Ghent Workgroup

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The Ghent Workgroup, also known as the GWG, is an international assembly of user associations, software vendors, end users and educational institutions from the publishing industry. The goal of the GWG is to establish and disseminate specifications for best practices for the graphic arts industry at large.

Since its inception in 2002, the GWG has created best practice guidelines for several different aspects of graphic arts workflows. On the theoretical side, the group has created specifications for PDF files used in different graphic arts market segments, job tickets, color management setups and more. On the practical side those theoretical specifications were accompanied where possible with freely downloadable settings for popular desktop publishing applications such as Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, Enfocus PitStop Professional and more.

The GWG has also published several white papers and the Ghent Output Suite, used to test the ability of workflows to correctly handle PDF files in typical production workflows.


Perhaps the fastest growing, global best practice organization for graphic arts; GWG was founded in June 2002. The initial idea for the GWG took hold among a group of professionals representing Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland, at that time working toward consensus on PDF creation and preflight settings. The process was complex, and it became clear that a more coordinated approach was needed then and for the future. The Ghent PDF Workgroup was founded to help make the standardization process easier and to come to one international set of standards.

Industry experts from around the world joined the GWG in increasing numbers, and a unique, collaborative infrastructure for creating and testing international specifications was born. The results have been so positive that the group is on the way to significantly expanding the scope of projects it can undertake on behalf of the worldwide graphic arts community.


Most of the work of the GWG is done by subcommittees focusing on different domains, either during in-person meetings (four times a year) or in between those meetings using web conference technology and email exchanges.

Each subcommittee has a chair or multiple co-chairs to manage and steer the work and present the work in the general GWG meetings. Ultimately all decisions are presented to all members and decided upon by the full group.


  1. Color Management
  2. Compliancy Testing
  3. Cross Media
  4. Documentation
  5. Job Ticketing
  6. Marketing
  7. Office Document Printing
  8. Packaging
  9. Process Control
  10. Specifications
  11. Variable Data Printing

Executive committee[edit]

The work of the Ghent PDF Workgroup is overseen and directed by its Executive Committee, consisting of seven industry professionals. Each member of this committee is elected for a term of two years by the members of the group.


External links[edit]