Electronic Document Conference Agenda

PDF Association staff // February 22, 2019

PDF in general PDF Association news

EDC logo, June 17-18 2019 Seattle.The Electronic Document Conference is a do-not-miss event for developers,  product managers and technical users creating and leveraging electronic document technology.


All educational sessions are reviewed by a Program Committee; they're not “pitches”. There are no booths and no trade-show.

The program is divided into six approximate themes: accessibility, automation, the business of documents, file formatsOpen Data and document workflow with 30 minute sessions in two tracks.

About the presenters

Presentations at the Electronic Document Conference are delivered by experts in the technology, product development or business of electronic documents. Follow the links in the program to learn more about them and their organizations.


In addition to panel discussions, short commercial sessions, seminars and coffee breaks, EDC attendees can join the speakers for a three-hour dinner cruise on Seattle's Lake Washington immediately after the panel on June 17. Cruise tickets are limited, and must be purchased when registering.

Sponsored sessions

Each block of conference sessions is followed by 2 or 3 short (<5 minutes each) commercial information presentations offered by the event's sponsors. We bring the rooms back together for a panel discussion at the end of each day.

As a third track for up to 15 attendees, the program indicates when each Gold sponsor will host a 70-minute sponsored seminar about their vision, products, or in-depth discussion about specific solutions. The seminar room is small (max 15 attendees!), so plan ahead and arrive early!

Location and facilities

Adobe Systems logoOur Gold sponsor Adobe has generously donated space for the Electronic Document Conference at its lakeside facility in downtown Seattle.

Lunch and coffee-breaks will be provided throughout both conference days. Attendees should indicate any dietary or accessibility needs when registering.

Space is limited - only 200 spaces are available - so register today!

Monday, June 17 2019

0900 PT

KEYNOTE: Boeing’s Digital Transformation Journey

Kenny Swope

Kenny Swope, Senior Manager & IPT Leader, 2nd Century Enterprise Systems Business Architecture

09:45 Coffee break


12:05 Lunch


15:05 Coffee break

15:25 Toward a theory of documents and their formats "Enterprise PDF rendition" – What is this? PDFTron logo
16:00 Document adaptation: responsiveness and personalization of the document experience How does PDF fit into your workflow?
16:30 Up to 2 short sponsor presentations Up to 2 short sponsor presentations
16:45 Panel discussion: Challenges facing electronic document developers over the next 10 years


Dinner on Lake Washington

(additional cost - purchase ticket when registering for the event!)

Tuesday, June 18 2019

0900 PT

KEYNOTE: Publishing Documents Precisely

David Blatner

David Blatner, President, CreativePro Network

09:45 Coffee break


12:05 Lunch


15:05 Coffee break

15:25 Are you confident that your redacted documents are safe to be shared? Accessible math in PDF TBD
16:00 Impact of ECG on PDF publication Leveraging vector graphics in PDF
16:30 Up to 2 short sponsor presentations Up to 2 short sponsor presentations
16:45 Panel discussion: Questions from attendees



The annual PDF Association Members' Meeting follows directly after the last panel!

Session descriptions

Accessibility | Automation | Business | File formats | Open Data | Workflow


Structurally complex content in accessible PDF: How to represent mathematical formulas

Karina Zander

Karina Zander, axaio software

The goal of PDF accessibility as defined in PDF/UA is to provide everyone with equal quality access to content in a PDF document, regardless of type of content. This can turn into a major challenge for structurally complex content, for example mathematical formulas. There have been very few, if any, solutions, and in addition there is no widely accepted single, correct way for accessible representation of formulas in PDF documents. At least for more complex formulas, offering an alternate description has to be considered insufficient. Depending on the target audience, there may be other and more satisfying approaches – but which of these is the right one for which target group?

An accessibility label for electronic documents

Robert MartinengoRobert Martinengo, Consumer Accessibility Information Label Association (CAILA)

The new Accessibility Information Label for electronic documents gives anyone who distributes electronic documents a simple and free method to demonstrate support for people with disabilities by disclosing accessibility information through a standard electronic label.

WCAG 2.1 Stratification to support gamification of accessibility training by role

Sheri Byrne-HaberSheri Byrne-Haber, VMware

WCAG 2.1 Level AA is the de-facto standard for whether or not a digital property including a PDF file is accessible.  But to someone without significant disability-related experience, memorizing the 50 guidelines can be a bit like the 5th grade exercise where students have to memorize the capitals of the 50 states in the US – it stays in your brain long enough to pass the test, and then it is immediately forgotten.

Sheri will present and review a common-sense, unique 10-category grouping of WCAG 2.1 Level AA guidelines as they pertain to PDF files to improve training opportunities and knowledge retention.


