PDF Association logo.

About the contributor
Shawna McAlearney

Shawna McAlearney is the Marketing Specialist for Appligent Document Solutions.
More contributions
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.

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…

Slides and video recordings of PDF Days Europe 2018

You missed the PDF Days Europe 2018? Never mind! Here you can find the slides and video recordings of all 32 stunning sessions!

Using PDF/UA in accessibility checklists

PDF/UA, like PDF itself, is internally complex, but used correctly, actually makes things easier.

PDF/A: An ISO Standard

ISO 19005-1 is an International Standards Organisation (ISO) Standard that was published on October 1, 2005:

ISO 19005-1: Document Management – Electronic document file format for long term preservation – Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4 (PDF/A-1).

This ISO standard defines a standard format (PDF/A-1) for the long-term archiving of electronic documents and is based on the PDF Reference Version 1.4 from Adobe Systems Inc. (PDF 1.4 is largely equivalent to the functionality implemented in Adobe Acrobat 5).

Two Levels of Compliance

The standard specifies two levels of compliance:

  • PDF/A-1a: Level “A” compliance: in addition to exact visual reproduction it also includes mapping text to Unicode and structuring of the document content
  • PDF/A-1b: Level “B” compliance: exact visual reproduction

Future Development of PDF/A

PDF/A has been established as a line of standards. Additional parts are currently in preparation within the responsible ISO committee (ISO TC 1 171 SC 2 WG 5). It is expected that a second part PDF/A-2, based on a newer version of the PDF format and taking into account new technologies that have been added, for example JPEG2000, will be published in 2010.

ISO Technical Committee

ISO 19005 lies under the responsibility of the ISO Technical Committee (TC) 171, Sub-Committee (SC) 2, Working Group (WG) 5. Secretariat is the USA.

Member countries of PC 171 with voting rights are Austria, Bulgaria, China, France, Japan, Poland, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Members with observer status are Argentina, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, and Spain.

Literature about PDF/A

The PDF/A Competence Center has now released two publications dealing with PDF/A:
The reference book PDF/A In a Nutshell from Olaf Drümmer, Alexandra Oettler and Dietrich von Seggern offers a fundamental introduction to PDFA. The book is currently available in four languages: English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Also, the speaker presentations from the PDF/A Conference 2009 in Berlin have been published in an elaborately designed conference transcript. Copies can be obtained on request from the association.

Find more information about the available publications on the Publications page.

Tags: ISO Technical Committee, PDF/A-2, future development
Categories: PDF/A