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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 court’s 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.

PDF/UA Introduced at ATIA
October 28, 2010

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).

Doug Miles, Director of AIIM Market Intelligence, recently posted that PDF/A adoption was making slow but steady progress after he did an small, informal survey of 144 people. Miles asked, “Do you store a significant proportion of your records in any of the following formats (native (eg. .doc, .xls), .pdf, HTML, .tiff, .jpeg, .pdf/a)?” He found that 30 percent of respondents are now using PDF/A, which still lags significantly behind the other specified formats. But that may not be the case much longer.