The use of variable data printing is expanding across multiple sectors of the print industry, from its roots in transactional, through commercial, wide format, labels, packaging and into industrial print. It’s one of the key reasons for adoption of digital printing and can help the print service provider, converter or manufacturer to increase their profitability.
But that profitability often requires that the digital press is kept running at full engine speed, and the way in which a variable data PDF file has been designed and constructed can have a significant influence on whether that’s possible or not. The same visual appearance can be achieved on the print from a variety of different ways of constructing the file. Some of those ways will be much more efficiently processed in the Digital Front End (DFE) for the press than others.
This guide, and its companion for developers (Best Practice in creating PDF files for variable data printing - Developer Edition), are therefore intended to help you, as a designer, composition tool operator or software vendor, to avoid creating inefficient PDF files.
This document was developed under the auspices of the PDF Association's Print Product Metadata Liaison Working Group (LWG) and the PDF/VT Technical Working Group (TWG).