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The sweet spot between automation and human remediation

Peter ShikliPeter Shikli, Access2online

Rather than replace the accessibility analyst with software tools, this presentation looks at the best way to empower the analyst with software tools and other forms of automation. We begin with a review of the assessment and validation tools, where they are effective and where an experienced analyst needs to take over to make decisions. We present the use of structured and objective test criteria, and the use of remediation tools to improve quality and reduce cost, and the format of a deliverable that remediates and educates.

Accessibility, automation and AI: The future of accessible PDF documents

Paul RayiusPaul RayiusCommonlook

Anyone with PDF accessibility experience knows it can be technical and can get complicated quickly. Every day, organizations are looking for better, faster, and easier solutions to solve the problem including looking at automation.  Sure, an automated solution that fixes everything would be great – but is that really possible?  In this session we’ll discuss what in PDF accessibility can and can’t be done through automation.  We’ll briefly address testing and creating accessible PDFs and explore revolutionary breakthroughs in remediation including the use of Artificial Intelligence.

PDF documents, artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation

Henry Sal, Jr.Henry Sal, CSI

Artificial intelligence software can automate PDF document workflows, review and validate PDF document contents, automate data entry and redact private information. This session discusses the latest in applications of artificial intelligence software to reduce costs in both extraction and redaction of PDF documents containing unstructured data and explores a case study based on the experiences of the Palm Beach Florida Clerk of the Courts office.

Digital transformation 101: Paper to PDF

Thomas ZellmannThomas Zellmann, Foxit

AI-based data capture and RPA are the buzzwords these days, but both are impossible if organizations still have a “stone age” TIFF archive. This presentation discusses best practices for converting scanned documents to PDF, including intelligent auto-tagging approaches to add structure and make scanned documents accessible.

Hybrid PDF documents - Lessons learned from 5 years of eInvoicing with PDF/A

Bernd WildBernd Wild, PhD, intarsys

The German standard for hybrid invoices based on PDF/A-3 and XML exists since 2015. Meanwhile, many companies and business parties have adopted this document format for the exchange of electronic invoices. Now even more European countries are joining the hybrid invoice standard making this to the most successful usage scenario of PDF/A-3. The presentation reports about lessons learned in generating hybrid documents and the XMP metadata and integrating them into various system infrastructures.

 Millions of PDFs once a month: serverless eStatements

Jason HarropJason Harrop, Native Documents

Scaling to deliver large volumes used to take a lot of effort, but with the advent of "serverless" offerings from cloud providers such as AWS (Lambda) and Microsoft (Azure Functions), it is now very easy to scale to hundreds or thousands of instances - provided your PDF application is serverless-ready. Here we look at what it takes to go serverless - from vendor and customer perspectives - our use case being eStatement production in the banking, telecom and utilities sectors, which for many companies involves millions of PDFs once a month.

The business of documents

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Interoperable CCM to connect legacy, current and future platforms

Scott GerschwerScott GerschwerCompart

Dynamic, fast-paced, matrixed, omnichannel, multi-directional communication between organizations and all stakeholders is the current goal of contemporary communicators as Customer Experience meets Digital Transformation meets intelligent documents. This proposal is about the role of the intelligent document in the communication strategy of one such organization. Because the solution is considered strategic by the organization, it is by necessity a masked case study.

I didn’t know PDF could do that!

Matt KuznickiMatt Kuznicki, PDF Association

PDF – the Portable Document Format – contains multitudes. Over more than a quarter-century as a publicly available and implementable standard, PDF has become a collection of features and functionalities for a variety of industries and users. Many users – even many PDF practitioners – only scratch the surface of what PDF can do. Here, we’ll learn about some of the more interesting features that are part of the PDF standard. Leave what you believe PDF can do at the door and come learn about how PDF is so much more!

Signature workflows today - From remote electronic signatures to long-term preservation with PDF

Bernd WildBernd Wild, PhD., intarsys

PDF is by far the mostly used document format when applying electronic signatures. The presentation describes how PDF can replace even complex paper-based signing processes while delivering legal binding. The upcoming remote signature services and initiatives like the Cloud Signature Consortium are presented as well as the perfect suitability of PDF/A for cryptographic long-term preservation.

File formats

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Document adaptation: responsiveness and personalization of the document experience

Matthew HardyMatthew Hardy, PhD., Adobe

As the nature of computing has changed, bringing screens from the size of watches to interactive walls, how do documents respond to this challenge? How do end users gain some control over this experience without losing what is important about the document?

Accelerated document rendering with modern hardware

Michael VrhelMichael Vrhel, PhD., Artifex Software

Today’s hardware provides several options to leverage in the rendering of documents. These include multi-cores, single instruction multiple data (SIMD) intrinsics, and general-purpose graphic processing units (GPGPUs). In this talk, we will explore the use of some of these methods for processing documents. In particular we will focus on multi-banded rendering and SIMD instructions for transparency, color conversion, interpolation and half-toning.

