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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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Save-The-Date: PDF Day France, Toulouse, April 4, 2019

PDF Day France will be the first French-speaking event of the PDF Association, organised by our member ORPALIS. It will take place in Toulouse which is the home ground of Airbus and we are very happy that Airbus will present a case study around its usage of PDF in their document management environment!

Electronic Document Conference: Call for Papers

Prospective presenters at the Electronic Document Conference 2019 are invited to submit high-quality original proposals for 25-minute presentations on subjects of interest to developers and technical product managers concerned with electronic document implementations.

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.

PDF in legal: now and the future

Binary code with a question-mark.As with the financial services industry, it’s hard to imagine the modern attorney without a hard-drive full of PDF files. Some things, however, haven’t changed too much. Lawyers are still swamped with stacks of OPD (Other People’s Documents). They are, of course, also prolific document generators themselves.

The legal industry uses PDF because it’s both flexible and permanent. How did PDF fit in so neatly? It’s because PDF has a unique mix of capabilities.

  • Any scanner, or any software that can print can make a PDF
  • PDF pages are self-contained; any PDF page may be collated with any other PDF page
  • PDF documents are searchable
  • PDF documents look the same way across town or after years
  • PDF files are smaller than source-files
  • Viewing PDF files is free

Portable Document Format technology has been around for 21 years; attorneys all over the world depend on it everyday. As a fixed-format electronic record it has no equal, but few law-firms systematically leverage the power of PDF to help everyone work as a team.

Where will PDF go from here?

The US Courts, the US Library of Congress and the National Archives were among the first organizations to call for development of a standardized quality-control model for PDF. Nonetheless, it was in Europe, following the 2005 publication of PDF/A, that the revolution in electronic archiving first took off.

Today, PDF/A is an accepted best-practice for long-term document retention; failure to use PDF/A is increasingly understood as a failure to follow due care in ensuring high-value documents are readable. The US Courts are slowly transitioning to require submissions be in PDF/A form.  This trend should be expected to continue to include state courts and regulators. Due to the potential of PDF/A for reducing risk, it may be implemented to manage documents transacted between businesses as well.

PDF technology is much more than a reliable printable page. How else will PDF affect the legal industry?

Progressive elimination of paper: PDF serves uniquely well as electronic paper, in part because PDFs can reliably become paper documents, and vice-versa. Over time, expect more PDF files and less paper.

Identity and authentication: With digital signature technology, attorneys and their clients can enjoy increased security in electronic communications, including tamper-proofing, proof of authorship and a mechanism for revocation, time-stamping, version-control and more.

Discovery: From email to CAD files and more, PDF documents are the natural “format of record”, but the original often remains important. The 3rd part of PDF/A provides a hybrid solution in which an archival-quality rendering serves as the container for files of non-archival types.

Achieving Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance: Tagged PDF technology contributes towards ADA compliance obligations for accessible electronic documents.

To learn more about what PDF technology can do, attend PDF Day, December 10 in Washington DC and December 11 in New York City

Categories: Legal