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What is JDF

Q. What is JDF?

Although not widely supported in desktop publishing software — yet — Adobe Creative Suite 2 does include this new data interchange method. QuarkXPress 7 (due out in 2005) will do so as well. Some print shops are beginning to implement JDF into their workflow using JDF-enabled equipment and software even though files from the client may not arrive with JDF job tickets initially.


JDF or Job Definition Format, is an XML-based file format for an electronic job ticket. A JDF file would contain all the job information that might normally be included on a written form sent in with a print job or communicated by email, phone, or other means.

The JDF job ticket travels with a file from creation through preflight, prepress, and production insuring that the proper handling takes place at each stage and helps eliminate errors and miscommunication. JDF information embedded in a file might include instructions as to document creator, client contact data, included fonts and images and additional files, paper size, color profiles, types of proofs requested, imposition, RIP settings,paper stock, and folding instructions as well as who to notifiy upon job completion and where to send the completed print job.