The recent press fiasco surrounding US President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a watershed moment for PDF flattening: “the PDF document was released as a multi-layer graphical composition which was immediately preyed upon by hundreds of savvy image manipulators.” Because every element is an independent layer, writes Jacques Guillaumier on the Nitro PDF website, “the resultant set of 9 images is not typical of a PDF file produced from a scanned document, which should have produced one individual image.” With a little care, and a little PDF savvy, it need never have happened.
The Utah Division of Administrative Rules has approved its amendment requiring that all electronically filed documents uploaded into CM/ECF be in the PDF/A format to enhance security and improve the archiving and preservation of case-related documents. No deadline has been set as yet; users may submit documents in both PDF and PDF/A until then.
Windows 8 will have [its]own PDF reader named Modern Reader, according to Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott on the Within Windows blog. It is expected to provide “Reader” functionality only, ie open and browse PDF files, rather than the ability to modify. The Windows 8 beta is expected this fall.
The 3D PDF Consortium is boosting awareness of the PDF/E standard’s ability to exchange, visualize, archive and retrieve 3D and other engineering data. The group is holding meetings and briefings at COFES, the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software, April 14-17 in Scottsdale, Arizona. ISO 32000-2 is expected to be published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2012 and will improve PDF support for rich media from all sources, such as 3D CAD data.
The Utah Division of Administrative Rules has drafted an amendment to one of its administrative rules that would permit state agencies to submit incorporated materials electronically in PDF/A format. The draft would also continue to permit an agency to submit incorporated materials in paper format. According to an article by Ken Hansen, “The Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act permits an agency to incorporate materials by reference into its administrative rules. When an agency incorporates materials by reference, the statute also requires that the agency provide the Division of Administrative Rules with a copy of the material incorporated.”
Hillsborough County Superior Court in New Hampshire is now posting PDF files of its grand jury indictments online. Criminal prosecutors there present evidence to the grand jury to determine if there is sufficient evidence to file charges against accused criminals. According to an article by Andrew Wolfe, for the first time, the courts southern district staff has scanned the photocopied indictments into PDF form, and released them to the media.
Architecture, engineering, and construction companies are benefiting from learning the ins and outs of managing PDF files, according to an article by Constructech magazine. The article says, “Leveraging PDF-based solutions in construction not only improves workflow, but it can also boost teams ability to collaborate, and can even help switch to paperless operations.” While PDF can be a boon to businesses, the author warns users to be wary of different versions of Acrobat software and potential problems, “such as missing fonts and poorly defined page boxes, both of which affect processing speed and printing accuracy.” Being educated in what PDF offers and how best to use it for various applications can make all the difference.
As far as the U.S. Courts are concerned, PDF is on life support, says DocsCorp. The company is offering a webinar on PDF/A on April 29, 2011 for firms to learn to create documents that comply with court requirements In its posting on the Legal IT Professionals website, DocsCorp says, “Many courts have announced that law firms can now file case documents with the CM/ECF in PDF/A, while others such as the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh has stated that ‘ALL Court ECF filings uploaded on or after January 1, 2012, MUST be in PDF/A format.'”
Beginning May 1, the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health has modified its policy for indexing articles from electronic-only journals. To be indexed in MEDLINE an electronic-only publication must provide NLM with XML-tagged data of its bibliographic citations; provide robust current access to all its content under a license allowing efficient support of NLM operations, onsite services, and interlibrary loan, and have an acceptable archival arrangement and access to the published content.
The budding standard, targeted toward software developers, identifies elements in the PDF standard relevant to accessibility, specifies valid implementation of such elements in conforming files, and specifies requirements for conforming PDF readers and for conforming Assistive Technology (AT).