Ghent PDF Output Suite

The Ghent PDF Output Suite was created by the Ghent Workgroup so people can test whether an application or RIP software correctly handles all important PDF features. It consists of a range of small test "patches"; each patch being a small PDF file that aims at testing a specific PDF feature. These patches can be used by themselves, but more often they are grouped together to test related functionality in one go.

Why is this important for pdfToolbox?

In pdfToolbox Desktop you can open PDF files, inspect them and work with them. In pdfToolbox Desktop as well as in the automated versions of pdfToolbox (Server, CLI and SDK), you can convert PDF files into images. The built-in rasteriser supports output to JPEG, PNG, TIFF or rasterised PDF documents. Additionally there are many internal functions that use rasterisation (for example during preflight).

This means that the quality of this rasterisation is quite important, and a perfect way to test this is to make sure pdfToolbox is compliant to the Ghent PDF Output Suite.

Setting up pdfToolbox correctly

So what do you need to do in order to make pdfToolbox behave correctly and ensure that PDF files are handled correctly? The good news is that you don't really need to do anything, with a few small notes:

  • When opening PDF files in pdfToolbox Desktop, they will always be displayed correctly. No sweat.
  • When generating images in pdfToolbox Desktop, Server, CLI or SDK, the only thing you have to ensure is that you switch on the "Simulate overprinting" setting (which really is something you always should do anyway to get decent rasterisation.

That's it - nothing more to do.

Setup for pdfToolbox Desktop - Image export

Make sure the "Simulate overprinting" checkbox is enabled:

Setup for the automated versions of pdfToolbox

Nothing! By default overprint simulation is always used. There is a command-line switch to turn it off so the only thing you have to do is making sure you don't use that...

Can I test this myself?

Of course, just download the Ghent PDF Output Suite files from the Ghent Workgroup web site - they are 100% free. Once you have them, open individual patches or the combined pages in pdfToolbox Desktop, or use any of the different ways to generate images from them. You'll see all of the patches pass the test.