How to process the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 using Apogee Prepress v10

The Ghent PDF Output Suite is set of test patches based on the ISO PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3 and PDF/X-4 standards. These patches help users in the graphic arts industry determine if their workflow processes PDF files properly. In today’s complex digital prepress environments, application settings and RIP settings can have a significant effect on the printed end results.

GWG Output Suite

The output suite is created by the GWG or Ghent Workgroup, an international organization made up of graphic arts users, associations & developers building best practices for publishing workflows. This page describes how to process the Ghent PDF Output Suite using Apogee Prepress 10, the prepress workflow solution of Agfa Graphics. The PDF Output Suite can be downloaded from the GWG website. You will also find a white paper and technical documentation there.


The following components are needed to process the test patches of the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0:

  • Apogee Prepress 10 (build 10.69.0)
  • Essential Fixes 3 and Hotfix 773862 (can be installed using UpdateManager)

Please contact your local Agfa sales or service representative if your workflow system does not have the above-mentioned software components.

Apogee job ticket settings

There are two Task Processors that need to be configured properly for processing the Ghent PDF Output Suite: the PDF Render Task Processor and the Press Task Processor.

Settings for the PDF Render Task Processor

The screen capture below shows the recommended settings for the PDF Render Task Processor. In the configuration screen for the Render settings the CMS mode must be set to ‘Document Based’.

Apogee Prepress PDF Render settings

Separate settings

The Ghent PDF Output Suite can be rendered with either ‘Convert’ or ‘Keep’ policies for the included spot colors. Since the PDF Render Task processor controls Emulate Overprint, it is important that you do not change the default ‘Automatic’ setting.

Apogee Prepress separation settings

Render – Color Management settings

The PDF/X standards clearly document how objects within a PDF can be defined in terms of color settings and how consuming software should apply color conversions on the objects within the PDF. In this step, it is crucial that the output intent profile serves as a destination profile. Ideally, it should be the same as the actual press profile.

To enable correct processing by the PDF Render Task Processor it is advised to use ‘Document based CMS’ mode because this guarantees that the PDF Render Task Processor converts the input document correctly to the document output intent. The Input Color Conversion honors all the embedded attributes, such as color profiles, overprint settings, transparencies, layers (more precisely PDF optional content groups – OCG).

The above  production plan shows the recommended CMS settings.

Settings for the Press Task Processor

In the PDF Render and Press Task Processors you can still do output color conversion. This means you can use InkSave or do last-minute press repurposing. The screen capture below  shows InkSave activated in the Press tab settings of the Generic Press Task processor.

Apogee Prepress press settings

The use of ‘Document based’ CMS ensures that all these attributes behave as intended by the designer of the source PDF documents. The result can be compared to the visual result in Adobe Acrobat Pro with the ‘Simulate Overprint’ setting enabled (Tools > Output Preview).

Output color conversion after flattening

Apogee Prepress 9 and later can apply color conversions after flattening, which enables the workflow to process the GWG PDF Output Suite correctly if an output color conversion is enabled. The ‘Apply color conversion after flattening’ option triggers the color conversion (e.g. InkSave or Press Repurposing or even both combined) after resolving overprints, transparencies, and mixing of converted spot colors.

Rendered results

The screen capture below shows the results of using correct rendering settings in Apogee Prepress 10 when using an ISOcoated V2 profile.

Additional information

Previous releases of Apogee Prepress were tested with older versions of the GWG Output Suite. Separate pages describe processing the Ghent PDF Output Suite with Apogee Prepress 8.0 and Apogee Prepress 9.2. To discuss the use of PDF/X-4 and share your experiences working with PDF files in Apogee Prepress, join the Apogee Network forum.

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