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Standards make the world work

Open Standards and ISO Standards
OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Portable Document Format (PDF)

ODF logo     PDF logo

Makes digital information accessible for everyone




Breaking News!




Open standards
ensures that your information is
available in the future for as many as possible
when today's IT technology, IT products and IT vendors are no longer

Open Standards ensures that your information is in perpetuity - Picture

Adobe co-founder Chuck Geschke once observed
that your organization’s documents are more important
than the software used to create them, and they need to
outlive the computer platform on which they were generated.

Thanks to PDF, they can




When reading this web page, please be aware:


  • OpenDocument Format (ODF) is ISO Standard since 2006

ODF logo

  • Portable Document Format (PDF) is ISO Standard since 2008

PDF logo




Regulations demanding open document standards
in public sector are coming everywhere

    Democracy is threatened by closed and proprietary document formats!
    Democratic countries consider their sovereignty and democratic rights are
    threatened by closed and proprietary document formats and therefore take action:

      To guarantee the free access of citizens to public information,
      it is indespensable that the encoding of data is not tied to a single provider.
      The use of standard and open formats gives a guarantee of this free access,
      if necessary through the creation of compatible free software":

      The Register, 2002:


    Enterprise information is far too valuable to be locked-in in proprietary
    document formats completely owned and controlled by ICT vendors.

    Open document formats - ODF & PDF - are now under worldwide deployment
    for use in office suite solutions and enterprise systems,...
    in the public sector and in the private industry.

    Open document formats ensure successful deployments of
    long-term archiving and preservation solutions.


OpenDocument Format (ODF) - Adoption




The importance of switching to OpenDocument Format (ODF)

(Infographics by Open Forum Europe)

Open Forum Europe Infographics on the Importance to Switch to Open Document Format (ODF) - Picture



Warning - Icon

Warnings!

Be aware not every software application,
tool or document claiming to follow a standard
is compliant with the actual standard.

Always verify with recognized tools!





PDF Association - Logo

PDF Association
"The Meeting-Place of the PDF Industry"


Portable Document Format (PDF)
is the world’s chosen final-form digital document format.


    Founded in 2006 the PDF Association promotes the adoption and
    implementation of International Standards for PDF-based technology.

    Ever since Adobe transferred the PDF technology for ISO standardization
    PDF is further developed in a completely open specification rather
    than as a proprietary implementation.

    The PDF Association is a global industry initiative for developers of PDF solutions;
    companies that work with PDF in document management systems (DMS) and
    electronic content management systems (ECM), interested individuals, and
    users who want to implement PDF technology in their organizations.




Mission Statement:

To promote Open Standards-based electronic document
implementations using PDF technology through education,
expertise and shared experience for stakeholders worldwide.



PDF Association Member - Logo

NewFormat AB is member of PDF Association




PDF Association helping government understand
the Portable Document Format (PDF)

From recommendations to regulations,
PDF Association is here to help.

    The PDF Association engages in many activities as it
    follows its mission of promoting the adoption of
    ISO standardized PDF technology around the world.

    PDF technology is a pervasive feature of the world's
    communications infrastructure.
    With a unique and unmatched feature-set;
    no other technology comes close.
    We're not going back to paper, so it's long past time for
    governments and businesses to focus just a little on
    this ubiquitous format that's never going away.

    PDF Association provide information and resources to
    government agencies and regulators to help them develop
    reference materials, guidelines, regulations and laws.




PDF Association - Logo


PDF Industry Events & Calendar


2020 saw a new high-point for PDF’s mindshare worldwide

Wrap-up of 2020: The Year in PDF


Upcoming and earlier events




The Portable Document Format (PDF)





PDF logo

PDF: The de facto Document Technology

    The Portable Document Format (commonly known as “PDF”)
    is a file format developed in the early 1990s as a way to share
    computer documents, including text formatting and inline images.

    PDF technology was designed to allow for presentation of documents
    independent of the application software, operating system and
    hardware used to create them.

    PDF files encapsulate a complete description of a fixed-layout document,
    including the text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it.
    PDF files may also include a wide variety of other content, from hyperlinks to
    metadata to logical structure to JavaScript and attached files,
    that allow the format to meet a wide variety of functional and
    workflow requirements for electronic documents.

    Today, PDF is the quintessential and ubiquitous "electronic document",
    with trillions made each year.




ISO Standards based on PDF Technology

PDF - ISO 32000 itself is a Standard - Picture

Figure: PDF - ISO 32000 itself is a Standard


PDF Substandards for particular use

PDF- logo PDF/A- logo PDF/E - logo PDF/VT - logo PDF/UA - logo PDF/X - logo
PDF Substandards for particular use - PDF/A, PDF/X, PDF/UA - Picture

Figure: PDF Substandards for particular use
PDF/A, PDF/X, PDF/UA, PDF/E, PDF/VCR, PDF/VT,...

Blog: A tour of PDF Standards


Can a PDF easily comply to PDF/A, PDF/X and PDF/UA?

PDF/A and PDF/UA Intersecting Standards - Illustration

PDF standards are not mutually exclusive


A PDF document can simultaneously meet several standards,
for example both PDF/UA and PDF/A, both PDF/A and PDF/X,
and all three of PDF/UA and PDF/A and PDF/X.

Practical use case: Long-term archiving of accessible PDF.
An accessible PDF must always comply with PDF/UA.
For long-term archiving of this accessible PDF
the PDF document is also required to comply with PDF/A-2a;
thus both PDF/UA and PDF/A-2a
(a file that only meets PDF/A-2b cannot simultaneously meet PDF/UA).


callas pdfaPilot and pdfToolbox makes it happen




PDF- logo PDF/A- logo PDF/E - logo PDF/VT - logo PDF/UA - logo PDF/X - logo

PDF-based ISO Standards - Picture



The ISO Pipeline for PDF Standards (March 30, 2020)

ISO logo

A new resource collating all ISO groups and currently
active work items related to PDF has been developed.

Based on public information,
this summary is invaluable for all PDF developers to ensure
awareness of forthcoming changes in PDF-related standards.

Visibility into the ISO Pipeline for PDF Standards


PDF Association Flyers
Introduction and Overview of PDF-based ISO Standards
PDF Association - PDF/A - PDF/UA - NVDA Goes PDF/UA - PDF/VT


PDF Association Flyer Front Cover - Picture

Promoting
ISO Standards for
PDF Technology



PDF/A Flyer Front Cover - Picture

PDF/A - ISO 19005:
Standards for
long-term digital archiving
of electronic documents




PDF/UA Flyer Front Cover - Picture

PDF/UA - ISO 14289-1:
The standard for
universally accessible
PDF documents and PDF forms

PDF Association NVDA Goes PDF/UA Flyer Front Cover - Picture

NVDA Screen Reader Goes PDF/UA




PDF/VT Flyer Front Cover - Picture

PDF/VT - ISO 16612-2
The PDF Standard for
Personalized Print



PDF 2.0 Interop Workshops 2017 Flyer Front Cover - Picture

PDF 2.0 - ISO 32000-2
Interop Workshops 2017
Preparing for the Next-Generation PDF



Recommended reading on PDF Standards
Free Booklet Downloads

Click on any picture below for download
or order your own printed copy free of charge from

NewFormat AB





PDF/A in a Nutshell 2.0 - Front Cover - Picture

The ISO Standard PDF/A - Long-term Preservation/Archiving
From PDF/A-1 to PDF/A-3





PDF/UA in a Nutshell - Front Cover - Picture

The ISO Standard PDF/UA - Accessible PDF documents





PDF/X in a Nutshell - Front Cover - Picture

The ISO Standard PDF/X - PDF for Printing





PDF in Manufacturing - Front Cover - Picture

PDF in Manufacturing
The future of 3D documentation

PDF is at the heart of manufacturing and engineering communications.
PDF technology supports manufacturing worldwide, conveying ideas,
plans, communications, contracts, specifications, contracts…
and of course, 2D and 3D drawings and supporting content
throughout complex workflows and across corporate,
organizational and process boundaries.





