Why Adobe won't save in PDF/X-1a:2001 format
May 10, 2019 11:31 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to upload a .pdf file to a publisher. They require the file to be in a specific .pdf format. I have been on the phone with both the publisher and Adobe for days. Neither has been able to help me convert the file to the format the publisher needs. Has anybody else had this problem and what did you do to fix if? Is it fixable?

The file was created/printed from an Adobe InDesign document. Originally, the printer's software identified two errors when I uploaded the file; two glyphs that I had to first delete. I removed the glyphs, and tried to save the file in this format but it won't do it. Other .pdf formats save OK but not what the printer needs. Adobe tell me the neither the conversion from ID to an Acrobat .pdf, or the conversion to this obscure format the printer needs should be a problem. The file saves, then it applies "fixups." That is where it seems to get hung up. The file is 263 MB, but Adobe tells me file size shouldn't make any difference but yet, they can't seem to make it work and have elevated my problem to their next level of technicians. A smaller, 2 MB test file created by an Adobe agent saved fine.

I'm waiting for Adobe's second promised to call me to happen. I haven't gotten that call yet either. In the meantime, I can't upload my file, and the printer can begin what I've hired them to do. This is the default format the printer requires for all of its customers, I can't be the only one who has had this problem. Help.
posted by CollectiveMind to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Is this for Snowfall? Even if not, these instructions have been useful to me in the past. Also are you sure there is no other dis-allowed "active" X content in the file?
posted by DarlingBri at 1:14 PM on May 10

Do you still have access to the InDesign file? You can export directly to an X1a format from InDesign. This is actually the best way to do this, and x1a is a pretty standard format needed by printers, not obscure by any means (at least in North America).

In InDesign, go to File>Export. For the format, choose Adobe PDF (Print). Name your file and choose your location. Hit Save. In the print dialog box, at the top, choose [PDF/X-1a:2001] as the Adobe PDF Preset. You shouldn't need to make any further adjustments, unless the printer requests crop and bleed marks, for example. Hit Export, and let it run. The pdf it creates will be X1a compliant.

Is your InDesign file full of graphic and a lot of pages? 263 MB is quite large for a pdf unless it's very graphic-intense.
posted by hydra77 at 2:04 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]

If this is related to this question, and you don't have access to the original InDesign file, Adobe Acrobat Pro will allow you to convert a pdf to a PDFx1a file. (there are actually multiple ways to do this in Acrobat Pro)
posted by hydra77 at 2:15 PM on May 10

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