I am trying to use pdfx package to generate PDF/X-1a:2001. According to its specification:

The package can be loaded with the command:



x-1a: generate PDF/X-1a. Options x-1a1 and x-1a3 are also available to specify PDF/X-1a:2001 or PDF/X-1a:2003 explicitly.

So using that information my document source is:

Some text

After compiling with pdflatex (TeX Live 2013/Debian distribution) I get following error:

LaTeX Error: Unknown option `x-1a1' for package `pdfx'

Same happens for xelatex (TeX Live 2013/Debian) which I need to use to compile actual document.

When I tried compiling same document on MiKTeX 2.9 it compiled with pdflatex.

Why are pdfx options not recognized by TeX Live 2013/Debian distribution?

  • 1
    See the change history: The manual states that some more variants were added with version 1.5.4, apparently x-1a1 is one of them. The latest version is 1.5.4 and this is from February 2015. You need to update your TeXLive. I can compile your example with pdflatex, the xelatex stuff is another issue, in fact
    – user31729
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 8:51
  • I am assuming that by "No need to update your TeX Live" you actually mean "You need to update TeX Live". Right?
    – Rafal
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 8:52
  • Right, it was a typo. Please update your distribution. Thanks for notifying me about the typo
    – user31729
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 8:53
  • So updating TeX Live will allow me to compile it with pdflatex, but I still won't be able to use xelatex (which is requirment for me). Is it impossible to use pdfx with xelatex at all?
    – Rafal
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 8:56
  • Yes, pdflatex works on my Linux with TL 2015, xelatex fails, but I don't know why. Perhaps there is a work around
    – user31729
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


pdfx package only supports pdflatex compilation. In order to use xelatex for compilation, you can follow this answer. Please note that it would be good idea to update your distribution to TeXLive 2015 before following this answer, since otherwise your resulting PDF file might not validate fully, as mentioned in this comment.

If you are willing to switch to LuaLaTeX, solution shown in this answer will work for you.

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