Frequently asked questions

Adobe PDF Print Engine

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 6 of Adobe PDF Print Engine?

Version 6 of PDF Print Engine builds on 16 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 and manufacturing, derived plates/planes, enhanced VDP (Variable Data Print). For details, please visit

What is the Mercury RIP Architecture?

Mercury is a parallel processing framework that harnesses multiple instances of PDF Print Engine in tandem. Mercury runs on multiple CPU cores, multiple blades, networked systems, 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. For details, please visit Over 20 products are certified on the Mercury RIP Architecture.

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 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.” 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 partner list 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