Ghent PDF Workgroup

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The Ghent PDF Workgroup[1], also known as the GWG, is an international assembly of user associations, software vendors, end users and educational institutions from the publishing industry. The goal of the GWG is to establish and disseminate specifications for best practices for the graphic arts industry at large.

Since its inception in 2002, the GWG has created best practice guidelines for several different aspects of graphic arts workflows. On the theoretical side, the group has created specifications for PDF files used in different graphic arts market segments, job tickets, color management setups and more. On the practical side those theoretical specifications were accompanied were possible with freely downloadable settings for popular desktop publishing applications such as Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, Enfocus PitStop Professional and more.

The GWG has also published several white papers and the Ghent Output Suite, used to test the ability of workflows to correctly handle PDF files in typical production workflows.



In 2002, industry associations representing printers and publishers in Belgium and the Netherlands started to standardize how PDF files should look when they were delivered for publication or print. During that process the desire grew to also make it easy to exchange PDF files across borders. In June 2002, the Ghent PDF Workgroup was founded to help make the standardization process easier and to come to one international set of standards. Enfocus Software, one of the leading quality control (preflight) vendors in graphic arts, was the driving force behind the birth of the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

Industry associations joined the group in increasing numbers and two years after its inception the GWG was also opened up to other graphic arts software vendors. The work of the group also started to expand quickly from it original focus on quality control to other areas like packaging specific workflows and job ticket standards.

End 2007, the GWG consists of more than 20 industry associations worldwide and over 20 graphic arts software vendors.

Executive Committee

The work of the Ghent PDF Workgroup is overseen and directed by its Executive Committee, consisting of seven industry professionals. Each member of this committee is elected for a term of two years by the members of the group.


  1. Newspapers and Technology on the foundation of the Ghent PDF Workgroup

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