PDF Association PDF Products and Services Guide 2019

PDF Association PDF Products and Services Guide 2019 - Front Cover - Picture

Products, Solutions and Services available from
PDF Association Members



Recommended reading

Guides for developers of modern PDF solutions for
accessible PDF documents and for small devices

Free Downloads





Tagged PDF Best Practice Guide: Syntax

PDF Association - Tagged PDF Best Practices Guide - Front Cover - Picture

(For download of the guide, click on the picture above)

    This document is intended for developers
    implementing tagged PDF and PDF/UA.
    Others (including authors with some technical
    knowledge of PDF’s accessibility mechanisms)
    may also benefit from this document.

    For example, this guide is intended to be useful for
    those performing detailed accessibility testing on
    PDF documents claiming conformance with PDF/UA,
    or on PDF documents claiming to be accessible
    according to some other specification.

    The guide includes detailed guidance
    for all structure element types and attributes,
    and provides guidance for PDF 2.0.


    Recommended reading:





Deriving HTML from PDF

PDF Association - Deriving HTML from PDF Guide - Front Cover - Picture

(For download of the guide, click on the picture above)

    In the modern world of small devices, IoT and connected systems,
    where interchange and reuse of data is critical,
    it is reasonable to question the continued relevance
    of PDF’s core value proposition.

    In particular, search engines, machine learning and
    artificial intelligence systems focus on accessing information
    contained in documents over visual representation.

    In other cases, document producers wish to deliver data
    in a form that is suitable for automated processing
    while using a PDF file as a record for trust purposes.

    End users also want electronic documents that adapt
    smoothly to viewing on diverse small devices.

    This guide describes the algorithm that produces conforming
    HTML from a tagged PDF, including how well-tagged PDF documents,
    containing both traditional fixed-layout content and the semantic structures
    leveraged by modern devices and software, can be reliably and consistently
    reused as HTML to support better user experiences and
    renew PDF’s value proposition.






PDF Declarations

PDF Association - PDF Declarations - Front Cover - Picture

(For download of the guide, click on the picture above)

    ISO-standardized subsets of PDF such as PDF/A, PDF/UA and PDF/X
    already include identification mechanisms.
    However, in many cases users of PDF files would like to leverage
    3rd party standards or other profiles of PDF to meet specific needs.

    The PDF Declarations mechanism allows creation and editing software
    to declare, via a PDF Declaration, a PDF file to be in conformance with a
    3rd party specification or profile that may not be related to PDF technology.
    The 3rd party specification or profile may describe or require properties specific
    to some or all content in the PDF document.

    Cases include, but are not limited to specifications or profiles that:

    • Mandate properties (e.g., accessibility specifications)

    • Mandate degree of accuracy (e.g., engineering specifications)

    • Set limits on content types (e.g., that all images use a specific encoding)

    • Make an accountable policy statement regarding document content
      (e.g., pertaining to privacy regulations)

    • Profile PDF for specific purposes (e.g., to archive email)

    By itself, the presence of a PDF Declaration does not guarantee
    that the document conforms to the 3rd party specification or profile.




Webinars / Video recordings - Icon

Recommended webinars


Introduction to
PDF-based ISO Standards



PDF/Portable Document Format

What is it,
Who owns it,
Why it matters



Introduction to PDF



This PDF – what is it for?

A story from PDF’s early days


PDF Workflow




Introduction to PDF/A for Longt-Term Archiving

(PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2, PDF/A-3)


PDF/A-3 as preservation format



PDF & Open Data
(incl. interactive e-invoices
based on PDF/A-3)



veraPDF (2015)

PDF/A validation
with support of the PDF industry.
(Note! The term "definitive PDF/A validator"
is not used any longer by this project
for obvious reasons)


veraPDF (2018)

Real world adoption of veraPDF and
industry needs for more PDF standards





PDF Preflight Standards
(PDF/X and other standards)



3D PDF
The power and future in terms of
an ISO Standard



The accessibility experience:

How does a blind person
navigate PDF documents and forms?


Introduction to PDF/UA
"Accessible PDF"




Tagging Page Content
(to PDF/UA compliance)


PDF/UA Basics



PDF/UA for Design Agencies



PDF 2.0 and the future of
accessible PDF (PDF/UA)



Developing PDF / PDF 2.0
(What’s happening in
the Next-Generation of PDF)



PDF/R
The Imaging File Format of the Future
(2021)



PDF/R Introduction (2020)



PDF/R
Looking for an alternative to TIFF?
Try PDF/raster!



OCR for PDFs – old news?



How to help AI get the most
from legacy archives



Intro to EPUB
(for PDF developers)




PDF logo

Portable Document Format (PDF)
is a core electronic document technology in diversity

    PDF, designed as a general-purpose,
    page-based electronic document technology,
    is the world’s chosen electronic document format,
    with applications far beyond conveying rendered pages.

    PDF spans today workflows in publishing, manufacturing,
    financial services, government, accounting, litigation,
    human-resources, logistics and many others,
    on every continent.


    PDF just works!

    The format’s innate ability to glide through and between multiple
    workflows, a function of its essential ‘self-contained-ness’,
    is unique and critical to its success.

    That’s because PDF embodies fundamental ideas about what’s
    important in communications, ideas that led to the invention of
    writing, then paper, then PDF.

    These ideas are so basic that we don’t really have good words for them.
    Users think about the document’s contents, not the document itself.
    Ask them about PDF and they’ll say;
    “it’s easy”, “it looks the same”, “it’s reliable”, and so on.

    PDF just works and is suited to a wide range of purposes,
    as reflected in broad choice of software that creates and uses PDF files.
    The range is eclectic;
    not just software for server, nor desktop,
    nor accessibility or print, or security,
    but some, all, and none of the above.

    PDF is a cross-section of means for addressing diverse business
    processes and workflows; for using electronic documents to solve
    problems, reduce costs, invent new solutions and enable other
    opportunities in every activity and industry sector.

    The one commonality; they do it with PDF.




Industry drives Tagged PDF forward

    In PDF documents, as in HTML, content semantics are
    expressed via tags, hence “tagged PDF”.

    Tagged PDF allows for semantically accurate extraction
    and reuse of text and annotations enabling accessibility,
    reflow and other applications.

    Tagged PDF is an optional feature in the PDF file format
    and thus not every PDF file is tagged.

    However modern tools such as Apple’s office suite automatically adds tags
    when exporting to PDF and Google’s Chrome now creates tagged PDF as well.
    Older tools may require an explicit option to be enabled when exporting.

    On the one hand, the fact that tags are optional means that PDF is
    extraordinarily flexible in accommodating every type of content from
    every source imaginable, even when the original source lacks semantics.

    On the other hand, tags require a knowledgeable document author
    and capable software to achieve good results.

    This article offers an overview of PDF industry
    activities pertaining to tagged PDF:


    The Value of (Correctly) Tagged PDF

    Tagged PDF offers a lot more than access to users with disabilities.
    From search engines to mobile devices, tagged PDF offers
    powerful options to make content "accessible for all"
    thanks to reuse of page-based content.

    PDF was originally intended to serve as electronic paper;
    a properly rendered page irrespective of software or operating system.

    Pages, however, aren’t just for reading.
    Since people like to add notes, draw lines and fill forms, Adobe Systems,
    the inventors of PDF, decided to cater to these uses as well. PDF rapidly
    accumulated new features beyond faithfulness to the rendered page
    - it began to mirror the interactive capabilities of real paper.

    The first generation of interactive PDF features consisted of
    annotations of various types. Some allowed users to add text,
    others allowed users to draw lines and boxes onto the page.
    Still others go beyond the paradigm of the page,
    making it possible to add hyperlinks, audio and movies to PDF.

    The second generation of interactive PDF brought the ability to
    deploy a PDF’s content outside the page-based world.

