How to Create a PDF/ X-1a File

Written by jen miller
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How to Create a PDF/ X-1a File
(Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Use Adobe Acrobat to create PDF/X-1a files. A PDF/X-compliant PDF meets defined requirements in the graphics arts industry so that PDFs can be exchanged reliably. In a PDF/X-1a document, all contents and resources on a page are embedded in the PDF, and the PDF cannot contain transparency or layers. PDF/X-1a supports only CMYK and spot colours.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Adobe Acrobat Standard, Adobe Acrobat Pro, or Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended

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  1. 1

    In Adobe Acrobat, click "Advanced" and choose "Preflight...".

  2. 2

    Click the "Profiles" button and select the "PDF/X compliance" option to expand it.

  3. 3

    Select the PDF/X-1a profile that you want to use and click "Analyze and Fix." Acrobat verifies that the PDF meets the compliance criteria for the PDF/X-1a standard you selected. If the PDF is compliant, Acrobat prompts you to save the file in a location you specify. If it is not compliant, Acrobat fixes any problems and prompts you to save the file.

  1. 1

    In Adobe Acrobat, click "Advanced" and choose "Preflight...".

  2. 2

    Click the "Standards" tab, select the "Save as PDF/X" radio button, and click "Continue."

  3. 3

    Click the "Save as PDF-X/1a" radio button and click "Continue...".

  4. 4

    Check the "Create PDF/X-a1 according to the following PDF/X-1a conversion profile" check box and select the PDF/X-1a conversion profile you want to use. Check the "Apply corrections" check box so that Acrobat automatically applies corrections to verify that the PDF meets the compliance criteria.

  5. 5

    Click "Save as..." to save the file using the criteria of the selected profile. Acrobat prompts save the PDF in a directory of your choosing.

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