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There is a possibility that your PDF viewer or editor doesn't recognize PDF/X files while opening them. In this case, you can convert PDF/X to PDF to easily access the content across all platforms due to its better compatibility. Throughout this article, we will differentiate between both file formats and assist you in converting PDF/X to PDF.

In this article
  1. How To Convert PDF/X to PDF?
  2. Differences Between PDF/X and PDF
  3. Why Do You Need To Convert PDF/X to Regular PDF?
  4. Bonus: PDFelement – A Great Tool To Print PDF

Part 1. How To Convert PDF/X to PDF?

Professionals who only need to distribute documents digitally can carry out PDF/X to PDF conversion. As we know, PDF/X files are optimized for printing purposes, so their file size will be higher. You can use Adobe Acrobat to convert PDF/X to PDF files to make these documents suitable for online sharing.

With its “Fixups” feature, you can remove the PDF/X settings to convert them into simple documents. Using this feature, users can delete document information and other metadata to make it recognizable for basic PDF editors. You can also carry out this process with the help of simple steps explained below:


After importing your PDF/X file on Adobe Acrobat, click the “All Tools” tab to access a list of PDF tools on the left side of your screen. Now, scroll down the list and press the “Use Print Production” tool option to move forward.

enter print production settings

Upon entering this tool, you will see several print production options on the sub-window present on the left side. From the list, click on the “Preflight” feature to access a new mini window with several PDF profile settings.

enter the preflight feature

On this new window, choose “PDF Standard” from the drop-down menu and enter the “Profiles” tab. Next, hit the “Fixups” button and expand the “Document Info and Metadata” drop-down menu to reveal several options.

access the fixups tab

From this menu, choose the “Remove PDF/X Information” option and hit the “Fix” button to complete the process. Finally, save this document in your desired location to finish this PDF/X to PDF conversion.

remove pdfx information and save file

Part 2. Differences Between PDF/X and PDF

Individuals regularly dealing with document printing prefer to use PDF/X format due to its highly optimized print settings. However, regular PDFs are preferred by professionals who need to access documents on different platforms due to their better compatibility.

There are many other differences between these PDF file formats that can help you understand their use case better. This section will deal with the significant distinguishing points between PDF/X and PDF to help users choose. So, let's analyze this comparison table before undertaking PDF/X to PDF conversion. 

Features PDF/X PDF
Intended Use Designed explicitly for reliable reproduction of content for printing and prepress processes. General-purpose format for accessing document content across multiple PDF viewers and editors.
Standardization Governed by ISO standards, with different versions catering to specific industries and requirements like PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3, and PDF/X-4. Governed by ISO standards but not designed specifically for prepress workflows.
Fonts Requires embedding of fonts for proper rendering and printing. Allows embedding of fonts but needs to be more strictly enforced, leading to font substitution problems.
Image Compression Favors lossless compression to preserve image quality for printing. Supports a wide range of compression methods, including lossy compression. These types of compression methods are less suitable for printing when compared to PDF/X.
Color Management Strict color management rules allow consistency for professional printing. Moreover, it supports CMYK, spot colors, and ICC profiles. Flexible color handling, allowing a wide range of color spaces, transparency, and other effects.
Compatibility It is not universally supported across different platforms like online PDF editors and basic PDF viewers. Widely supported by almost all PDF viewers and editors.

Part 3: Why Do You Need To Convert PDF/X to Regular PDF?

As discussed repeatedly, PDF/X is a subset of the PDF standard explicitly designed for the printing industry. Therefore, stricter requirements and specifications are required to ensure the file is suitable for professional printing. When you are not looking to print documents, you should prefer converting PDF/X to PDF for the following reasons:

  1. Editing Purposes: Users typically save PDF/X files as finalized documents for printing. So, this document format may have restrictions that prevent easy editing for personalization purposes. In this case, converting PDF/X to PDF can make the document more accessible for modification using various software tools.
  2. Broader Compatibility: It is possible that PDF/X files contain restrictions or features not suitable for all PDF viewers or software. You can convert PDF/X to PDF for broader compatibility across different platforms and devices to avoid such issues.
  3. Digital Distribution: Professionals who intend to distribute the document digitally rather than undertake the printing process can carry out this conversion. Regular PDFs are optimized for digital sharing via email, websites, or other online platforms.
  4. Reduced File Size: PDF/X contains high-resolution images and other elements optimized for printing, resulting in larger file sizes. However, users can convert PDF/X to PDF to help reduce file size for easy sharing and downloading.
  5. Removing Restrictions: If the document doesn't need to adhere to specific printing standards, converting it to PDF removes any unnecessary limitations imposed by the PDF/X standard.

Bonus: PDFelement – A Great Tool To Print PDF

While discussing PDF/X as the best printing format, let us familiarize you with the top tools to carry out PDF printing operations. Wondershare PDFelement is one such tool that optimizes the way you print documents with various compelling features. You can choose from several built-in page sizes, including A4, A3, and more, to speed up the process.

pdfx to pdf

Besides that, there are several print modes, like posters and booklets, that allow you to utilize this PDF printer for multiple use cases. While carrying out this printing process, users will also be able to select the custom page range. In addition, you can enable the “Gray Print” option to print out the documents in black and white.

All in all, this PDF printer provides you with all the options you need for a perfect printing experience. So, get your hands on this one-stop-shop PDF management tool if you want to avoid PDF to PDF/X conversion for better compatibility.


Upon reading this article, you have learned how to convert PDF/X to PDF using a straightforward method. In addition, we have explained everything you need to know about both these formats to choose the best one that fits your needs. If you regularly deal with PDF conversions or printing, Wondershare PDFelement should be your go-to tool for effective file management. 

People Also Ask

  • Q1. Is PDF/X the same as PDF?
    No, both these formats are different, as PDF/X is a specific type of PDF for professional printing. Professionals utilize this format for an optimized printing process with consistent colors and fonts. However, PDF/X format does have some restrictions when it comes to features. In contrast, regular PDF files are for general document sharing and may not be printed as intended.
  • Q2. How do I convert a PDF to PDF/X?
    You can easily convert PDF/X to PDF format with the help of Adobe Acrobat. The following steps will streamline the way you carry out this conversion.
    Step1: Upon opening your PDF document in Adobe Acrobat, press the “All Tools” tab to reveal multiple document-handling features.
    Step2: From this list, choose the “Apply PDF Standards” option and click on the “Save as PDF/X” button to complete this conversion process.
  • Q3. What is the safest free PDF Converter?
    Many free online PDF converters are available to let you change the format of your documents seamlessly. However, these online tools pose security issues when you upload your PDF or PDF/X documents on their servers. So, we recommend you use PDFelement for a safe and secure PDF conversion process.
    Moreover, this PDF file converter gives you a 14-day free trial to help you familiarize yourself with its functionalities. Professionals wanting to enjoy free and secure PDF conversion should download this tool on their system.
Audrey Goodwin
Audrey Goodwin Apr 25, 24
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12 years of talent acquired in the software industry working with large publishers. Public speaker and author of several eBooks on technical writing and editing.