    Tagged PDF provides the means to effectively deploy a
    final-form document to a mobile device.
    It’s the same means by which PDF files may be made accessible

    One of the primary motivations for tagged PDF was to achieve
    compliance with regulations that require electronic documents
    to be accessible to users with disabilities, but implementers can
    leverage tagged PDF to accomplish or enhance a wide range of
    end user activities.


    Guide on to how correctly tag a PDF file for accessibility:


    Correctly tagged PDF is a prerequisite for display of PDF
    on mobile devices / small screens:


    The disadvantages of untagged PDF content vs
    the benefits of correctly tagged PDF content:

    Semantics or ordering:

    • Untagged Content:
      No semantic types or ordering;
      content is ordered solely for rendering purposes

    • Tagged Content:
      Semantic type and order is determined,
      content may be reused accordingly

    Search engines:

    • Untagged Content:
      Search engines cannot reliably access words and phrases

    • Tagged Content:
      Search engines get reliable access to content

    Reflow of page content:

    • Untagged Content:
      No reliable means of reflowing page content onto smaller devices

    • Tagged Content:
      Includes information necessary for reflow

    Real content and artifacts:

    • Untagged Content:
      “Real” content and “artifacts” aren’t distinguished

    • Tagged Content:
      Consuming software can choose to utilize or ignore artifacts

    Content copying and extraction:

    • Untagged Content:
      Content copying and extraction is unreliable

    • Tagged Content:
      Content may be extracted with confidence

    PDF/A conformance level A:

    • Untagged Content:
      Not eligible for PDF/A conformance level A

    • Tagged Content:
      May conform with PDF/A conformance level A

    WCAG 2.0 or U.S. Section 508 Compliance:

    • Untagged Content:
      Cannot comply with WCAG 2.0 or U.S. Section 508

    • Tagged Content:
      May comply with WCAG 2.0, U.S. Section 508 and
      other accessibility regulations

    Accessibility:

    • Untagged Content:
      Inaccessible to disabled users

    • Tagged Content:
      Accessible to those with PDF-aware Assistive Technology



PDF Association Industry Working Groups

(earlier named "PDF Association Competence Centers")




PDF
Technical Working Group & Marketing Working Group

(earlier named PDF Competence Center)

PDF Association PDF CC - Icon

ISO 3200 the International Standard for
the Portable Document Format (PDF).
PDF is widely recognized as
the richest and most robust document format.




The Purpose of PDF

    The purpose of PDF is to enable users to exchange and view
    all kinds of electronic documents easily and reliably,
    independent of the environment in which they were created
    or the environment in which they are viewed or printed.




PDF is a Platform

    Platform technologies provide the infrastructure
    for the applications end users actually use.

    Far beyond a document format, PDF offers a sophisticated
    foundation for many types of user applications.

    Everyone accepts PDF.
    A fixed-layout, shareable, self-contained document
    meets a fundamental customer need.




PDF - The Only Digital Document Format
  • What is a "document"?

  • Digital documents

  • Documents are for keeping

  • Documents of the future

    Google’s Trends data shows clearly that the number of searches for
    PDF documents relative to all other searches continues going up:


    "How much longer do you think we'll use PDF?"
    End users feel that they can really understand PDF;
    it works exactly as you’d expect digital paper to work;
    simple, reliable and effective. And it’s SO popular!

    Google Trends clearly shows that PDF is a technology
    that's not only far more relevant in 2020 than it was in 2004,
    "PDF" is represented in a far higher proportion of web-searches,
    even though the total search volume on Google has increased
    dramatically since that time.

    Interest in PDF is pretty steady relative to web searches in general.
    Compared to searches for other technologies, that's pretty remarkable:




Why PDF?
  • Easy

  • Portability

  • Flexibility

  • Security

  • Authentication

  • Semantics

  • Non-Proprietary




What’s unique about PDF?
And why it will last forever

    The Portable Document Format possesses a variety of attributes
    that taken together describe a format of such flexibility and power
    that it will define the essential “electronic document” concept forever.




PDF: The document format for everything (Feb. 16, 2021)
PDF the document format for everything - Picture




How PDF contributes to greater sustainability

    PDF has many advantages.

    In view of global climate change and the scarcity of raw materials,
    sustainability and green technologies are becoming increasingly important.

    is not a buzzword; more and more enterprises are striving for CO₂ neutrality,
    which is appreciated by customers.

    At the same time, PDF is one of the greenest office technologies ever invented.

    The format is particularly relevant in the context of the often
    promoted, but still unachieved paperless office.

    Introduced in 1993, PDF offers a stable foundation for replacing physical paper,
    according to the principle: instead of printing paper documents,
    generate digital paper documents using PDF.




PDF - Have we passed ‘peak PDF’?

    The big picture.
    Although the curve is flattening,
    worldwide searches for “pdf” continue to grow in popularity,
    indicating that the popular appetite for documents remains healthy.

    Users may be banking online, but their searches for
    PDF-based documents continue to increase.


    How do we gain insight into how users' views of documents are shifting
    without spending egregious sums on dubious market-research?

    One increasingly interesting source is Google Trends.
    This service aggregates Google’s search data to produce a metric
    describing search term popularity (relative to itself) over time.
    (Trends: https://trends.google.com
    example: compare use of document formats: .pdf vs .html)




3 ways developers can impress the boss with PDF



PDF is part of the de facto platform
Open Web Platform (OWP)
Open Web Platform - Logo

PDF is part of the de facto platform
Open Web Platform (OWP)




The Power of the Page
PDF Association - PDF handover - Icon

    It’s a question that vexes vendors of web-based solutions everywhere:
    Why do people still insist on PDF files?
    And why does PDF’s mindshare keep going up?




The case for PDF forms

    Far beyond only print,
    PDF forms offer vital electronic forms functionality.

    PDF forms vs HTML forms.
    The PDF file format includes many valuable features
    that HTML forms cannot match.




PDF in 2016:
Broader, deeper, richer

    Bridging the page and the web, there's still nothing like PDF.

    Interest in PDF continues to climb.
    The world’s portable document format continues to go from
    strength to strength, with more specifications, more files, more users,
    more implementations and more developers worldwide.





PDF Association PDF 2.0 - Logo

    PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2:2020)
    The PDF 2.0 Standard now released (December, 2020)

    PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2:2020) replaces PDF 1.7 (ISO 32000-2:2017)

    Includes critical updates to the normative references and
    character collections that underlie all PDF technology.
    All PDF developers should procure this edition from ISO!

    A variety of PDF subset specifications are based on the PDF 2.0:
    - PDF/A-4, PDF/X-6, PDF/VT-3, PDF/R-1, and ECMAScript for PDF.


    PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2:202x)
    Updated draft PDF 2.0 standard publicly available (March 17, 2020)

    Will replace ISO 32000-2:2017

    The Draft International Standard (DIS) version of
    the latest ISO 32000-2 (PDF 2.0) Standard
    is now publicly available from ISO.


    PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2:2017)
    PDF specification now updated to version 2.0 (July, 2017)

    PDF 2.0 is feature-complete and helps developers worldwide find new
    applications for the Portable Document Format in many different areas:


    PDF 2.0 examples now available (Aug., 2017)

    The first PDF 2.0 example files are now made available to the public.
    This initial set of PDF 2.0 examples were crafted by hand and
    intentionally made simple in construction to serve as
    teaching tools for learning PDF file structure and syntax.


    PDF 2.0: The worldwide standard for electronic documents
    has evolved (Aug. 30, 2017)

    The Portable Document Format is perhaps
    the most common example of a de facto standard, so much
    so that Wikipedia features PDF on its “de facto standards” page.
    From Ethernet and 802.11 to HTTP and CSS,
    the modern computing stack consists of hundreds of standards.

