"Use Color Profiles" options in PDF export

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Hi !

I'm designing some greeting cards and my printer's file requirements state that:
1) they need pdf/X-4 files in CMYK only, output intent set to GRACol2006
2) color profiles should be embedded for images

I am using scribus 1.5.3 and am confused as to what I should choose in the pdf export settings:
My files contain RGB images with an embedded sRGB profile.
So, it seems that to meet the printer's requirement I should check both "use color profiles" (to meet point 1) and "do not use embedded color profiles" (to meet point 2).
Is that correct ?  ::)

I'm thankful for your insight !



Did you find an answer to your question?

I am trying to create a PDF/X-4 with a coated ICC and all the images in CMYK but I can't seem to get the images to be created in CMYK, they are always in RGB (the printing company are telling me this). I am using Scribus 1.5.4 downloaded a week or so ago.

Any help please on which options I should use?


pdf/x-4 allows rgb files to be in the resulting pdf...

so i guess, that your question is about forcing scribus to convert all the images to cmyk despite you using pdf/x-4...
am i correct?


Yes, that is correct. The printer has asked for PDF/X-4 with a specific ICC (which I have installed am using ok) but all of the images should be saved as CMYK. I have tried playing around with some of the settings but can't understand what I need to do to achieve this. So far I have had to try and send them the PDF for them to check - I also can't see which type of images my PDF has myself.



i'm trying to find out if you can force scribus to do the conversion despite the fact that the required pdf version seems to have been created exactly for that reason: supporting color management!

if the printer wants CMYK images, there are then chances that you will have to convert the images before importing them into scribus... or use a pdf version that needs the conversion.

i will post a reply if i find out more...


From what I understand (and that is not a lot!) by reading the PDF/X-4 specification on the Adobe web-site:

"All color data can be grayscale, CMYK, named spot colors, RGB, Lab or ICC-profile based."

so I am assuming that Scribus is allowing the colour schemes to be output to the PDF when in previous versions of the PDF/X standard they would be forced to CMYK. As you say, I need to force the output to CMYK while if this is not possible, convert all images to CMYK in Scribus before the export (a big job for me as the book contains hundreds of images).

Again, thanks for any help on this.


hi lcooper

as i understand it, the scribus developers force scribus to convert colors as required by the specifications of the output format. (...and don't allow to change this in most cases.)

if your print shop asks for .pdf/x-4, but with all the content converted to a specific cmyk profile, you need to convert it in advance. if your image processor is gimp, you'll need another program for the conversion. (krita would be my choice.)

but i would first ask at the printshop what they really need. it's a bit strange to call for .pdf/x-4 when they can't handle correct .pdf/x-4 files.
if your project is free of transparency effects, you might be fine with .pdf./x-1a.



Quote from: utnik on May 26, 2018, 09:01:23 AM
but i would first ask at the printshop what they really need. it's a bit strange to call for .pdf/x-4 when they can't handle correct .pdf/x-4 files.
if your project is free of transparency effects, you might be fine with .pdf./x-1a.

on the one side, utnik is 100% correct with this hint...

... but there is one more thing to be careful of: if a print shop ask for a pdf/x-4 but expect images to be in CMYK, there are some chances that they also will break transparencies!
so, if you have transparencies in your document, you should also ask the print shop if they support them...

and, indeed, if you don't have transparencies, you should be able to provide a pdf/x-1 a and your print shop will probably happy with it...


Thanks for your help guys, I will check with the printers if they can do one of the following:

1) Convert RGB colours to CYMK themselves from a PDF/X-4 file.
2) Accept a PDF/X-1a file (there are not any transparencies)

I will report back as to how I get on...


I have checked with the printers and they will accept PDF/X-1a!!

So that is the solution as all colours are automatically converted to CMYK during the export.

Thanks for your help and suggestions - I have at least learnt something.