What tools are there to convert resp. render a SVG file to a conforming PDF/X-1a file? The tool should be able to raster filter effects at configurable resolution. It should accept user-configured CMYK colors, particularly if linked to an ICC profile, but it should make a reasonable effort to convert to CMYK where the user specified colors in RGB. FOSS would be best, but a reasonably-priced proprietary solution might be acceptable as well. Big graphics suites in excess of 100$ are not, though.

2 Answers 2


Inkscape can read a file in SVG format and save it as pdf v1.4 or v1.3 and allows a lot of possible manipulations but does not explisetly support producucing PDF/X but it can also output as Postscript, (.ps), then if you really need pdf/X you can run it through Ghostscripts ps2pdf which supports specifying -dPDFX=1 to force PDF/X-3 restrictions and also supports substituting a non-trivial Default Device Colour Space.

  • Both Inkscape and GhostScript are Free (Libre and FLOSS)
  • Both are Cross platform but you would probably be better off on Linux as they are better supported there.
  • I am not sure about CMYK support but I am reasonably confident that it is there.
  • I tried using pdfwrite of GPL GhostScript 9.14, with -dPDFX=1, -sProcessColorModel=DeviceCMYK and -sColorConversionStrategy=/CMYK. The result still has a /DeviceRGB raster image, though. This might correspond to the documentation for ProcessColorModel which reads: “Note that this does not affect images”
    – MvG
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 22:28

One easier option is to use ImageMagik convert with the -colourspace option &/or the -profile operator, note that it actually uses both Inkscape and GhostScript, (if installed), for SVG & pdf formatting so you will need both present and on your path.

  • Free (Libre and FLOSS)
  • Cross Platform
  • This will rasterize everything, not just the filter effects. I actually did create a CMYK version of my SVG yesterday, and at one point I did use convert to change the rasterized filter effects to CMYK. But I also separated layers, used pdftk to uncompress the vector data, and sed to change colors in there. A lot of manual work there, and hardly applicable to all SVG images, so I'm still very much interested in a more automatic approach.
    – MvG
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 7:32

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