    The way in which PDF exemplifies the specific value of
    standards is almost unique, for PDF’s value proposition
    - the reason why PDF is today’s worldwide
    de facto standard for electronic documents -
    is the fact of standardization itself.


    PDF 2.0 - What will it bring? (2015)

    To put it simply:
    PDF 2.0 makes it easier for developers to
    create tools to manage electronic documents
    with more and better features at a reduced cost.
    For organizations that procure PDF technology PDF 2.0
    makes it easier to insist that vendors are delivering
    the highest-quality, most accessible and most
    capable PDF technology solutions available.





PDF or EPUB - Logo
PDF or EPUB
Give users what they want,
and why EPUB can't replace PDF

    EPUB can't possibly substitute PDF when it comes to a general-purpose
    electronic document format usable for publishing, and all the other
    purposes to which PDF documents are put
    (formal documents, record-keeping, transaction records, etc.)

    • EPUB can’t do fixed layout and be accessible at the same time.

    • EPUB cannot deal with the case of a document
      that combines pages from various sources
      (Word, Excel, CAD software, scanner, etc).

    • EPUB has no model for color-management,
      which is not infrequently important to publishers.

    • EPUB cannot accommodate the application of accessibility
      structures to arbitrary graphics content,
      as PDF can.

    • EPUB lacks security and digital signature facilities;
      features that are native to PDF.

    Even for publications, support for the EPUB specification varies
    between EPUB readers from different vendors;
    thus, users can’t get a consistent display result of publications,
    which in itself is totally unacceptable for publishing.




Redaction of Documents

Redaction is the process of removing content from a document.
There are various ways to achieve redaction in electronic documents,
ranging from removal of content from an original source document
to printing and re-scanning after redaction.




The Potential for Deepfakes with PDF
Hunter Biden’s "email" and
the potential for deepfakes with PDF (October 19, 2020)

This article is intended for journalists, researchers, attorneys,
law-enforcement, application developers and other professionals.

Akin to the earlier series on the redaction of The Mueller Report PDF,
this article provides cultural framing and technical background for
considering the evidence provided to-date by the New York Post
regarding Hunter Biden’s alleged email from Ukraine.


    On Wednesday, October 14, 2020 the New York Post published
    an article in which they claimed to be in possession of a copy of
    a hard-drive belonging to Hunter Biden,
    the son of the former Vice President of the United States and
    current Democratic candidate for president, Joe Biden.

    Some journalists are covering this PDF document as if it represents
    an email from Hunter Biden’s computer; it may or it may not.

    However, many people question the origin of the email.
    The question that should be asked is: Who actually created the PDF file?


    The PDF Association highlights here that this case may have other
    explanations and that PDF technology may have been used
    to create a manipulated PDF document;
    this article offers interesting insights for digital forensics technicians
    about the possibilities to manipulate documents with PDF technology.




PDF redaction – AstraZeneca EU Contracts (Feb. 9, 2021)
    What happened?

Redaction of contract AstraZeneca - EU

AstraZeneca Redacted Document - Picture

Click on the picture

After correctly redacting the text passages on the PDF page,
the PDF's bookmarks referring to redacted content were overlooked.
The confidential information was removed from the page as intended,
but was unfortunately disclosed in the PDF bookmarks!





How you see PDFs versus how a search engine sees PDFs (Aug. 1, 2019)



PDF to end the era of ECM vendor lock-in

Making “information management” real

    A common portable container, PDF, to end the era of ECM vendor lock-in.

    Mostly, it’s the fact that a standardized, fully-supported and globally
    broadly-accepted portable container format would provide users
    with powerful technology independent of any specific vendor,
    ending the era of vendor lock-in.
    ECM Vendors don’t like that, but customers do.

    Over the next 5-10 years,
    expect to see PDF become the common portable container for
    a new era of smart, interconnected document and
    information management systems.




What ECM/e-archive professionals
must know about PDF

    Ask your ECM/e-archive vendor to detail their support for PDF,
    or risk unecessary costs, increased risks and missed opportunities.

    Although PDF represents the bulk of content in ECM/e-archive systems
    the majority of such implementations do not handle PDF documents
    much differently than they way they’ve handled TIFF images
    for the past 25 years.

    Not all PDF creation software is equal.
    Exclude software that’s dangerous to your documents.
    Use ECM/e-archive software that understands PDF.

    Ensure PDF documents do not contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
    and other privacy or security-related content is a critical aspect of releasing
    sensitive documents to 3rd parties or into the public domain.

    Note! For redaction tools:
    Be sure your search software can find all the information you need to remove.
    Just putting a black box on top of sensitive information does not "remove"
    anything (e.g. the document is still leaking sensitive information).




PDF supports work-from-home (WFH) and school-from-home (SFH)



PDF/A
Technical Working Group & Marketing Working Group

(earlier named PDF/A Competence Center)

PDF Association PDF/A CC - Icon

ISO 19005 (PDF/A)
for long-term preservation/archiving of PDF documents.
Ensures that digital documents can be reproduced in the future.




The Purpose of PDF/A

    The purpose of PDF/A is a file format based on PDF
    that provides a mechanism for representing electronic documents
    in a manner that preserves their visual appearance over time,
    independent of the tools and systems used for creating,
    storing or rendering the files.

    PDF/A does not allow external dependencies and circumstances;
    such as time dependencies, Javascript, ...




    Conformance levels:

      PDF/A-2b: "b" stands for "basic" and means that the PDF file
      must be a correct reproduction of the original document and
      in that format can easily only consist of scanned pages.

      PDF/A-2u: "u" stands for text in unicode.
      Must comply with the "b" variant, correct reproduction of
      the original document, and that text fonts must also be
      included in unicode format.

      PDF/A-2a: "a" stands for accessible.
      Must meet the "u" variant with text fonts in unicode format,
      and also be a structured document (tagged).




PDF/A Rules for Document Attachments:
    PDF/A-1 (ISO 19005-1:2005)

    No attachments allowed.

    PDF/A-1 logo

    Example: Conversion of email to PDF/A-1:
    Attachments become additional PDF/A pages.

    Conformance levels:
    a - accessible, b - basic.


    PDF/A-2 (ISO 19005-2:2011)

    Attachments as PDF/A allowed.

    PDF/A-2 logo

    Example: Conversion of email to PDF/A-2:
    Attachments are converted to PDF/A and embedded in document.

    Conformance levels:
    a - accessible, b - basic, u - unicode.


    PDF/A-3 (ISO 19005-3:2012)

    Attachments in arbitrary formats - PDF/A and other formats - are allowed.

    PDF/A-3 logo

    Example: Conversion of email with attachments to PDF/A-3:
    Attachments as PDF/A and (in addition) embedded in original format.

    Conformance levels:
    a - accessible, b - basic, u - unicode.


    Examples of Use Cases Where PDF/A-3 Makes a Difference:

    • Blog: System-independent Archiving of Project Files with PDF/A-3


    • Smarter Publishing with PDF/A-3u:
      RFC Editor / The Internet Standards Series



    • Electronic Invoices as Accessible PDF using PDF/A-3, XML and PDF/UA:
      • Forum for Electronic Invoicing Germany (FeRD) brochure:
        "Electronic Invoices – Practical Guidelines for Companies"

      • This brochure presents the rules and regulations applying to both
        the paper invoice and the e-invoice, and highlights the special
        provisions that apply specifically to e-invoices in the areas of
        transmission, approval, correction and record keeping.


      • ZUGFeRD:
        The Format for Electronic Invoicing in the Public and Private Sector

      • ZUGFeRD is a kind of translation of the European legal requirements
        (EU Directive 2014/55/EU, European Standard 16931)
        and is not application software.
        This translation or structural description of a data set and
        the associated dependencies must be implemented in
        the software used by a business.


        ZUGFeRD is a hybrid data format that combines and
        manages both structured and non-structured data.

        ZUGFeRD consists of a PDF-A/3 with an XML-based attachment.
        The recipient can choose between processing the invoice as an
        ordinary PDF or let computers process the embedded XML code.


