PDF/X, though related to PDF, is a hybrid designed specifically for prepress file exchange. Whereas PDF formats offer many of these same advantages, they are not always best-suited for graphic arts environments. Instead, PDF/X outputs higher-quality files, fast becoming the preferred format among graphic designers and advertising agencies.
PDF/X-1 contains both content and technical information within a single file. For instance, publishers outlining ad acceptance standards to agencies and prepress houses do not need additional technical data for file delivery. But the ANSI/CGATS standard is limited to colors defined in CMYK spaces only. Additionally, PDF/X-1a, a division of PDF/X-1, and automatically embeds files with TIFF, TIFF/IT, EPS or DCS files.
PDF/X-2 is designed for exchanges between suppliers and receivers of files, in a case where a file receiver doesn't require embedded fonts or already stores high-resolution images with low-resolution previews. PDF/X-2 also supports device-independent color spaces.
For more information on digital file standards, visit the following Web sites: