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PDF Association

Mission Statement: To promote Open Standards-based electronic document implementations using PDF technology through education, expertise and shared experience for stakeholders worldwide.
More contributions
What is a “Competence Center”?

The PDF Association started in 2006 as the “PDF/A Competence Center”. The mission was to identify – and thereby establish – a common interpretation of the PDF/A-1 specification. With that accomplished through meetings open to all members, the secondary …

“PDF can do THAT?!”

PDF files deliver a complete package of information that defines a document; everything that’s needed to represent the text, graphics and layout that the recipient receives. To most people, PDF is “electronic paper” – the digital expression of a cellul …

The only digital document format

What is a “document”? A document is a record of some (typically written) content – a publication, a contract, a statement, a painting – at a moment in time. Until the advent of computers (and scanners), the media typically considered useable for such r …

Save the Date: PDF Days Europe 2018, May 14-16, in Berlin

PDF Days Europe is the most popular PDF event of the year. It’s where the PDF industry meets, and where institutional and corporate users come to learn what else PDF could do for them. The first two PDF Days will offer a broad range of educational sessions focussed on current and perennial topics in the world of PDF technology implementation.

The Power of the Page

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? “PDF is such antediluvian technology!” they say. “It’s pre-web, are you kidding me? It’s so old-f …

Accessible PDF: Users and usage


As a quality standard for universally accessible PDF documents aimed at both software developers and document creators, PDF/UA serves as a clear basic requirement for everyone involved in PDF creation. It gives software developers a clear set of goals to work towards implementing which users can then take into account when creating PDFs.

This benefits all PDF creators. Some of them will find PDF/UA compliance brings significant advantages. This includes people who work with office documents, who often distribute their finished presentations, spreadsheets and text documents to others or store them in a central location for others to retrieve. As the office program each person uses can vary dramatically in terms of functionality, compatibility and accessibility, it is often easier for everyone involved to export these documents to PDF format before passing them along to others. PDF documents created in this way are not automatically PDF/UA-compliant, but it is now becoming much easier to make these documents universally accessible and ultimately, for them to meet the standard.

A further area of application for PDF/UA is in digital distribution of printed publications in PDF format. The print data is usually prepared in digital format using layout and editing programs, then exported in PDF format for printing. These programs are also often used to generate a PDF for on-screen reading which is then distributed over the web or by email. The most extensive support for universally accessible PDF documents can be found in the layout program Adobe InDesign, from version CS 5.5 onwards. InDesign provides a particularly high level of support for the technical requirements behind the PDF/UA standard , which means it requires little extra work to create universally accessible PDF/UA-compliant documents. Certain aspects may need occasional adjustment, either manually or with the use of specialist software extensions.

If a PDF document is created from a database, XML, or some other structured data set, the solutions used can also take advantage of updated PDF programming libraries which encode the content in accordance with PDF/UA specifications. It is also equally possible to adapt solutions which already allow the creation of tagged PDFs, in order to produce PDF/UA-compliant PDF documents.

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Tags: XML, authoring software, data base
Categories: PDF/UA