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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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Have we passed ‘peak PDF’?

How do we gain insight into how users’ views of documents are shifting? Google Trends is an increasingly interesting source of high-level marketplace data. By aggregating Google’s search data over time, reporting a term’s popularity as compared with all other searches.

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.

Members supporting PDF features!

The typical adoption curve for PDF technologies until approximately 2007 tended to track with that of the original PDF developer. Since then the marketplace has shifted; it’s no longer clear that Adobe drivesPDF feature support worldwide. Accordingly, we are happy to report that adoption of PDF 2.0 continues apace, with new vendors announcing their support every month.

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…

PDF Association Newsletter: Issue 29



Nora Cavalli PictureDear Readers,

June 15, 2013 is the 20th anniversary of Acrobat and PDF 1.0, and I can’t help to go down memory lane. When I first joined Adobe Systems in 1994, I remember hearing about Acrobat and this thing called PDF. There were rumblings all over about how crazy this idea was. One heard more doubts than confident “this is awesome!” statements. Fast forward to 2013, and PDF 1.0 is now 20-years-old!

In 2007, I agreed to take on a new role at Adobe to help drive the release of the PDF 1.7 specification from Adobe to the ISO. Without much hesitation and knowledge about ISO or standards in general, I started my adventure with ISO and PDF. Adobe always published and regularly updated the PDF Reference since it was first introduced in 1993; it was made available free of charge and with no licensing restrictions, and because of this, PDF became ubiquitous. A community of developers arose that built PDF file creation, viewing, and manipulation tools to meet a variety of business needs. But Adobe understood that a new era needed to begin to drive even broader adoption of PDF and accelerate innovation around PDF. So in 2007, Adobe announced its intent to release the full PDF 1.7 specification to the International Standards Organization (ISO).  A year later, in 2008, the specification became an official ISO standard, ISO 32000, and Adobe no longer owned it.  With the official publication of ISO 32000, this chapter at Adobe was ending, but a new and exciting chapter was starting as the PDF Reference became an open, democratically managed ISO standard!

My adventure with ISO and PDF continued; not only was I lucky to participate in the development of PDF 2.0, the next version of the ISO standard, but I was also able to do it in a new role: Convener for TC 171 SC 2 WG 8, the Working Group that owns ISO 32000. I was nominated to the role of Convener of the Working Group, and without much hesitation and knowledge of the role, I agreed to take it on.  History repeating itself? Hmmm…maybe. One may think that I have a habit of taking on things for which I don’t have much experience and are completely new to me. If you were thinking that as you were reading this article, all I can say is that you’re probably right!  I’ve served as Convener for ISO 32000 since 2007, and I have honestly enjoyed every minute of it.  Not only do I have the opportunity to watch firsthand how the ISO 32000 standard is developing and evolving, but I am also able to ensure that every country’s delegates have a voice in the process.  The ISO process ensures that all members have a voice and that their voice is heard, both as individual technical experts and as representatives of their country and/or industry, with equal importance. This is what makes PDF such a strong and compelling technology, a community coming together with a common goal regardless of employer, industry or nationality.

If I were to summarize ISO 32000 and PDF, this is how I’d explain it:
Many voices | ONE STANDARD | Many uses & opportunities

Nora Calvillo,
PDF Association, Member of the Board
and Sr. Product & Marketing Manager – Adobe Systems Incorporated


Technical Conference North America 2013

August 14-15, 2013 · Seattle, Washington

Delivering two full days of intensive technical education for developers and implementers of PDF applications and libraries, the PDF Association’s first Technical Conference in North America will be held August 14 and 15 at Adobe’s offices in Seattle, Washington. Immediately following the Technical Conference is PDF/A Day, a free event for end users and organizations seeking information on the archival variant of PDF.

Two days, two tracks and many opportunities to learn!

A PDF Association Technical Conference provides marketing-free technical education on topics specific to PDF and related ISO standards and technologies. Designed expressly for a technical audience – developers, technical product managers and decision makers – the Technical Conference provides updates on the latest developments in the world of PDF. There’s lots of space for discussion and networking as well.

Conference speakers include many recognized experts in the field who come to offer detailed technical education and their views on current subjects such as PDF/A, PDF/UA, mobile, 3D and interactive PDF. Each session’s speaker will not only share their knowledge but also hard-won insights based on their own development work.

More information / agenda.


August 16, 2013 · Seattle, Washington

A PDF Association educational event for CIOs, IT managers, information professionals and records-managers, PDF/A Day is coming this August 16 immediately following the PDF Association’s Technical Conference North America 2013.

Hosted by Adobe Systems in their Seattle, WA lakeside offices, PDF/A Day is free of charge. Attendance is limited, so registration is required.

What is PDF/A Day?

PDF/A Day is about Education. PDF/A Day is a unique educational opportunity for end users to learn about the purpose, role, features and limitations of PDF/A, the archival standard for PDF.

With 12 sessions in two tracks, PDF/A Day presentations range from theory to practice, with lots of time for questions (see the Program, below).

This is an educational rather than a marketing event. While many of the experts presenting work for companies offering PDF/A solutions, there’s no trade-show at PDF/A Day. The goal is strictly high-quality, practical, usable information covering every aspect of PDF/A, not a sales-pitch.

A wide variety of technical experts will be on hand to provide answers, including many developers staying over from the previous day’s Technical Conference.

PDF/A Day packs as much user-oriented information about PDF/A into one day as anyone could want!
More information / agenda.



August 11–14, 2013: NIRMA 2013 Conference PDF Association

At the NIRMA 2013 Conference about archiving in the atomic industry the PDF Association informs about PDF/A.

The Nuclear Information and Records Management Association (NIRMA) in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency hosts a three day conference “NIRMA 2013 Conference” in August in Nevada.

Carsten Heiermann, member of the board at the PDF Association, will hold a presentation about the ISO Standard PDF/A at the NIRMA 2013 Conference.

Location: J.W. Marriott Resort and Spa at Summerlin, Nevada

August 14–15, 2013: Technical Conference North America 2013

Delivering two full days of intensive technical education for developers and implementers of PDF applications and libraries, the PDF Association’s first Technical Conference in North America will be held August 14 and 15 at Adobe’s offices in Seattle, Washington.



About the PDF Association

The PDF Association is geared towards developers of PDF solutions; companies that work with PDF in document management systems (DMS) and electronic content management (ECM), interested individuals, and users who want to implement PDF technology in their organizations. Although the Association’s original members were predominantly from German-speaking countries, the PDF Association now boasts members from over 20 countries worldwide.


Association for Digital Document Standards e.V.
PDF Association
Thomas Zellmann

Neue Kantstr. 14?D-14057 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 39 40 50-0
Fax: +49 30 39 40 50-99




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Tags: 20th anniversary of PDF, PDF 1.7, PDF/A Day, Technical conference
Categories: PDF, PDF/A