        Invoice creation with ZUGFeRD:
        The integration can be done, for example,
        via standard software systems (i.e. ERP or EDI systems) or
        in-house IT departments can independently integrate ZUGFeRD
        into their individual software.
        Many accounting and ERP software systems already support ZUGFeRD.

        By also providing the PDF part in compliance with
        the ISO Standard PDF/UA for universally accessible PDF,
        the invoice also becomes an accessible PDF.
        Accessibility devices (such as screen readers) can then accurately
        reproduce the invoice content for the human invoice recipient.


        The key strengths of ZUGFeRD are:

        • the human-oriented representation using the trusted PDF
          to reliably communicate accurate information.

        • the machine-oriented EDI information stored within the PDF
          for automatic processing of ICT systems.

        Benefits of ZUGFeRD:

        • Save costs on printing, envelopes and postage

        • No need to copy, scan, OCR invoices (less errors)

        • Approval process can be done digitally

        • Faster processing = faster payment?

        • No need to file invoices as paper documents

        • Different software systems only need to
          understand a single format (choice!)

        • SMEs can meet requirements of large corporations
          without former agreement

        • Mails with ZUGFeRD attachment could be
          detected, processed and filed automatically

        • Banks could read ZUGFeRD invoices and
          process them immediately

        Additional information on ZUGFeRD provided by iText Software:


    PDF/A-4 (ISO 19005-4:2019) - The Upcoming Standard

    Will be PDF/A based on PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2:2017).
    Will be simpler, with no conformance levels.




Application of the PDF/A Standard in Sweden

    Binding rules apply for all Swedish government agencies and bodies
    keeping public documents from state archives.

    For Swedish government authorities apply to electronic archiving of
    office documents and digital documents the authorities must follow:

    Riksarkivet's/National Archives' regulations and rules:

    • RA-FS 2009:1 general guidelines for electronic documents

    • RA-FS 2009:2 technical requirements for electronic documents.

    As of 2016, for long-term archiving of office documents and
    electronic documents these regulations and guidelines prescribe
    the use of the file format: PDF/A-1.




PDF is Here to Stay - It Will Never Go Away

    PDF technology is a pervasive feature of the world's communications infrastructure.
    With a unique and unmatched feature-set; no other technology comes close.

    We're not going back to paper,
    so it's long past time for governments and businesses to focus
    just a little on this ubiquitous format that's never going away.





PDF/A och Enterprise Content Management system
Do Complement Each Other Perfectly!



With PDF the archive becomes the “Noah’s Ark” for every document
The Format Zoo - Picture

The Format Zoo

    If only documents in original formats
    (MS Word, MS Excel, PDF, HTML, TIFF, JPG, AFP and PCL,...) are stored
    the archive's ability to deliver usable content will always be in doubt.

    Instead, with every original document, a PDF/A document
    should also go "on board" to ensure functionality in an
    unknown environment after the "flood".




Memorializing Online Transactions with PDF Documents

What to do when RDBMS systems fail to memorialize transactions?

    By capturing the visual representation (in PDF/A!)
    at the time that the transaction is processed it is
    guaranteed that the data used in creating the document is
    current and valid and the visual representation of the transaction
    matches the expectations of all the parties involved in the transaction.




Future generations access to and render of vintage email
    Packaging Email Archives Using PDF

    Archiving email isn't easy or obvious.
    Commonly, solutions are vendor-specific and email clients are required;
    not an ideal solution for static records.

    In 2019 the University of Illinois was awarded a grant by
    the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop conversion criteria
    and requirements for archiving email into PDF containers.

    The EA-PDF Working Group, expert members from government,
    academia and industry, file a report that establishes
    high-level functional requirements for an idealized use of
    ISO 32000 Portable Document Format (PDF) technology
    as a model for packaging email for archival or other purposes.

    These requirements provide a framework within which interested people
    from the archives, library, museum, digital preservation, and developer
    communities can collaborate to develop a technically detailed
    specification and implementation reference model.

    The EA-PDF concept integrates the capture of EML or MBOX content
    with PDF as a packaging, representation and distribution model
    for individual emails up to complete mailboxes.


    EA-PDF Working Group Report:
    “A Specification for Using PDF to Package and Represent Email".


    Future generations access to and render of vintage email?

    Archives around the world are filled with handwritten letters and typed memos.
    But what about correspondence of a later vintage?
    How should governments, universities, business, and archives
    ensure the future generations can access and render email?





PDF Forms
Technical Working Group & Marketing Working Group

The PDF Forms Technical Working Group (TWG) is dedicated to
advancing the current PDF Forms technologies through
the introduction of new declarative models with integrated semantics.




The Purpose of PDF Forms TWG

    The purpose of PDF Forms is to modernize the PDF Forms technology.

    Electronic PDF Forms is key.
    While Adobe made additions to the native PDF forms technology to bring it to
    functional parity with HTML, little else has changed for quite a long time.

    Although companies such as DocuSign, Adobe, Dropbox and others
    have created their own extensions to PDF to enable rich workflows it is
    imperative that these capabilities make their way into the core PDF standard.

    The PDF Forms TWG is now evaluating
    the forms technologies specified in ISO 32000 and setting a
    path forward to advancing forms in PDF.

    This community is dedicated to advancing the current
    PDF Forms technologies through the introduction of new
    declarative models with integrated semantics.

    These capabilities will not only bring PDF in alignment with modern HTML forms,
    but re-establish PDF’s leadership in the forms and workflow world.


    The community works closely with

    to ensure that those groups' input is heard.


    Specific areas in which the PDF Forms TWG plan to invest:

    • Connecting Forms to ResponsivePDF

    • Replacing reliance on JavaScript for common concepts
      (eg. validation & formatting)

    • Modernizing form data exchange (eg. no XML)

  • Follow the work of the PDF Forms TWG here




Conversion of Fillable/Interactive PDF Forms to PDF/A

    PDF/A forbids some of the features that will be needed by most fillable forms.
    This makes it impractical to have a fillable PDF form that also
    at the same time is PDF/A conforming.

    The way around this is as follows:

    • make the fillable PDF form as much PDF/A conforming as possible

    • send it out for being filled in

    • once filled in, send it through a PDF/A conversion process
      (preferably with callas pdfaPilot Desktop/Server or CLI);
      this last step will make minor adjustments to align
      the PDF form with the PDF/A requirements
      (e.g. remove JavaScript, adjust certain properties of form fields and so on,
      but without changing the visual appearance, and, most importantly,
      without removing the payload/the data as filled in)



PDF/raster - Logo
PDF/R (a.k.a. PDF/raster)

TWAIN Working Group and PDF Association Announce PDF/R

The Next-Generation Format for Digital Imaging
A PDF technology-based ISO Standard

PDF/R – The new ISO 23504-1:2020 standard
for raster image data interchange


    PDF/R: The Imaging File Format of the Future (April 15, 2021)

    The PDF/R format is designed expressly to support
    modern standards-based document imaging workflows.

    PDF/R, an ISO-standardized format for storing,
    transporting and exchanging scanned documents
    takes advantage of the widespread support of PDF
    for viewing, printing and processing files.

    PDF/R provides the portability of PDF while offering the core
    functionality of TIFF, bitonal, grayscale and true color images.


    PDF/R fits well into existing workflows and is compatible
    so either existing libraries or newly developed frameworks
    can be used for embedded systems like firmware.

    PDF/R features include support for encryption and authentication,
    and is as extensible as PDF itself.

    PDF/R can be employed in scanning applications,
    as a standalone format or as part of a TWAIN Direct initiative.

    This simple and highly compressed format is ideal for use with
    IoT technology and helps to optimize cloud applications
    with minimal integration time and effort and
    no expensive library licensing costs.


    Before PDF/R document scanning systems were based on
    image formats instead of document formats.

