This section of ISO 19005-1 addresses issues concerning the rendering of content that does
not involve fonts or interactive elements. It is derived from the PDF/X-3 specification.
The PDF/A standards require that all data in a file be prepared for a single target
printing/viewing condition, thus insuring consistently renderable color. This condition must be
identified using an OutputIntent, as described in PDF Reference, which includes an ICC
profile, through which all device-dependant colors will be mapped.
ISO 19005-1:2005 recommends that the value of the Info key in an output intent dictionary be
used to carry be a description of the characterized printing condition in a form that will be
meaningful to a human operator at the site receiving the exchanged file. In addition, it is
recommended that you also use the OutputCondition key for this information as well.
Note that the PDF Reference states that the Info key is required if “OutputConditionIdentifier
does not specify a standard production condition.” While it is not clear exactly what is meant
in that document by a standard production condition, the requirement that a PDF/A-1 file also
be a valid PDF file means that it is safest to use the Info key as well as the OutputCondition
key in output intent dictionaries.
PDF/A-1 validation tools or applications that wish to produce a single PDF that is compliant
with both PDF/A-1 and PDF/X-3 should take special note of section 6.2.2 and the handling of
multiple DestOutputProfile values.
As described in ISO 19005-1, all colors must be either Device Independent or must match the
colour space of the Output Intent profile. In addition, Separation (Spot) and DeviceN colors
may be used, provided they meet the requirements set forth in the spec.
If color management is to be applied to a PDF/A-1 file during rendering, care should be taken
to apply the same processing to images and vector objects unless different rendering intents
have been explicitly selected for them. This will ensure that vector objects intended to match
parts of an image will do so.
When a color is specified as ICCBased, the embedded profile is required to be compliant with
the PDF 1.4 specification (22.214.171.124). This would only allow for ICC version 3 profiles, and
therefore producers and consumers should be sure to validate the version of the profile.
In addition to the stipulations in the spec, writers of PDF/A-1 consuming applications should
be aware that the rendering intent for an image can come not only from the Intent key in the
Image XObject dictionary, but also from the current (extended) graphics state.