What PDF version and standard is ideally suited for the current version of pdflatex? Primarily for press, but online distribution will follow (large scientific publication).

Bonus: Include some of the pros-cons for requiring figures meet these standards?

Context: I am working with a design firm to reproduce a number of figures (mostly plots) which were originally submitted by contributing authors in bitmap form. I'm trying to determine what I should expect from them (as professionals).

  • 1
    My pdflatex produces PDFv1.5, so anything <=1.5 is ok, and AFAIK, bitmap features are very stable between versions, so it should not make any difference. Or do I miss a point?
    – yo'
    Commented Feb 22, 2013 at 18:45
  • By standard, I was referring to things like PDF/x or PDF/a.
    – h0tw1r3
    Commented Feb 22, 2013 at 19:12
  • 2
    IMO you're asking the wrong question. Pdflatex is very permissive about this, and it doesn't do anything to pdf figures besides copying them into the output. The issue is what PDFs will work with your RIP. See tex.stackexchange.com/questions/33280/pdf-conformance-tool/…
    – user6853
    Commented Feb 22, 2013 at 20:33
  • This isn't really answerable: as noted above, pdfTeX really doesn't care about format.
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 14:53


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