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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.
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Participating in the PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit’s objective is to establish a broad-based understanding of how PDF files should be tagged for accessibilty. It’s an opportunity to focus on establishing a common set of examples of accessible PDF content, and identify best-practice when tagging difficult cases.

Modernizing PDF Techniques for Accessibility

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit will identify best-practices in tagging various cases in PDF documents. Questions to be addressed will likely include: the legal ways to tag a nested list, the correct way to caption multiple images, the appropriate way to organize content within headings.

Refried PDF

My hospital emailed me a medical records release form as a PDF. They told me to print it, fill it, sign it, scan it and return it to the medical records department, in that order. In 2018? To get the form via email (i.e., electronically), yet be asked to print it? Did the last 20 years just… not mean anything! So I thought I’d be clever. I’d fill it first, THEN print it. Or better yet, never print it, but sign it anyhow, and return it along with a note making the case for improving their workflow. The story continues…

Slides and video recordings of PDF Days Europe 2018

You missed the PDF Days Europe 2018? Never mind! Here you can find the slides and video recordings of all 32 stunning sessions!

Using PDF/UA in accessibility checklists

PDF/UA, like PDF itself, is internally complex, but used correctly, actually makes things easier.

Both symbol and substance of interoperability

PDF gearsThere’s a good reason why Wikipedia’s entry on “de facto standard” specifically references the portable document format, or PDF.

A truly standards-based, open technology, PDF’s value is based on a premise of interoperability; the ability to easily exchange documents reliably across town, between operating systems and over decades.

For these purposes, PDF has no real competition; indeed, Google Trends clearly shows, users keep asking for more PDF.

Mere publication of a file format specification doesn’t make a de facto standard, however. It takes a community.

Software developers working with electronic documents can only realize PDF’s value proposition for their customers when they make interoperability with other vendors’ PDF creation or processing software a primary consideration.

PDF works because vendor X knows how to make a file that vendor Y will know how to read. Both vendors are motivated to understand the specification; to refrain from making mistakes in file creation, or in damaging the files their software encounters, and so on.

At 21 years of age, PDF may be pretty old for an internet-era technology, but it keeps finding new uses. Combine PDF’s power-features with the fact that it’s a mature ISO standard, and a de facto standard for billions of end users worldwide, and PDF looks more like a sleeping giant.

The power of interoperable PDF

The possibilities are endless. Complete SDKs are available to create, edit or display files using any feature of PDF, including, but not limited to:

  • For electronic documents, seamless, digital-signature based tamper-proofing, authentication, certification, revocation and access
  • Complete accessibility of the content in PDF documents to users with disabilities
  • Integration of geospatial data with correctly-scaled PDF pages
  • Automated transaction processing with ZUGFeRD or similar e-invoicing models
  • PDF/A, the future-proof electronic document archival subset of PDF
  • XML metadata that’s part of the file, not just retained in an indexing system
  • Support for multiple languages and pronunciations
  • Support for fully standardized rich commenting and highlighting
  • Support for other annotations (shapes, redaction, rich text, movies and more)
  • Fillable forms operated by ISO standardized JavaScript for PDF
  • 3D data representation via PRC for PDF
  • Joining world-wide consensus on PDF/A, the future-proof electronic document archival subset of PDF

PDF breeds cooperation

Both at the ISO and industry association levels, the PDF industry is characterized by regular technical meetings to discuss, plan and write the next version of PDF. Everyone wants to share their experiences to ensure clear text and reduce barriers to interoperability.

That’s why there are over 150 paying members of the PDF Association, with many joining twice-a-year ISO meetings to help iron out consensus on where PDF should be going.

Tags: Interoperability, PDF Day, standards
Categories: PDF