Take the 2-minute tour ×
TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have heard about PDF subsets PDF/A (for archival) and PDF/X (for printing). How to generate LaTeX documents like that?

I'm also interested in answers with plain TeX and ConTeXt, and hopefully with both pdfTeX and XeTeX engines.

share|improve this question
See tex.stackexchange.com/q/579/5763 –  Martin Schröder Jan 29 '12 at 15:15

3 Answers 3

up vote 25 down vote accepted

ConTeXt now supports PDF/X out of the box. You need the latest version of ConTeXt for this to work (that is, the version from TL 2010 does not have this support). This only works with MkIV (that is, luaTeX) and not pdfTeX and XeTeX.

Basically, all you need to do is


and then


See context wiki for details.

share|improve this answer
So it does work with TL 2011? –  Dima Jan 17 '12 at 12:05
In addition to the PDFX page linked, there is also the PDF/A page on Context Garden. –  Brian M. Hunt Aug 26 '14 at 19:45
Is there a new package for LaTeX which does the PDF/A conversion, apart from pdfx ? –  Ibn Saeed May 5 at 9:13

This is not just a question of 'use the right package', as you also have to watch what you do with your input. For LaTeX, take a look at pdfx. For plain TeX, you probably need to look over the LaTeX stuff, code your own bits and away you go! I'm not sure about ConTeXt: undoubtedly it can include the same data that LaTeX can, as ultimately the engine is the same.

share|improve this answer
pdfx is also a bit buggy. For example it assumes your timezone is East of Greenwich, and it will happily clobber user commands with its own commands (for which it uses \def instead of \newcommand). –  Lev Bishop Aug 22 '10 at 23:42

to go a bit further, if you perform a full check of a latex document with Acrobat Pro, it looks like there is no way you can avoid messages like:

  • "None of the images on this page that need alternate text have it."
  • "All of the text on this page lacks a language specification."
  • "Text that does not map to Unicode reliably may be read incorrectly by assistive technologies." (for equations and mathematical fonts mainly)

Your lights are of interest to me. Thank you

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.