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About the contributor
PDF Association

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

PDF Association technical resources: an overview

PDF is PDF because files produced with one vendor’s software can be read using a different vendor’s software with no loss of fidelity. Interoperability is key to our industry. The PDF Association is a international membership organization dedicated to …

2022: The last year of paper for records-keeping

NARA (The National Archives and Records Administration) is the final depository for the long-term records generated by all other agencies of the U.S. Federal Government. The agency has a key role in preserving the cultural history of the republic as we …

PDF 2.0 examples now available

The PDF Association is proud to present the first PDF 2.0 example files made available to the public. Created and donated to the PDF Association by Datalogics, 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 interops help vendors

The PDF 2.0 interop workshops included many vendors with products for creating, editing and processing PDF files. They came together in Boston, Massachusetts for a couple of days to test their own software against 3rd party files.

Announcing the Structure Elements Best Practice Guide 0.1.1


Screenshot of the cover of the 0.1 release of the Structure Elements Best Practice GuidePDF/UA is a very technical document because PDF contains many distinct and complex data-structures, many of which are outside the typical knowledge-base of web-technology centered accessibility professionals.

PDF/UA, the ISO standard for accessible PDF technology, is written for software developers, not for authors, or even for those tasked with checking documents for accessibility.

By focussing on the rules of accessibility from the software-development point of view, PDF/UA’s objective is to help developers bake many of the rules directly into the software, allowing authors to create accessible documents using familiar tools such as styling.

To help make PDF/UA accessible to its intended audience, as well as to the larger population interested in the specifics of accessible PDF, the PDF Association’s PDF/UA Competence Center produced the first edition of the Matterhorn Protocol in 2013. This document packages PDF/UA into a table of requirements, which is useful, but does not provide much in the way of advice for those creating user-interfaces for authoring systems, or for authors themselves.

To meet this need the PDF/UA Competence Center began to develop, in February 2014, a PDF Structure Elements Best Practice Guide. The objective of this document is to promote a detailed understanding of the correct use of PDF technology and to make that technology more comprehensible to accessibility experts rooted in web technologies.

The document is by no means complete; there are subsections to be added and more to be reviewed and revised. We have reached a stage, however, where the document is ready for independent input.

Accordingly, we are now posting the current draft (updated 2016-01-19) of the PDF Structure Elements Best Practice Guide v0.1 for immediate download. NOTE: This early draft, although tagged, does not conform to PDF/UA.

We hope readers will provide us with any and all comments on this document to help us improve it. Please feel free to email your comments or questions to the chair of the PDF/UA Competence Center at duff.johnson@pdfa.org.


Tags: Best practice, accessibility, tagged PDF
Categories: PDF/UA