How to prepare the data


After years of experience in data preparation for print production, we have decided to provide printers with instructions and set clear guidelines for handing over data and proofs for printing with PBtisk. Internationally valid standards are the foundation stone of these guidelines.

The first goal is to simplify the delivery of data for print production and thus save time, prevent complications and foresee possible misunderstandings for both the printer and (primarily) the customer, as well as the graphic studio which prepares the data for the customer.

The second goal, one of equal importance, is providing the data creator with instructions as to the form in which the data should be generated and proofs made to achieve colour fidelity in print production, which is or should be a goal of every professional working in the graphics industry.

The following points are based upon the offset printing standards contained in “Process Standard Offsetdruck 2001, 2003“ and Medienstandard Druck 2003 (Bundesverband Druck und Medien e.V., 2001, 2003 Wiesbaden)


1. Specifications for data provided

1.1 File format

Accepted data files:

Composite PDF/X-3 (1) - file suffix: .PDF

PDF file must be version 1.3

Embed the typeface in the document along with the image data. Avoid using OPI commentaries! The typefaces used may be of the following standards: Type1, TrueType, and Opentype. As a matter of principle, the data is provided as a composite (not separated). Formats other than PDF are accepted only after prior agreement.

The PDF provided file should especially not contain any kind of meta-information, hypertext link, etc.


1.1.1 Creating the composite PDF/X-3

PDF/X-3 files may be generated directly using recent versions of layout programs (i.e., InDesign CS, CS2.

Another possibility for creating a PDF/X-3 is with Acrobat Distiller (version 6.0 and later)

Distiller options for Acrobat Distiller to create the required PDF/X-3 are available for download in folder "Download".
PDF/X-3 files may, starting with version 6, be directly created using Acrobat Distiller.

1.2 Setting the page size and padding

Always set the document in a DTP program using the final trim page format. All items on the page overlapping the trim size must have at least a 3mm bleed and 3mm safety zone (i.e., a zone within the page in which no text or important objects will be placed).
Set the page format properly in the document (using TRIMBOX, BLEEDBOX). Once this has been done, the document should then not contain any other marks (crop marks, registration marks, etc.)
If the application used to create the PDF file does not allow page formats to be set, the format must be defined using crop marks. In this case, the registration and crop marks must be centred and placed at a distance of 15pts from the final trim page format.


1.3 Form for data provided

Data must be provided in individual pages (i.e., double pages are not acceptable). The number of pages in an individual PDF file is completely irrelevant. This is limited only by file size – max. 2GB.

Provide the data in the smallest number of files possible. The files should be named in such a way that the sequence of individual files is clear from their names (i.e., section 001-120.pdf, section 121-192.pdf, ...) Avoid any additional modifications or merging of the final PDF files.


If the data from one part of the commission (i.e. a book section) is provided in several PDF files, it is absolutely necessary that all files be created using identical settings (format, trim box, bleedbox, and crop marks)!!!


1.4 Image differentiation

To provide you good quality and to avoid unnecessarily long RIP data processing time, please use the following resolutions:

150lpi (2) raster images in colour and shades of grey – 300dpi, line blocks (1.bit images) – 1200dpi
175lpi (3) raster images in colour and shades of grey – 350dpi, line blocks (1.bit images) – 1400dpi
200lpi raster images in colour and shades of grey – 400dpi, line blocks (1.bit images) – 1600dpi


1.5 Colour space

RGB entry

In a working process in which the input data is in the RGB colour space and does not contain the source equipment profile, follow these instructions (4):

  1. Transfer: Source profile (none) -> target profile (ECI-RGB.icc)

  2. Carry out all colour corrections and data modification (for soft proofing, use such an ICC profile from PBtisk corresponding to the applicable print specifications – type of paper, resolution)

  3. Transfer: Source profile (ECI-RGB.icc) -> target profile (ISO *** 2007.icc)(5)


CMYK entry

In a working process where the input data is in the CMYK colour space, follow these instructions:

  1. Carry out all data corrections and modifications

  2. Transfer: Source profile (source ICC-profile) -> target profile (ISO *** 2007.icc)

All colour objects which are not part of the data provided must be in a colour space and must contain those colours which correspond to the desired print (i.e., CMYK + Pantone) and vice versa – data should not contain colours which are not to be printed (i.e., a CMYK-only print file should not contain Pantone colours)
The data provided should not contain other colour management details than those described above (i.e., ICC tags coming from Acrobat Distiller), lest other unwanted colour changes occur.

1.6 Tone range and black modifications

  • the first shade printed 4 %

  • the last shade printed 95%

  • overall colour layer 320% – 350% (depending on print paper absorbency)

  • GCR-median

1.7 Image data compression

Images contained in data may either be uncompressed on compressed using a lossless compression technique such as LZW or ZIP compression or CCIT G4.