    PDF/R delivers the advantages of PDF to all imaging workflows,
    allowing even low-cost scanners to produce PDF documents
    complete with metadata, encryption and digital signatures,
    if desired, straight from the scanner.

    The PDF/R standard is a great replacement to
    the traditional TIFF and JPEG image formats supported
    by traditional scanning devices and applications.
    PDF/R delivers compact, high quality images from
    image acquisition devices providing efficient and
    secure delivery of documents over a network.


    PDF/raster - Portable and Feature-rich (August 30, 2017)

    PDF/raster provides the portability of PDF
    while offering the core functionality of TIFF.

    PDF/R can help modernize and secure scanned image data transfer,
    especially in the age of cloud and mobile business workflows.


    PDF/raster 1.0 Documentation

    This document describes PDF/raster,
    a strict subset of the PDF file format designed
    for storing, transporting and exchanging
    multi-page raster-image documents.


    TWAIN Direct with PDF/raster Released

    The TWAIN Working Group, a liaison member of the PDF Association,
    has just announced the release of TWAIN Direct,
    their next-generation open source image-acquisition technology.

    TWAIN Direct supports direct network communication between
    desktop or mobile applications and scanning device.

Twain Direct - PDF/raster - Picture



PDF REUSE
Technical Working Group & Marketing Working Group

The PDF REUSE Technical Working Group (TWG) is dedicated to
exploring the technologies and practices that facilitate
reliable reuse of document content and semantics
on diverse devices and the broadest-possible range of applications.




The Purpose of PDF REUSE TWG

    The purpose of PDF REUSE TWG is to define a complete set of requirements
    for “well-tagged PDF” (WTPDF).

    Today, consumers of PDF documents can choose from a variety of screens
    which presents real challenges to authors of fixed layout documents.

    Beyond use on diverse displays users increasingly want their
    PDF documents to work well with technologies that depend less on
    the page’s layout, but more on the content, including search engines,
    text-to-speech solutions, translation engines, 3D, video and other
    features increasingly used to enhance digital document content.

    The initial project animating the PDF REUSE TWG is to develop
    and maintain a specification for “well-tagged PDF” or WTPDF, that is,
    PDF documents that leverage “Tagged PDF” (ISO 32000, 14.8)
    to enable reliable reuse of document content on diverse
    devices and software applications.

    Reuse as HTML is a key target; as such WTPDF will complement
    the derivation algorithm specified in:


    PDF accessibility is a subset of PDF reuse that includes additional
    requirements beyond those required for strictly reuse purposes.
    To ensure continuity between these uses WTPDF will mirror equivalent
    provisions of PDF/UA-2, and will be developed in close cooperation with:


    PDF REUSE is of interest to organizations interested to take part in
    development and publication of this new subset specification for
    using ISO Standard 32000-2.




ResponsivePDF
Technical Working Group & Marketing Working Group




Initiatives for extensions of PDF Standards
Next-Generation PDF - "Responsive PDF"!
PDF on Mobile Devices / Small Screens



Document Expectations Through the Ages

    Humans have put their thoughts to media with the idea of
    capturing these (documents) in time - for many millennia.
    Readers’ expectations have changed constantly
    and continually through the ages.




Next-Generation PDF - "Responsive PDF"!
PDF and the “Any Screen” Challenge
    PDF in the mobile world

    Based on the premise of a fixed layout,
    the page-description model better known as PDF
    was developed during a time where documents were
    exclusively viewed on desktop monitors, or printed.

    The advent of much smaller screens, and screens of many sizes,
    presents a variety of challenges – and opportunities - in the PDF paradigm.


    Responsive PDF

    PDF Association is developing industry-based model
    for addressing the “any screen” challenge.

    When it comes to print,
    PDF is today the standard format used just about everywhere.

    When it comes to the web,
    HTML and CSS have obtained a similar position.
    However, in our changing world,
    print and web flow together in all kinds of interesting ways.

    Having a format capable of catering to both worlds,
    with the strengths of both worlds, would be very exciting!

    The PDF Association has been working on exactly
    such a technology project to develop extensions to PDF.

    Technology that would marry the reliability and robustness of PDF
    with the fluidity and elegance of HTML; providing the best possible
    user experience for each type of device and use case.

    "Next-Generation PDF" is the code-name for extensions to
    PDF technology currently under development.
    These PDF extensions marry PDF’s core capabilities
    to the flexibility of web technologies.


    Note! A "responsive (reflow) web / HTML page" or
    a "responsive PDF document" does not automatically mean
    that the web page or PDF document is accessible.

    It is also required that both the web page and the PDF document are
    well tagged, as well as that they meet current digital accessibility standards,
    WCAG and PDF/UA respectively.
    They must simply also contain an internal technical description of
    the content so that technical accessibility devices can accurately
    reproduce the content.


    PDF Association unveiled this radical development in
    PDF technology at PDF Days Europe 2017.



Next-Generation PDF - "Responsive PDF"!
Demonstration Site
Duallab Next-Generation Demo Web Site - Banner -Bild

    Experiment with the conversion from PDF to HTML in a few clicks
    without leaving your browser.

    Introduction to the concept of HTML and embedded CSS in PDF documents.


    About "The Next-Generation PDF Demonstration Site":
    The Next-Generation PDF Demonstration Site is a demo site for a new
    technology to "Derive HTML from Tagged PDF" in a predictable manner.
    The technology, the derivation algorithm, is developed by the PDF Association.

    So-called "Tagged PDF" documents contain additional invisible layer with
    semantic information of all visual elements in the document, which is used
    by the Derivation Algorithm to represent the same content in HTML.


    Key Features:
    • Turn Tagged PDF into HTML using the Derivation algorithm

    • See the derived HTML code next to your PDF for
      comparison and immediate adjustments

    • Inspect the tagged structure tree of the PDF document

    • Manage PDF classes and their attributes

    • Manage embedded files associated with structure elements

    • Create and modify the mapping between PDF tags (so-called "RoleMaps")

    • Edit the CSS to adjust the HTML presentation.
      Embed the resulting CSS directly into your
      source PDF document for further reuse

    • Download the modified PDF back to your local file system

    • Full support for PDF 1.7 and PDF 2.0 specifications

PDF original version
native without embedded CSS
PDF/UA Flyer Cover Full Spread, PDF original version without embedded CSS - Picture

(Click on the picture)


HTML version
native without embedded CSS
PDF/UA Flyer - HTML-version of original PDF - Picture

(Click on the picture)


PDF version
enhanced with embedded CSS
PDF/UA Flyer Cover Full Spread, PDF original version with enhanced embedded CSS - Picture

(Click on the picture)


HTML version
enhanced with embedded CSS
PDF/UA Flyer - HTML-version of enhanced embedded CSS - Picture

(Click on the picture)




Next-Generation PDF - "Responsive PDF"!
The Future of PDF is Based on Well-Tagged PDF



Next-Generation PDF - "Responsive PDF"!
Adobe introduces Liquid Mode for Acrobat Mobile (2020-09-23)

    Consuming content on mobile has long been a painful experience
    - especially if a document is long and wordy.

    Liquid Mode for Acrobat Mobile delivers a breakthrough reading experience
    that enables a much easier way to read documents on mobile.

    Liquid Mode reformats a static PDF into a more
    dynamic and customizable experience.

    Liquid Mode is built on top of the rich capabilities of PDF,
    including the semantics of Tagged PDF.

    With the push of a button, Liquid Mode automatically reformats text, images,
    and tables for quick navigation and consumption on small screens.

    Liquid Mode simultaneously creates an intelligent outline,
    collapsible and expandable sections, and searchable text
    for quick navigation.

    Users can even tailor font size and spacing between words,
    characters, and lines to suit their specific reading preferences.
    This is especially useful for those who may see text as too small,
    squished together, tight, or jumbled.

    With Liquid Mode, pinching and zooming is no longer necessary.
    Words are resizable and reflowable, images are tappable and
    expandable, and tables are responsive.


