PDF File Preparation

Last modified May 4, 2020

General Specifications

Below are guidelines for the PDF files that will be used to create your GTxcel digital edition. If you are using existing PDFs, please check that they meet the specifications. If you are outputting PDFs for GTxcel, see the recommended output settings for you application.

  • Fonts:
    • All fonts must be embedded 
    • Base 14 fonts must be embedded, too (some output settings exclude these by default).
    • Embedded subsets are acceptable
    • Composite and Identity-H fonts should not be used, as they will not render properly.
  • Editorial text must be searchable, not outlines or rendered as an image (see below for more information)
  • Ad text should be searchable, if possible. GTxcel will accept ads supplied as images, but can not generate searchable output from ads set as images.
  • Crop marks may be present on pages. GTxcel will crop pages to crop marks, if they are present.
  • Image resolution: 
    • 300 dpi is preferred
    • 200 dpi is the minimum accepted without explicit confirmation that you accept the risk of low-quality output
    • There is no maximum resolution. However, GTxcel will downsample anything higher than 300 dpi as part of our conversion process.
    • Supplying files with resolution above 300 dpi will not improve the quality of your digital edition.
  • When exporting files from InDesign, select Export/PDF for Print.  Do NOT export the files as Interactive.  Files saved as Interactive will not correctly process.
  • Each PDF page should include one print page. Do not output page spreads on single PDF pages.
  • Files may be supplied as a single stitched PDF or as individual page PDF files.
  • Stitched PDFs (all pages in a single PDF)
    • Should not exceed 500 MB in size (If your stitched PDF exceeds 500 MB, please supply individual page files.)
    • Must be assembled in the sequence that you would like the pages to appear in the digital edition
    • Must include all pages
    • Should have the pages numbered (labeled) as they should appear; each page label must be unique
    • Are cross-referenced for the digital edition (in case your print edition uses different page numbers)
  • Individual Page PDFs:
    • Should be labeled sequentially so they may be sorted by name for automated merging, with the exception of cover or insert pages
    • Supply no more than one PDF file per page (please do not include multiple revisions of the same page)
    • Include a layout file or assembly instructions if there are inserts or other ambiguous assembly sequence (e.g. for cover or insert pages)
    • Include all editorial and ad pages when submitting a document for conversion
    • GTxcel can not begin conversion until we have all pages; additions or replacements after we begin conversion will be subject to page replacement fees. 

FAQ’s

Q: Can I send PDFs with CMYK color settings? Or do you require RGB?

A: We can work with either CMYK or RGB color settings.

Q: Can I send a low-res or web-optimized PDF?

A: No, the minimum resolution is 200 dpi.
Web-optimized PDFs imply 72 dpi image resolution. While GTxcel’s digital editions display via web browsers, the higher resolution ensures a quality digital edition and the ability to zoom in on images.

Q: Can I stitch or merge all my pages together and send a single PDF for my issue?

A: Yes.

Q: Why does GTxcel require searchable text?

A Searchable text is critical for the following reasons:

  • Increase your visibility on search engines (if applicable), thus getting your digital editions in front of the eyes of many different types of consumers who browse your subject matter each day.
  • Maximize utility of search functional within your digital edition reader.
  • Ensure that links contained within the text can be automatically and correctly recognized for GTxcel’s conversion process.

Q: How do I test for searchable text?

A:  In Acrobat, select the text selection tool and hover over any text on the page.

  • If the flashing text cursor icon does not appear, and lines of text are not selectable then the text is an image or vector, e.g.:
  • If the text icon appears, click on a line of text and highlight, then create a bookmark (Ctrl B on the PC; Command B on the MAC).
  • If it is searchable, the text you selected should appear in the Bookmark tab. If the resulting bookmark instead shows unreadable boxes, the font is not properly encoded and should be replaced.

Stitched PDF Preparation

Below are guidelines for the PDF files that will be used to create your GTxcel digital edition. Application files (e.g., InDesign/Quark) files must be prepared with high resolution images and all fonts embedded, properly encoded, and output between 200 and 300 DPI. If you are using existing PDFs, please check that they meet the specifications. If you are outputting PDFs for GTxcel, see the recommended output settings for your application.

  • Stitched, one-up file format:
    • Files must be supplied as a single stitched PDF
    • Pages must be assembled in the sequence that you would like the pages to appear in the digital edition and include all pages.
    • Each PDF page should include one print page. Do not output page spreads on single PDF pages.
    • All pages must be numbered (labeled) as they should appear and are cross-referenced for the digital edition; each page label must be unique.
    • Gatefolds or other multi-page layout exceptions must also follow this convention of being broken up into single PDF pages in numerical reading order.  GTxcel’s conversion processing will display the pages as a two-page spread with a single page cover.
  • Label PDF pages
    • Use with the page name you’d like to be represented in the navigation.  (Cover, Inside Front Cover, 1, 2, 3, etc)
  • Fonts:
    • All fonts must be embedded
    • Base 14 fonts must be embedded, too (some output settings exclude these by default).
    • Embedded subsets are acceptable
    • Composite and Identity-H fonts should not be used, as they will not render properly
  • Searchable text:
    • All editorial text must be searchable, not outlines or rendered as an image (see below for more information)
    • Ad text should also be searchable, if possible, but GTxcel will accept ads supplied as images, but can not generate searchable output from ads set as images.
  • Cropping: 
    • For processing Back Issues only – pages must be cropped to final size if you are providing stitched pdf
  • Image resolution: 200-300 dpi
    • 300 dpi is preferred for optimal output quality.
    • 200 dpi is the minimum that will result in acceptable quality.
    • Resolution will not automatically be checked or adjusted as part of the conversion process. Please check your file before uploading.
    • There is no maximum resolution, however, anything higher than 300 dpi will not improve the quality of your digital edition.
  • Prelinking vs. auto-link detection:
    • Standard processing will automatically detect and link printed web addresses and URLs from searchable text. You will be able to customize or add additional links via the Publisher Dashboard once you receive your preview link.
    • If you’d like to prelink your PDF file to control or customize the linking, then all links, including table of contents, page references, emails, and URLs will be your responsibility and you must notify GTxcel when files are delivered that have been prelinked, to prevent links from being removed or duplicate linking.  If notification is not given to GTxcel that files are prelinked, youwill incur additional costs to reprocess the issue.
  • Maximum file size: 500 MB in size.  Some tips to reduce file size:
    • Make sure your image dpi is no higher than 300
    • Flatten complex vector graphics
  • Files with more than 500 pages are not accepted. 
    • If your files typically contain more than 500 pages, we suggest breaking them into sections.
      • Each section will appear as a separate “issue” in the digital magazine reader/application.
      • Each section will need a cover page, which will appear in archives/back issue listings.
      • Each section will need its own table of contents page, if this functionality is desired.
      • To ensure that cross-refererence links work within a section, make sure pages are labeled to match the printed folios.
      • Cross references to other sections will not be linked.
Need Help?
The Digital Help Desk is the process for communicating with GTxcel regarding new title setups, questions, and technical issues for the Web Reader and/or Apps.

You can submit a request to us through the Request Help button located in the Publisher Dashboard or call the support number: 800-609-8994, option 3.
Contact Us GraphicContact Support
8AM - 5PM EST
Monday to Friday
800-609-8994, option 3
Response Times
General Question/Requests – A Customer Success team Member will begin working on your request within one to two hours of receipt. We will complete the request as soon as possible; we aim to have all requests completed within 24 hours.