Using Profiles

General profile options

pdfToolbox [-r=r] [-l=l] [-p=p] [-o=o] [-f=f] [-w] [-t] [--hitsperpage=hitsperpage] [--hitsperdoc=hitsperdoc] [--setvariable=setvariable] [--cachefolder=cachefolder] [-s=s] [--incremental] [--analyze] [--noprogress] [--nosummary] [--nohits] [--uncompressimg] [--certify] [--timeout=timeout]
<profile> <input file> [<input file> [...] ]

Disable fixups


Disable execution of fixups defined in the used profile. Only defined
checks are carried out.



Do not show progress information in Standard output (stdout) during processing.


Do not show detailed hit information in Standard output (stdout) during processing.


Do not show summary of hits and fixups in Standard output (stdout) at the end of processing.

Analyze image data


Images get uncompressed during the checking to allow a proper calculation of used colorants. This option may increase the processing time depending on the amount of images contained in the processed PDFs.



Embed a Preflight certificate (also known as "Audit Trail") after processing.

Using dynamic profiles

A pdfToolbox profile may contain variable values which can be exchanged during runtime. For more details on setting up those dynamic profiles please see section "Use of kfpx Profiles" in the callas pdfEngine Reference.


Lists all variables defined in a kfpx profile.


Set variable 'KEY' to 'VALUE' in the provided profile.


Sets all variables contained in the JSON file in the provided profile. JSON file can be exported when processing files in the Desktop version in the variables ask-at-runtime dialog. (pdfToolbox 9.3 and later)


Switches off listing of variables.

To export variables used in a Profile to a JSON file (together with more details about the profile), please use Enumerate Profiles.



identifier used in dynamic profile
value to be set for this key
path to a JSON file containing variables

If you want to use values containing spaces, you either have to put the string into quotes or escape the space character (e.g. "Pantone 300 U" or Pantone\ 300\ U).


pdfToolbox --listvariables <profile>
pdfToolbox --setvariable=RESOLUTION:300 

The following characters need to be escaped with \:


Using response files

To keep the command line call structured and straightforward, pdfToolbox
CLI supports the usage of response files. These offer the possibility to
define each command line switch line by line and also add some comments.

Response file variables.rsp:

# Set resolution
--setvariable=PROFILENAME:Prepress profile v7.0

If strings are used in the response file, they shall not be escaped (--setvariable=PROFILENAME:"Prepress profile v7.0").
Using different responsefiles enables the easy definition of own, localized sets of strings for names of Profiles, Fixups and Checks as well as different settings for processing PDFs for different output environments.
Command line call:

pdfToolbox @<absolute path to variables.rsp> <profile> <PDF file>

Provided profiles

In order to generate, modify or view pdToolbox profiles you need the
Desktop version of pdfToolbox.
pdfToolbox CLI is able to work with all profiles set up with pdfToolbox Plug-In or Standalone. Profiles delivered with pdfToolbox CLI may be edited as well. In order to use a certain profile you will have to export it as a profile package (*.kfpx -file). For further details on setting up a profile see "Use of kfpx Profiles" in the callas pdfEngine Reference.
pdfToolbox CLI gets shipped with a set of predefined profiles stored in logical groups within <Application folder>/var/Profiles:

Acrobat PDF version compatibility
Profiles for checking the compatibility of a file to a specified Acrobat version

Convert colors
Profiles to perform color conversions
To perform a color conversion using the DeviceLink profiles available as payable option of pdfToolbox, you have to have a valid license for the callas DeviceLink Add-on. The list of provided profiles can be found in section "DeviceLink Profiles" of "callas pdfEngine Reference".

Create PDF layers
Profiles to put specified objects to different layers

Digital printing and online publishing
Profiles to optimize PDF files for digital printing or online publishing

PDF analysis
Profiles for general analysis of the PDF and its objects (e.g. number of
plates, image resolution etc.)

PDF fixups
Profiles for modifying the contents of a PDF (e.g. downsampling of
images, embedding of fonts etc.)

PDFA compliance
Profiles for verifying compliancy with and converting to PDF/A

PDFE compliance
Profiles for verifying compliancy with and converting to PDF/E

PDFUA compliance
Profiles for verifying compliancy with and converting to PDF/UA

PDFVT compliance
Profiles for verifying compliancy with and converting to PDF/VT

PDFX compliance
Profiles for verifying compliancy with and converting to PDF/X

Profiles based on the recommendations of the Ghent PDF Workgroup that are based on PDF/X and specify further requirements for various printing conditions. For more information see:

Place content
Sample Profiles for placing various content (like text, barcodes or content based on a HTML template) on a page. Please use the Desktop version for configuration of custom Profiles.

Preflight Certificate
Profile to validate the existence and validity of a Preflight Certificate in the PDF document.

Processplans as examples how to use the dynamically controlled combination
of Profiles, Fixups, Checks and Actions.


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