Frequently asked questions

Adobe PDF Print Engine is a Software Development Kit (SDK) that renders PDF job content. It converts graphics, text, and images to rasters to drive digital presses, wide-format printers, label printers, and plate setters.  PDF Print Engine is built into prepress solutions offered by an Adobe print solution partner.  View our partner list.

Mercury is a parallel processing framework that harnesses multiple instances of PDF Print Engine in tandem. It runs on multiple CPU cores, blades, networked systems, and RIP farms and can concurrently drive multiple presses. Mercury dynamically assigns job surfaces to available instances. It is well-suited to variable data printing (VDP) jobs in packaging, industrial printing, direct mail, and customer correspondence. Over 20 products are certified on the Mercury RIP Architecture. To learn more, click here.

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 was published in 2020. PDF/VT is officially named ISO 16612 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.” VDP applications generate PDF/VT files. The latest version is PDF/VT-3, which is built on PDF/X-6.

The latest version of the PDF Print Engine (6.x) builds on years of groundbreaking features, performance improvements, and innovative architecture. New features include streamlined processing for Expanded Color Gamut printing (ECG), spectral brand colors, sophisticated image scaling, integrated graphics & manufacturing, derived plates/planes, enhanced VDP (Variable Data Print), center pixel lookup marking for images, and support for the Mac M1 platform (Universal Architecture). To learn more, click here.

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