We don’t recommend using lossy compression (i.e. JPEG), despite the fact that our equipment can work with this kind of compression. It is necessary to realize that using such a compression technique may bring a certain drop in final bitmap data quality (fairly significant when inappropriately used).

1.8 Overprinting and trapping

Check the default setting for overprinting (“overprint” and “select”, correct setting of items in the foreground or background of the page, omitting the overprint).
If the data provided contains no overprint settings, PBtisk will use standard settings, i.e., black always with overprint, white always selected and the rest as is.

1.9 Typefaces and lines

When creating your documents, please make sure the following specifications are respected:

  • a monochrome negative line min. 0.3pt; polychrome min. 0.6pt

  • a black single-colour line min. 0.2pt; polychrome min. 0.4pt

  • a monochrome negative text min. 5pt; polychrome min. 8pt

  • a black text min. 6pt

1pt = 0.376mm

1.10 Text processing

If you intend to provide data from text processing programs, we kindly ask you for prior agreement with PBtisk.


2. ICC-Profiles

Information about the ICC profiles used is a precondition for accurate colour rendition of your order and its problem-free processing.
ICC profiles for processing at PBtisk are available for download >here<, or we’ll send them to you by e-mail upon request.

If other profiles were used for data conversion than the profile recommended by our company, we cannot guarantee the colour fidelity of the resulting print in our printing office!


3. Providing Digital proofs

If you would like us to check your order against a colour print you provide, you must respect the specifications which follow in making the print.

Prints which are not made using these specifications will be taken only as guidelines in filling your order – not as binding!

3.1 Ugra/FOGRA-Medienkeil V2.0

The digital print must contain Ugra/FORGA – Medienkeil V2.0-CMYK. Colour deviations of measure values on the print made and the values defined by Ugra/FOGRA must lie within the given tolerance level. Information about tolerance, print point increase and the CIEL*a*b* values are to be found in the excel file which is part of Ugra/FOGRA – Medienkeil V2.0-CMYK.

The print process simulation must contain parts and “white paper simulation” (colour of the material printed) with Rendering Intent set on “absolute colorimetric “

3.2 Paper types and print process simulation

When making a digital print, it is necessary to take the paper to be used in the real print into consideration for the paper simulation. The following profiles may be found here or we can send them to you via e-mail upon request.

  • ISO coated 2007.icc – coated paper 175 lpi

  • ISO uncoated 2007.icc – uncoated white paper 150 lpi

  • ISO uncoated yellow 2007.icc – uncoated yellowish paper 150 lpi

Use the current ICC profile of your print as the target profile in the course of print making!

3.3 Production parameter specification

The print legend must contain the Filename, Date, Rendering Intent, Source and Target ICC profiles (recommended by PBtisk).


4. Other print variants

4.1 Offset machine sample print

If a commission which has already been printed by PBtisk within the last three years is to be reprinted, the print sample of the previous print may be used (without surface coating) as the colour template.

4.2 Analogue print

With regard to the intricacy of making a colour-fidelity analogue print (i.e., Chromalin), we will accept an analogue print as the colour-fidelity template for print only after agreement with PBtisk.


5. Data transfer

Please save all files and folders to be handed over to the printing office in a common folder. Label this folder with the commission name.
Make sure that only valid and approved data is handed over to the printing office.
Make sure you do not use any special signs in the course of labelling. Add a readme.txt file with information on further processing.

Data transfer:

  • by data storage medium (CD, DVD, ZIP, flash disk)

  • by e-mail to prijemdat@pbtisk.cz

  • via the customer section of these webpages as an attachment to an order made

  • to our ftp server; we will provide you with access information upon request

We recommend that in the course of handing your data to our printing office, you fill in the Checklist, which you can find on our webpages in the Download section. Before sending it, you can easily check by yourself whether your data is prepared the right way.


6. Data completeness

It is necessary that all data and colour templates (digital prints) are complete when handed over for printing.
In view of the fact that the PDF file provided should represent the customer’s final idea about the piece of work, PBtisk has no right to intentionally change the data. This is possible only upon the specific written request of the customer.

Data preparation contact persons


1. In exceptional cases, it is possible to provide us with a composite PDF file

2. Standard resolution used by PBtisk for uncoated paper printing

3. Standard resolution used by by PBtisk for coated paper printing

4. If the input data already contains the source ICC profile, progress from point 2.

5. The target profile must be the same as that used for the soft proof and must take the pertinent printing specifications into consideration (paper, resolution)



Copyright © 2016 PBtisk a.s., Delostrelecka 344, 261 01 Pribram,
Phone: +420 318 493 711, E-mail: info@pbtisk.cz

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