PDF File Preparation

Last modified August 25, 2022

General Specifications

Below are guidelines for the pdf files that will be used to create your 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 your application.

  • Fonts
    • All fonts must be embedded 
      • Base 14 fonts must be embedded also (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
    • Text must be searchable
    • Text cannot be outlines or rendered as an image (see below for more information).
  • Advertisement text 
    • 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 
    • Crop marks may be present on pages. GTxcel will crop pages to crop marks, if they are present.
    • For Back Issues only – pages must be cropped to final size if you are providing stitched pdf.
  • 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 process correctly.
  • 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 (e.g. Cover, Inside Front Cover, 1, 2, 3, etc).
    • 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. Inserts or replacements after we begin conversion will be subject to fees. 


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, the text is an image or vector.
  • 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.
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
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.