    Adobe, a long-time partner with and member of the PDF Association,
    continues to evolve PDF, co-working through collaborative groups such as
    the Next Generation PDF TWG, PDF/UA TWG and PDF Reuse TWG.




Next-Generation PDF - "Responsive PDF"!
Google Chrome Adds Support for Tagged PDF (July 29, 2020)

    Google pre-announcement:
    Starting with Chrome 85, the world's leading browser,
    will automatically generate a tagged PDF when using the "Save as PDF" option.

    Note! Although tagged PDF is a first step and prerequisite for accessible PDF,
    this announcement does not specifically tell to what extent a Chrome 85
    saved PDF file will be in compliance with the PDF/UA Standard.




PDF/UA from Google Docs is Coming Soon! (2016)



Next-Generation PDF - "Responsive PDF"!
Apple Tags PDF (September 30, 2019)

    Apple has published a new page indicating that version 8.2 of
    its suite of productivity apps; Pages, Keynote and Numbers,
    now supports creation of tagged (and thus, accessible and reusable) PDF,
    and not just on MacOS, but on iOS/iPadOS as well.

    Note! Although all excellent recommendations by Apple,
    complete accessibility in PDF or any other format
    requires attention to a variety of criteria as specified in
    W3C/WCAG 2.1 (generally) and ISO PDF/UA (PDF-specific considerations).




Next-Generation PDF - "Responsive PDF"!
Microsoft vs PDF/UA - 2016 and 2019



PDF/UA
Technical Working Group & Marketing Working Group

(earlier named PDF/UA Competence Center)

PDF Association PDF/UA CC - Icon

ISO 14289-1 (PDF/UA) for universally accessible PDF
specifies the use of ISO 32000-1
to produce accessible electronic documents.

PDF/UA is of interest to organizations concerned
with conformance to regulations requiring
accessible electronic content.

Accessibility is a subset of reuse - PDF REUSE




The Purpose of PDF/UA
PDF/UA - Icon

    A digital or electronic media is accessible when it is
    easily opened, read, understood and can be navigated by everyone,
    with or without disabilities.

    The purpose of PDF/UA is to define a complete set of requirements
    for universally accessible PDF documents.

    Rather than applying to the PDF file format alone,
    these clear specifications also define compliant
    assistive technology and PDF reading software.




PDF/UA Defines Technical Requirements for Universally Accessible PDF

    PDF/UA defines the technical requirements that must be
    considered when the PDF document is created
    to be universally accessible for all.

    The standard specifies HOW relevant PDF content
    (such as semantic content, text content, images,
    form fields, comments, bookmarks, and metadata)
    may be used in PDF/UA-compliant documents.

    Properly tagged PDFs are essential and a prerequisite
    for accessibility so that screen reader devices for
    visually impaired people or reading software for
    users with learning disabilities can provide
    rich access to a PDF’s content.

    PDF tags are also an effective method to improve
    Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

    Even automated text extraction from PDF documents
    is easier with well-tagged documents

    PDF/UA-2 - The Upcoming Standard
    Will be PDF/UA for PDF 2.0.



Introduction to PDF/UA
The ISO standard for universal accessibility



PDF Association
"The Matterhorn Protocol"
PDF Association - Matterhorn Protocol - The Matterhorn Mountain - Picture

To promote adoption of PDF/UA by
software developers and document testers alike,
the PDF Association's PDF/UA Competence Center
developed the Matterhorn Protocol,
a list of all the possible ways to fail PDF/UA Standard


    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools verify/confirm PDF/UA conformance
    based on the Matterhorn Protocol's set of checks.

    PDF/UA conformance requires validation of both syntax and semantic.


    The Matterhorn Protocol specifies a common set of
    31 "Checkpoints" with 136 failure conditions, whereof

    • 89 failure conditions can be checked by software,

    • 47 failure conditions usually require human judgment.

    The 47 checks that may require human judgement boil down to:

    • Confirming that the document's semantics
      as indicated by the tags are accurate

    • Confirming that the order of semantic content is logical

    • Confirming that any role-mappings in use are valid

    • Several checks that apply equally to other forms of content
      (color, contrast, metadata, alternate text for images, language)

    • Checks pertaining to JavaScript,
      or other content-specific checks

    Recommended reading:


    PDF Association - Matterhorn Protocol v1.1 - Front Cover -  Picture



PDF Association Reference Suite, V1.1 (September 17, 2020)

Accessible PDF Documents in Compliance with
the ISO Standard 14289-1 for Universally Accessible PDF - PDF/UA-1


    PDF Association Reference Suite V1.1 adheres to these recommendations:


    The PDF/UA Reference Suite serves as a reference for
    software developers and practitioners interested in
    best-practices for creating tagged and accessible PDF files.

    Ranging from publications to transactional records
    the collection represents a cross-section of document types
    reflecting the wide variety of uses for PDF technology.

    Documents included in the PDF/UA Reference Suite demonstrate
    correct tagging in a number of sophisticated use cases, including:

    • Content spanning multiple pages

    • Complex table structures

    • Interactive forms

    • Links targeting structure elements

    • Scanned documents

    In addition to conformity with PDF/UA-1
    some files are also in conformity with PDF/A-2,
    the archival standard for PDF.

    Some files additionally demonstrate that PDF and PDF/UA-1
    support the use of structure elements for diverse purposes
    so long as they do not impact interpretation or representation
    of the document’s logical structure.




Using PDF/UA in accessibility checklists (2018)

    PDF/UA to simplifies the accessibility process.
    Applying PDF/UA to accessibility-validation processes allows one
    to package sets of tests together, streamlining the validation process.




The relationship between PDF/UA and WCAG



Achieving WCAG 2.x with PDF/UA

    Why aren’t the PDF Techniques for WCAG 2.x sufficient?

    Creators and vendors who deliver PDF files are in many cases asked
    to deliver PDF files in conformance with WCAG 2.x.
    For many vendors this is unknown territory, and WCAG 2.x does not
    provide sufficient PDF-specific technical information to achieve similar
    results between situations or implementations.

    WCAG and PDF/UA complement each other.

    The AIIM guide, "Achieving WCAG 2.0 with PDF/UA",
    shows what’s necessary to create, process and validate,
    (in PDF file-format and conforming reader terms),
    a PDF/UA conforming document and reader
    to meet all applicable WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria.


    The AIIM guide is here:





PDF Association - PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit 2018 - Logo
Breaking News! (September, 2018)
PDF Association helps W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative
to modernize the W3C's PDF Techniques for Accessibility!



U.S. Access Board Affirms:
PDF/UA required for “modern” PDF software (2019)

    Accessibility best-practices for websites and electronic documents
    increasingly specify WCAG for HTML/CSS/JavaScript content and video,
    and PDF/UA for electronic documents.

    New U.S. Section 508 rules applies to all forms of federal ICT,
    regardless of file format or method of distribution.
    U.S. Section 508 applies to all ICT / all forms of digital communication.
    Not just websites, but documents, media, blogs, social media, etc.,
    for all public-facing ICT, plus 9 categories on non-public-facing ICT
    including personnel actions, questionnaires or surveys,
    templates or forms, education or training materials,
    web-based intranets.

    U.S. Section 508 defines by reference international accessibility standards:

    • WCAG for websites and HTML information, and

    • PDF/UA-1 for PDF files

    WCAG and PDF/UA complement each other.

    PDF/UA is consistent with WCAG, but far more technically specific,
    and provides a clear-cut means of affirming that a given PDF document
    meets high standards for accessibility.


    New Section 508 rules require PDF/UA
    for PDF 1.7 documents (2017).

    The U.S. Access Board has issued new rules updating its
    “U.S. Section 508” accessibility requirements.
    PDF/UA-1 support is required for PDF creation software producing PDF 1.7 files.


