-term archiving, as PDF/VT can seamlessly be converted to the PDF/A format.

What Is PDF/VT?

PDF/VT – in which “V” stands for “variable” data printing and “T” for “transactional” printing – introduces the concept of encapsulated graphical objects to support the efficient processing of recurring content (text, graphic or image) to avoid unnecessary duplication and to achieve maximum print speeds. In addition, the standard defines the use of Document Part Metadata (DPM) framework, to allow reliable and dynamic page management, metadata driven output control, and flexible postage optimization.

PDF is the optimized transactional exchange format for Variable Data Printing (VDP). PDF/VT is the first variable data format that allows modern ICC (International Color Consortium) color management and makes use of ICC output intents as introduced in the PDF/X-4 standard.

PDF/VT from the Perspective of the PDF/A Competence Center

The PDF/A Competence Center’s new SIG underscores the importance of a standard for personalized mass printing. Especially for graphically complex VDP jobs, the fledgling PDF/VT format offers interesting potential for simplified and accelerated procedures in this complex environment. Since it’s based on the widely used PDF ISO standard, many well-known benefits of PDF are now available in high-volume transaction printing. Moreover, it is easy to convert to PDF/A format.

Objectives of the PDF/VT SIG

With the PDF/VT SIG, the PDF/A Competence Center has created a platform to enable manufacturers to exchange experiences, and promote the best possible implementation, quality and interoperability. The SIG will provide comprehensive information about PDF/VT for manufacturers, and their users, offering a substantive understanding of applications and benefits.

The new PDF/A Competence Center SIG will launch this month, providing interested parties with white papers, webinars and information on tools and solutions offered by numerous manufacturers who announced their support of PDF/VT in 2010.

“PDF/VT is extremely exciting because it combines the possibility of sophisticated design with the requirements of high-performance variable data printing in a very modern way,” says Olaf Drümmer, PDF/A Competence Center Chairman, and a driving force for development of PDF/VT standard. “It provides companies with a tool to bring together visually sophisticated marketing, personalization and cost optimization.”


Tags: Output Management, Transactional printing, VDP, Variable data printing
Categories: PDF/VT