PDF Association Newsletter: Issue 28

News from the PDF Association: Technical Conference Europe 2013 and more



Dear Readers,

PDF is celebrating its 20th birthday this year – in some countries this is the age when you become an adult. My personal PDF history began 18 years ago, which coincides with the age of consent here in Germany. Back then I was a trainee for a magazine in the graphics sector, and I can well remember that the publisher looked at PDF as the promising file exchange format for the future. This goal has been achieved, but it has taken a while to get there. The first advances were realized in 1996 with Acrobat 3.0 and PDF 1.2, but the real breakthrough came with the introduction of PDF/X. I had the luck of meeting one of the driving forces behind the implementation of PDF/X back in those early years.

Here is how it went: After a Seybold conference in San Francisco, which at the time was the Mecca of publishers, I was back home and sitting alone in the editorial office on a Sunday, looking through my conference documents in order to meet a deadline for an article I was writing. A CD with interesting software, which I had brought back from the States with me, came surprisingly from a company in Berlin. I wrote an inquiring email, and the telephone rang not 10 minutes later. This was an unknown look into the future, because on the other end was the current Chairman of the PDF Association, who was the founder and is still today president of Callas Software.

After spending several years in the publishing industry, dealing predominantly with PDF for prepress files and PDF/X, I greatly expanded my horizon for PDF and ISO standards with my previous employer, PDFlib GmbH in Munich. Since PDFlib was one of the founding members of ADDS, I was able to experience the formation of the association first-hand.

When the association was founded, the name that was chosen – Association for Digital Document Standards – was selected with the future in mind. In the beginning the focus lay solely on PDF/A, which in hindsight can be considered a great success. While I was in Munich I experienced the association’s transition from being the PDF/A Competence Center, which is the name that was publicly promoted, to the PDF Association, with all of the ISO PDF standards in its sights.

My move to Berlin at the end of 2012, which was planned anyways, was made easier through my employment at ADDS. I knew that the PDF Association is an organization that stands for shaping the future of document formats through fundamental knowledge and good content.

Today, as assistant to the PDF Association board, I am responsible for several activities. But my most important functions are without a doubt supporting and assisting the members of the association, and answering questions about PDF standards that come from interested users. The association needs good, competence and active members, as well as well-informed users, to promote and advance the important topic of PDF standards.

The really interesting question is, after all: where will we, the PDF Association, the members and the users be when PDF celebrates its next 20 years?

At the Technical Conference Europe 2013 in June you can gain a first glimpse into what the future might bring!

Irina Leichsenring,
Assistant to the Board, PDF Association



Technical Conference Europe 2013

The PDF Association’s second Technical Conference will take place from the 18th to the 19th of June 2013. This year, the conference will be located in Königswinter, near Bonn / Germany. Developers, systems integrators, technical decision-makers and product managers can expect a mixture of the latest research results, presentations, inspiring case studies, procedural tutorials and practical know-how from the world of PDFs. Proven experts will bring participants up to date on the various PDF standards out there – from PDF/A and PDF/UA, to PDF/X, PDF/E, PDF/VT and PDF itself – and provide real food for discussions and sharing know-how.


Leonard Rosenthol – The Future of PDF. Leonard Rosenthol is PDF Architect & Principal Scientist at Adobe Systems, Inc. He is responsible for the definition and standardization of PDF both within Adobe and in various international standards bodies (e.g. ISO, ETSI, OASIS). As senior member of the Acrobat engineering team he is responsible for the design and implementation of various aspects of the Adobe Acrobat & Reader product lines.

Marco Zehe – Document accessibility for software developers. Marco Zehe, Accessibility Quality Assurance Engineer at the Mozilla Corporation since 2007, is responsible for testing new features and fixes in Firefox and other products from Mozilla. Totally blind from birth, Marco Zehe has been using screen readers of various shapes and sizes since 1991, when he got his first DOS-based PC. Not limiting himself to the blindness side of things, he hopes to be able to help both developers and users with all kinds of disabilities such as motor impairments, low vision and others.

Choice of Tracks

In addition to the keynotes, the agenda is divided up into three “tracks”. “Last year we offered a choice of two tracks. This concept, which gave participants the maximum possible benefit based on their own areas of interest and existing knowledge , was so well-received that we decided to broaden our offering even further this year”, explained Olaf Drümmer, Chairman of the PDF Association.

On the first day, the first track will provide a full range of information on PDF/A as a format for archiving things like scanned and born-digital documents, and for hybrid archiving with PDF/A-3. The second track will focus on output and printing using the PDF/X and PDF/VT formats, while the third track will offer a series of highly technical presentations on PDF validation.

On day two, Track A will look at the subject of universal accessibility with PDF/UA. The focus here will be on the challenging process of creating these files, the corresponding processes and tools needed, and how to confirm that a file really is universally accessible. If you’re interested in signatures and SharePoint, then Track B is for you: here, two presentations will get in-depth with digital signatures, while two more will discuss optimal PDF integration and PDF standards in SharePoint. Also on day two, Track C will go “Inside PDF”. Remaining highly technologically-oriented, this will explain in detail how best to create and process PDFs, and will also discuss the PDF syntax.

Registration and Prices

Registrations are taken on a first come first served basis. For those unable to attend in person we will provide remote access through web conferencing. Remote access will be free of charge, but will only be available to members of the PDF Association.

  • Members: 199 Euro
  • Members of partner organizations: 199 Euro
  • Non-members: 799 Euro

(all prices excluding 19% German VAT)

Registration at http://www.amiando.com/techconf-eu-2013.html



PDF/A seminar in Sweden,  May 30, 2013

Bonniers Conference Center, Stockholm Sweden

PDF/UA im Fokus: Barrierefreie PDFs aus Office-Programmen, June 5, 2013

Berlin, Germany

nestor-Praktikertag 2013, June 18, 2013

Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Hamburg, Germany

Technical Conference Europe, June 18-19, 2013

Germany, Königswinter

PDF/A-3 – ZUGFeRD am 10. Juli

Technical Conference US, August 14-15, 2013

Seattle, Washington

PDF/A User Day on August 16

PDF/A user day in Seattle


New Members

About the PDF Association

The PDF Association is geared towards developers of PDF solutions; companies that work with PDF in document management systems (DMS) and electronic content management (ECM), interested individuals, and users who want to implement PDF technology in their organizations. Although the Association’s original members were predominantly from German-speaking countries, the PDF Association now boasts members from over 20 countries worldwide.


Association for Digital Document Standards e.V.

PDF Association

Thomas Zellmann

Neue Kantstr. 14
D-14057 Berlin

Phone: +49 30 39 40 50-0
Fax: +49 30 39 40 50-99




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About PDF Association

Founded in 2006 as the PDF/A Competence Center, the PDF Association exists to promote the adoption and implementation of International Standards for PDF technology.

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