    U.S. Access Board Affirms:
    PDF/UA required for PDF software (2019)




U.S. American With Disabilities Act (ADA)
also valid for commercial web content (2019)

    October 7, 2019, will be remembered in
    the accessibility community for a long time.

    As of this date, websites and mobile applications in
    the U.S. will be assessed as "public accommodations"
    rather than merely as one of many ways in which a
    consumer might access a retailer’s offerings.
    As such, the accessibility requirements (and penalties for non-compliance)
    of the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) will apply.

    It is now no longer federal, state and local government and their
    contractors who are required to ensure their digital content
    is accessible for everyone.

    The power of the ADA may now be leveraged to force corrective
    action by virtually any commercial organization offering
    a public accommodation.


    See also:




Application of the PDF/UA Standard in Sweden

    Access to digital information is a fundamental right for everyone.

    Sweden as a nation stands by:

    • UN Declaration of Human Rights,

    • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and

    • the Swedish Discrimination Act.

    • the Swedish Act on Accessibility to Digital Public Service;
      based on the EU Web Accessibility Directive.

    PDF/UA is applicable for Swedish government agencies and bodies
    in making public sector documents universally accessible for all.


    See also:




Entirely barrier-free:
Accessible PDF (PDF/UA) for Accessible eGovernment

    Access to digital information is a fundamental right for everyone.
    Making information easily accessible to citizens is undoubtedly
    a big part of eGovernment and is sought after by federal and
    state authorities as well as districts, cities and municipalities.

    Increasingly, information is only offered and passed on in digital form,
    whereby the reliable and user-friendly Portable Document Format (PDF)
    has established itself worldwide as the preferred file format.
    To ensure unrestricted access in every respect,
    PDF files must meet certain requirements.

    These are defined in PDF/UA as the ISO standard for accessible PDF documents.
    It ensures that even citizens with greatly diminished vision,
    insufficient command of written language or motor limitations can
    capture and interactively use documents without outside help.

    More in this blog article:




Services and tools to create
accessible PDF documents and forms
according to the ISO Standard PDF/UA


PDF/E
Technical Working Group & Marketing Working Group

(earlier named PDF/E Competence Center)

PDF Association PDF/E CC - Icon

ISO 24517 (PDF/E)
is aimed at engineering documents such as construction drawings
and is usually derived from CAD files.




The Purpose of PDF/E

    PDF/E ("PDF Engineering") is based on the PDF format and
    specifies how PDF should be used for the creation of documents
    in engineering workflows; including 3D in the PDF/E context and
    archiving of engineering content.




A point of contact of the benefits of PDF/E
in almost every engineering field.

    PDF/E Competence Center is a platform for information and discussion
    for experts in 3D technology, architects and construction specialists,
    as well as developers of PLM applications.
    For all engineers who use PDF technology as an
    integral component of their day-to-day work.




Key benefits of PDF/E

    Benefits with PDF/E:

    • Dramatically reduces requirements for
      expensive proprietary software.

    • Lowers storage and exchange costs as compared to paper.

    • Facilitates trustworthy exchange and markup
      across multiple applications and platforms.

    • Vendor-independent; PDF/E is developed and
      maintained by the PDF/E ISO committee.

    Note! May 2018
    The Upcoming Standard PDF/E-2 will instead be PDF/A-4

    The upcoming standard was earlier planned to be PDF/E-2 based on PDF 2.0
    to provide an archival model for engineering content including 3D.
    The industry was more interested in making this a part of PDF/A
    instead of following a new standard PDF/E-2.
    The ISO then stopped working on PDF/E-2 standard and is
    making it a part of PDF/A-4 (Conformance level e).




PDF/VT
Technical Working Group & Marketing Working Group

(earlier named PDF/VT Competence Center)

PDF Association PDF/VT CC - Icon

ISO 16612-2 (PDF/VT)
An International Standard for Personalized Print / Variable Data




The Purpose of PDF/VT

    PDF/VT is based on PDF format to support variable data printing.

    PDF/VT is optimized for the specific needs of
    Variable (“V”) and Transactional (“T”) workflows.

    PDF/VT efficiently addresses the requirements of modern
    Variable Data Printing (VDP), bringing all the well-known
    advantages of PDF workflow to the world of personalized print.




PDF/VT - Application Notes

    The PDF/VT Application Notes discuss topics that aid
    implementers of PDF/VT workflow tools and demonstrate
    the various design features of the PDF/VT file format.






Ghent Workgroup - Logo

Ghent Workgroup (GWG)

Best Practices for
Print, Publishing & Packaging Workflows




This is the Ghent Workgroup

    Take a cross-section of the international
    graphic arts community’s best minds and have
    them work together to develop best practices
    for the benefit of the profession worldwide.




Purpose of the Ghent Workgroup

    To create practical workflow tools that make your
    daily production tasks easier and faster for publishing,
    packaging, wide format and industrial print processes:

    • Create specifications and best practices.

    • Help educate the graphic arts market;
      translating deep technical knowledge to people
      who need to use it in practice in the field.



Benefits of the Ghent Workgroup Today

PDF/X - logo

    Driven by industry trends, end users are able to formalize
    implementation of PDF/X standards for data exchange via GWG.

    The ISO Standard PDF/X only defines the general
    requirements for a reliable exchange of prepress data;
    the standard itself does not specify quality requirements.

    These requirements are different for each printing process
    (sheetfed offset, web offset, newspaper printing, flexo printing,
    screen printing, etc.) and market segments (magazines,
    newspaper, art books, etc.).

    The Ghent Workgroup took over the task of
    defining quality requirements.


    The most important PDF/X flavors are currently:

    • PDF/X-1a

    • PDF/X-4

    • PDF/X-6 (based on PDF 2.0)



Ghent Workgroup Technical Specifications

    GWG Specifications are now the recognized PDF reference
    for the current printing and publishing industries.

Ghent Workgroup -

    "PDF/X-Plus" creation and preflight specifications and best
    practices are the core work of the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

    They include documentation that explain
    the theoretical sides of the specifications and
    they include deliverable reference implementations.

    "PDF/X-Plus" means specifications based on PDF/X,
    but being more restrictive.




Samples of typical scenarios

    1. Printshop requirement: "Give us a PDF".

      You can deliver a PDF according to: "GWG 2015 Sheetfed CMYK"


    2. Printshop requirement: "Give us a PDF/X".

      You can deliver a PDF according to: "GWG 2015 Sheetfed CMYK"


    3. Printshop requirement: "Give us a Ghent Workgroup PDF".

      You can deliver a PDF according to: "GWG 2015 Sheetfed CMYK"


    4. Printshop requirement: "Give us a PDF for a banner".

      You can deliver a PDF according to: "GWG 2015 large format PDF"




Processing Steps

PDF Processing Steps Metadata
PDF metadata for post-print workflows

    It is common practice in packaging and other segments of
    the printing industry to add additional objects and metadata
    in a PDF that will not be used for printing the final product.

    Examples are cut lines (also referred to as cut contours,
    or die lines), and varnish, braille, legends…

callas pdfToolbox - PDF Processing Steps Metadata - Picture



Best Practices / Everything you need to know




2018 - 25 years of PDF - Celebrating with Ghent Work Group






Business value comes from always accessible enterprise information.
Protect your values in future-proof open document formats:

ODF logo     PDF logo

Details on
OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Portable Document Format (PDF)

ODF Text logo ODF Text Template logo ODF Text logo ODF Text Template logo ODF Text logo ODF Text Template logo ODF Text logo ODF Text Template logo ODF Text logo ODF Text Template logo ODF Text logo Text HTML  Text
.odt .ott .ods .ots .odp .otp .odg .otg .odb .odf .odm .oth

PDF- logo PDF/A- logo PDF/E - logo PDF/VT - logo PDF/UA - logo PDF/X - logo


Archiving of 3D Documents using PDF/A-3 and PDF/E-2, and 3D PDF

PDF/A - logo PDF/E - logo 3D PDF - logo

Recommendations on archiving 3D documents





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