PDF’s ISO-standardized subsets - a tour

Dietrich von SeggernDietrich von Seggern, callas software

PDF based standards such as PDF/A and PDF/X play an important role in various industries, and there are a few more. Why are there so many different standards? What are their “USPs" (differences)? Which of these standards have changed industries and what alternative formats exist? Is it possible to comply with all of them, and how?

Are you confident that your redacted documents are safe to be shared?

Patrick GallotPatrick Gallot, Datalogics

Removal of sensitive information from public documents is increasingly important, particularly for privacy concerns.  Redaction is a critical operation that requires multiple steps and the expertise to execute accurately.  We’ll review the internal syntax of a document, looking at the changes to image data and content streams before and after a redaction has been applied.  Learn how to ensure that your PDFs are fully redacted and appropriate for dissemination.

Impact of ECG on PDF publication

Wiliam LiWilliam Li, Kodak

This talk will examine the implications of Extended Color Gamut (ECG) printing as a production method on requirements for the PDF files which lead to this type of work.

Toward a theory of documents and their formats

Larry MasinterLarry Masinter

This session lays out the requirements for a theory of document formats, their properties, methods for designating and defining formats by specifications and standards, implementations, and test suites; the conversion of documents into other formats and the characterization of loss; the role of metadata and context in turning documents into records, the methods of content negotiation in requesting content formats, and other related topics.

How reusable content in pdf could be: deriving HTML from PDF

Roman TodaRoman Toda, Normex

With good techniques and well-prepared PDF we can achieve and guarantee consistent results when processing PDF content for representation as HTML without compromising current page based document representation. We will describe an algorithm that reliably produces conforming HTML from well-tagged pdf files. The talk is aimed at developers and software architects who need to address interoperability issues with PDFs, reuse of content, structure extraction and data interexchange. I’ll provide samples of well-structured PDFs and derived HTML that could be responsive and serve as alternate representations.

Could PDF be a weapon in cyber warfare?

Duff Johnson and Peter WyattDuff Johnson and Peter Wyatt, PDF Association

Today PDF is the format of choice for every kind of document used in all industries, governments and by all citizens. It is trusted by everyone to reliably communicate accurate information... but how can we guarantee a document and its information is truly safe, trustworthy, and authentic? Verifying the trustworthiness and provenance of the barrage of PDFs received by an organization is an exceedingly difficult task as individuals and organizations routinely engage with data shared by unauthenticated and potentially compromised sources. Further, the software used to process documents is error-prone and vulnerable to exploitation through maliciously crafted data inputs, opening the technology and its underlying systems to compromise.

As we've mentioned previously, DARPA's SafeDocs program is researching new methods to impede an attacker’s ability to deliver novel cyberattacks via electronic documents, messages, and streaming data formats.

PDF vs Office: Is reliable Office rendering possible?

Aleksy JonesAleksy Jones, PDFTron

Anyone who has worked in-depth with the PDF format could be forgiven for thinking that it has parts that are a bit archaic or of questionable utility. We used to think so, until we started working with Office documents -- we now believe PDF is shining example of a well-designed and consistent file format. In this talk, we'll take an in depth look into the challenges inherent in translating from Office to PDF (and vice versa). Some of these challenges are fundamental -- Office files are reflowable, whereas PDF is not -- and some of them are about discovering how many implicit and competing unit systems can be fit into one file format.

Where Does PDF fit in the future of documents?

Jonathan RhyneJonathan Rhyne, PSPDFKit

Many people know the PDF file format for its fidelity in printing and presenting documents. PDF feels so ubiquitous with digital documents now that running into fidelity issues today seems more like a bug than a feature. However, there's much more being done today with digital documents via the PDF file format that everyone is not aware of. What's next? What will be required of digital documents in the next 10 to 20 years? In this talk, we'll recap how digital documents are used today and dive into some possible use cases that may arise over the next decade or so. Finally, we'll discuss whether these can already or should be accomplished via the PDF file format.

Open Data

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Why searching for content in 2019 still feels like 1919

Leonard RosentholLeonard Rosenthol, Adobe

This session examines the challenges of indexing and searching content in various document formats including, but not limited to, PDF and HTML. We’ll review the factors that limit today’s methods for understanding searched content and expressing the semantics of search results, and discuss and how we can improve on users’ experience in the future

Open data - PDF beyond final form visual content

Dov IsaacsDov Isaacs, Adobe

Everyone knows that PDF excels as a format for presentation (viewing and printing) as well as archiving of final form textual and graphical content, but when it comes to being able to access “data” in or even referenced by such final form content, the pundits posit that “PDFs are where data goes to die!” In this presentation, we will demonstrate that with relatively little effort, PDF final form presentation and underlying data are very compatible. With some creativity and planning as well as with augmented features of PDF 2.0, PDF is where data thrives.

