Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech)

Tools & Best Practices


ISO 20616-1 This part of the series specifies an extensible file format in conformity with W3C Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0, for the exchange of print quality requirements data and metadata between print quality control applications including, but not limited to, print quality management systems.


ISO 17972 This series defines methods for the use of CxF3 to exchange measurement data and associated metadata within the graphic arts industry and for the exchange of files between graphic arts users. It is a multi-part document where each part is intended to respond to different workflow requirements. The goal throughout the various parts of ISO 17972 has been to maintain the degree of flexibility required while minimizing the uncertainty of the data exchange.


ISO 19005-1 This part of the series is an electronic file format for long-term file preservation/archiving.


ISO 15930 This is a series of standards focused on PDF/X. An application standard as well as a file format standard providing a focused subset of PDF designed specifically for reliable prepress data exchange. This page provides application notes, Adobe PDF references, Errata for PDF reference, the Adobe PDF reference manual, XMP-Extensible Metadata Platforms 2001 – 2005, technical notes, and a FAQ document.


ISO 12639 Tagged Image File Format for Information Technology. A tag-based file format for storing and interchanging both raster and vector elements which is well-suited to scanned graphics. This page contains the TIFF 6.0 revision and a draft Technical Note that discusses problems found in TIFF's design for embedding JPEG data.


ISO 16612-1 Personalized Print Markup Language/Variable Data Exchange. A standard that specifies a way to use information in PDF format and PPML format for the exchange or identification of the elements needed to render a variable-data-printing job as intended by the person or entity that created it. This page contains the Application Notes for the standard.


ISO 16612-2 ISO 16612-2 defines the PDF/VT document format and methods to enable reliable document exchange for variable data and transactional printing. Transactional documents include invoices, statements, and documents that integrate billing information with marketing information (TransPromo). It is intended to enable those involved in variable data printing to take advantage of tools, conventions and technologies already in use. PDF/VT will simplify and streamline production workflows for Direct Mail, Transactional and TransPromo print jobs. It will simplify VDP printing in a range of environments from desktop printers to digital production presses.

XMP (ISO link)

ISO 16684-1 offers content creators an easy way to embed information about their projects. It is useful for those who wish to use XMP metadata, including developers and end-users of applications that handle metadata for any type of resource. It is based on Adobe's Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) which is a labeling technology that allows the user to embed data about a file, known as metadata, into the file itself.

GTS Name Prefix Registry (PDF)

ISO TC130 The GTS_ second class name prefix has been assigned by Adobe Systems Incorporated to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Committee for Graphic Arts Technologies Standards (CGATS). ISO TC130 requires that GTS_ keys and values used in the development of International or national PDF-based standards be registered with ANSI CGATS, who will maintain a registry on their web site. Other uses of this prefix in standards may also be registered. CGATS (and its secretariat, NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, 1899 Preston White Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191) has agreed to make the use of the GTS_ name prefix available without prejudice to accredited standards groups within the graphic technology industry and to maintain an open registry of all such uses.

Characterization Data Sets

Color Characterization Data sets that have been developed by, and are available from, ANSI/CGATS.

Computational Tools

Data Extraction and Adjustment Tools to Support ANSI/CGATS 21 Spreadsheet provided by ANSI Committee for Graphic Arts Technologies Standards (CGATS) to assist users of CGATS 21 and other printing standards to: adjust color characterization data for changes in substrate color, extract process control data such as TVI, colorimetry of solids, etc., from color characterization, or reorder color characterization data to default IT8.7/4 ID number order.

Technical Reports

A listing of technical reports that provide guidance in the following areas: Colorimetric characterization data, Tone reproduction and near-neutral gray-scale aims, Evaluation of conformance, and Characterization data for printing on newsprint, and proofing on web offset on various coated papers.

Recommended Industry Practices

A collection of several articles on characterization data set development and spectrocolorimeters along with a Sample Documentation form for Offset Lithography.

Demonstration Suites

Files that can be used by developers as part of the testing and development process.

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