Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Adobe PDF Print Engine
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What is Adobe PDF Print Engine? 

Adobe PDF Print Engine is a Software Development Kit (SDK) that renders PDF job content. It converts graphics, text and images to rasters for driving digital presses, wide-format printers, label printers, and plate setters.

What is new in version 5.5 of Adobe PDF Print Engine?

Adobe distributes point releases to our solution partners between major versions of PDF Print Engine. Two years after the launch of version 5, Adobe released version 5.5 which introduced important new features that will improve print quality reproduction in packaging and large format printing.

Text rendering in PDF Print Engine uses CoolType, the same technology as that used to display text in Adobe Creative Cloud applications and Adobe Acrobat DC. However, in some packaging workflows, live text is converted to outlined graphics. To address such jobs, version 5.5 of PDF Print Engine introduces Fine Line Rendering—a new algorithm for rendering graphic elements, including outlined text and barcodes. It produces a lighter, cleaner appearance of very fine lines and small point size text that has been outlined. Fine Line Rendering provides a powerful new option for rendering content in several job segments: packaging, security printing, mapping, and architecture.

What is the Mercury RIP Architecture?

Mercury is a parallel processing framework that harnesses multiple instances of PDF Print Engine in tandem. It dynamically assigns job surfaces to available instances. The Mercury RIP Architecture is well-suited to variable data printing (VDP) jobs in packaging, industrial printing, direct mail, and transpromo communications (more info).

What is PDF/X and PDF/VT?

PDF/X is an international standard, officially named ISO 15930. The standard specifies the optimal way to construct a PDF file for commercial printing. The “X” stands for “eXchange.” PDF/X files are exported by design applications such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. The latest version is PDF/X-6, which is expected to be published in 2020.

PDF/VT is officially named ISO 16612-2. This standard is built on PDF/X and specifies the optimal way to construct a PDF file for VDP. The “V” stands for “Variable, and the “T” stands for “Transactional.” PDF/VT files are generated by VDP applications. The latest version is PDF/VT-3, which is built on PDF/X-6.

How can I buy Adobe PDF Print Engine?

PDF Print Engine is built into prepress solutions offered by an Adobe print solution partner.

View our list of customers here.

How can my company incorporate PDF Print Engine into its offerings?

If your company manufactures printing equipment or develops DFE software for rasterizing PDF files, please email us to learn about partnering with Adobe.

If you have any questions, write to us at