This document provides instructions for Acrobat XI. If you're using Acrobat DC, see Acrobat DC Help.

Convert PDFs to PDF/X, PDF/A, or PDF/E

You can validate PDF content against PDF/X, PDF/A, PDF/VT or PDF/E criteria. You can also save a copy of the PDF as PDF/X, PDF/A, or PDF/E, provided it complies with the specified requirements. For example, under certain circumstances, an ICC profile that describes the destination device is required for PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3, and PDF/X-4 compliance. If your document doesn’t have an embedded ICC output profile, you can embed one before saving.

You can convert a PDF to a standards-compliant PDF using the Standards wizard. This wizard explains the intents of specific formats as it guides you through the process. If you are familiar with the standards, you can use a built-in profile, or a profile created via the wizard, to convert a PDF.


You can also create PDF/X-, and PDF/A-compliant files using Acrobat Distiller.

Convert to PDF/X, PDF/A, or PDF/E using a profile

  1. In the Preflight dialog box, click Profiles.
  2. Expand a compliance profile and select the profile you want. For example, under PDF/A Compliance, select Convert To PDF/A-1b (sRGB).
  3. Click Analyze And Fix.

Convert to PDF/X, PDF/A, or PDF/E using a wizard

  1. In the Preflight dialog box, click Standards.
  2. Select Save As PDF/X, Save As PDF/A, or Save As PDF/E, and then click Continue.
  3. Specify the version and click Continue.
  4. Select a conversion profile and one of the available viewing or printing conditions.
  5. Do any of the following:
    • To apply corrections during the conversion, select the Apply Corrections option. Click the question mark icon to see a list of the fixups that are applied.

    • To save the profile, click Save As Profile.

    • To convert the PDF based on the selected profile and settings, click Save As.

If the conversion succeeds, a green check mark appears in the Preflight dialog box. If the conversion fails, a red X appears in the Preflight dialog box.

Verify a PDF against PDF/X, PDF/A, PDF/VT, or PDF/E criteria

PDF/X, PDF/A, PDF/VT, and PDF/E files can be created in various ways, such as by using Acrobat Distiller or the File > Save As Other command. If you open a PDF that conforms to one of these standards, you can view the standards information in the Navigation pane. (Choose View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes), and then click the Standards panel button .) The Standards menu and panel are available only if the PDF conforms to a standard. The Standards panel is present in all versions (Std, Pro and even Reader). However, Verify Compliance functionality is only present in Acrobat Pro.

The Conformance information indicates the standard used to create the file, the ISO name, and whether the file has been verified as PDF/X-, PDF/A-, PDF/VT-, PDF/UA-, or PDF/E-compliant. The Output Intent information indicates the color settings file associated with the file. To verify the standards conformance for the file, click Verify Conformance.

Remove PDF/X, PDF/A, or PDF/E information

You can remove all PDF/X-, PDF/A-, or PDF/E-specific information, such as the output condition or the GTS_PDFX version key. This action is useful if a file has been modified, if you want to start over, or if an ICC profile increases the file size too much.

  1. In the Preflight dialog box, click Profiles.
  2. Expand a compliance profile and select the Remove fixup. For example, under PDF/A Compliance, select Remove PDF/A Information.
  3. Click Analyze And Fix.

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