Accessible math in PDF

Boris DoubrovBoris Doubrov, PhD., Dual Lab

We provide the detailed analysis of the current state of art of Math accessibility in PDF publications. It covers the complete document flow from the Authoring software to the Accessibility AT. In the center of this flow we have the new Tagged PDF 2.0 features. However, there is still a (very!) long way to pack mathematical formulas correctly into PDF and then to properly interpret them. We also give a demo of how this might work using LaTeX or InDesign as an authoring software and the derivation algorithm as an accessible way to interpret the resulting PDF.

Automatic distribution of full indexed documentation with multimedia content for large production plant guides

Dario FinardiDario Finardi, Gear.it

This paper discusses the importance of documentation limitations, and the problems they can create, identifies the role of PDF with packaged extra-contents as the best relying technology to quickly deliver, store and browse technical manuals in a heavy-duty environment. By describing a real-life case study, we would like to show how well-organized digital contents and proper software environment can improve the life of technicians in charge of plant maintenance.

Leveraging vector graphics in PDF

Jean HaneyJean Haney, Visual Integrity Technologies, LLC

We’ll focus on working with the graphics in a PDF file, especially in the PowerPoint, Visio and AutoCAD contexts. We’ll discuss raster (scanned) and vector (application-generated) PDF files and focus on accessing the rich contents of a vector PDF file, using that information to generate files in other formats, as well as deleting, changing, replacing and extracting objects. This session is ideal for content managers who need to make PDF-based drawings available for editing as well as marketing groups who want to leverage vector-based house graphics in their organization’s collateral.

Document workflow

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Email archival in PDF - how does that make sense?

Dietrich von SeggernDietrich von Seggern, callas software

"What are the reasons to consider archiving email as PDF? What problems can be addressed? What opportunities can be created? What new problems arise? What are the fundamental advantages, capabilities and decisions an implementer should consider? This session offers some recommendations and considerations for best practice.”

"Enterprise PDF rendition" – What is this?

Tim JefferiesTim Jeffries, Foxit

The benefits of "Enterprise PDF Rendition" become evident where PDF and PDF/A are established as the universal file format for processing, exchanging or archiving documents in-house. At the crossroads of traditional digitization and the transformation of data and native digital files, the presence of central services for mass data processing brings added value in several areas. This presentation informs participants about centralized PDF transformation topics: including the benefits, the assets, the issues, and of course the challenges.

How does PDF fit into your workflow?

Aykut AvciAykut Avci, PhD., iText

In information management, ensuring proper information flows are a key issue. PDF can reduce manual document processes and costs within your organization while offering data enrichment and acquisition. This session will walk through the best practices of using PDF in workflow management to get the most out of your data and your dollar.

Blockchain for documents- the future of security

Thierry Hillewaere, iText

This talk reviews how the use of blockchain technology can benefit document workflows. Blockchain technology can be used to secure PDF invoices and digital signatures and makes it possible to store digital signatures in a blockchain itself instead of in the PDF document at all. This approach facilitates faster signing processes, confirms document security and provides real time tracking of signatures and version control.

Transform the supply chain with 3D PDF

David SalamanekDavid Salamanek, SEAL Systems

Evolving business-to-business data exchange requires innovative methods to concisely and effectively share designs and information across a wide range of applications.  Using 3D PDFs to combine engineering drawings with business intelligence is the natural step toward more efficient procurement operations.

The presentation will begin with the fundamentals of 3D PDF, answering: “What is a 3D PDF?”  Using examples from a high-tech plastics engineering company, we’ll demonstrate how to take advantage of the multi-faceted feature set of 3D PDF to bring relevant PLM/BOM engineering, ERP business, and CAD design components to one page. Along with this example, the controls of a 3D PDF and how to review its contents will be shown.  We'll outline options in generating 3D PDFs, finding resources, and planning first steps.  Finally, we'll cover best practice in distribution choices for delivering completed 3D files to suppliers, as well as options for receiving and viewing these documents.


PDF Association staff

The PDF Association is the meeting-place of the PDF industry. The staff of the PDF Association are dedicated to delivering the information, services and value the members have come to expect. Staff members of the PDF Association include: Duff Johnson (Executive Director) Thomas Zellmann (Managing Director) Matthias Wagner (Operations Director) Alexandra Oettler (Editor) Nicole Gauger (Editor)


PDF Association staff

The PDF Association is the meeting-place of the PDF industry. The staff of the PDF Association are dedicated to delivering …

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