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 Competence Center Newsletter: Issue 16

Table of Contents

Current News: 4th International PDF/A Conference
Main Article: ISO Committee meeting in June in Paris
New Members







Thomas Zellmann

“All roads lead to Rome” and therefore, I am looking forward to the 4th International PDF/A Conference which will take place this fall in Rome, Italy. With the growing acceptance and adoption of PDF/A world-wide, this year’s programme will be even more international with speakers from several different countries.

Representatives from numerous sectors will report about their experiences with PDF/A, enabling industry-specific discussions as well as “looking beyond one’s own nose” to see how PDF/A is used in other sectors.

Rome was chosen partly because the Italian Board of Trade requires companies and their accountants to submit tax documents in PDF/A format, generating high interest and acceptance for the format in the country. The PDF/A Competence Center is getting more international by the day, making Rome an ideal candidate. It is also a very interesting city for the annual PDF/A conference.

The new part of PDF/A, PDF/A-2 is imminent and the PDF/A Competence Center experts will explain the enhanced possibilities with the new version. They can also provide competent information about the development of all PDF standards.

Where could be a more fitting environment for our conference on long-term archiving than the “eternal city”? I look forward to meeting you at the end of September in Rome!

I hope you enjoy the articles.

Thomas Zellmann
PDF/A Competence Center


4th International PDF/A Conference

The PDF/A Competence Center is organising its 4th International PDF/A Conference this year from September 29th to October 1st, 2010 in Rome. It offers technical presentations by international experts, tracks for various PDF/A topics and areas of interest as well as workshops for practical applications of PDF/A for those new to the subject as well as experienced participants. Users from corporations and public institutions will report their experiences with PDF/A. The conference includes an exhibition at which products for PDF/A conversion and archiving are presented.

Participants at the 4th International PDF/A Conference can once again expect a multifaceted programme offering insights into many different theoretical and practical aspects of PDF/A. The agenda includes three parallel tracks offering lectures to introduce the concepts of PDF/A as well as presentations of specialist expertise. This year’s keynote speakers are Betsy Fanning, Director of Standards for AIIM, Giovanni Battista Colombo, Vice President of Assografici and President of Gruppo Stampa Digitale, and Stephen Levenson of the U.S. District Courts and head of the ISO PDF/A committee.

Pre-conference workshops offer practical insights

The first day of the event – Wednesday, September 29th – is dedicated to workshops in which experts will present special topics covering many practical aspects of PDF/A, such as converting scanned or electronically generated documents to PDF/A, handling metadata, and electronic signatures in PDF/A. Participants will benefit from small groups with many opportunities for discussion.

Parallel tracks enable individualised information gathering

On Thursday, September 30th, conference participants can choose between a presentation track designed for those new to PDF/A, a second track covering legal topics and compliance or a third focusing on access options and metadata. The preceding keynote lectures are by Giovanni Battista Colombo, who will give an introduction to the situation with PDF/A in Italy, and Stephen Levenson, who will speak from the perspective of a user in the US.

The next morning focuses on particular sectors. Track 1 covers the PDF/A requirements for archivists and librarians, Track B discusses the needs of public agencies and Track C explains the use of PDF/A in B2C operations such as banks, insurance companies or telecommunications service providers. Various user reports in the three tracks will provide particular clarity for the possibilities.

Friday afternoon is dedicated to the use of PDF/A in public agencies. One good example will be given by Infocamere, the IT partner of the Italian Chamber of Commerce. The presentation will demonstrate the use of PDF/ A for digital transmission of company forms to the Chamber of Commerce. The Italian distributor Technosolutions srl will give a provider’s view of introducing PDF/A for public authorities.

The conference will conclude with a panel discussion moderated by Johannes Hesel and Olaf Druemmer, both management board members of the PDF/A Competence Center.

An exhibition will take place throughout the conference in which members of the PDF/A Competence Center will present their current products and solutions.


ISO Committee meeting in June in Paris

A family of PDF standards has now evolved, building a solid foundation for documents in different sectors and specific areas of application.

PDF itself is ISO standard 32000, which was released in the summer of 2008 and is based on PDF 1.7 (i.e. Acrobat 8). The next part, ISO 32000-2, is currently in the works. The PDF standard builds the foundation for application-specific subsets which cover special requirements.

From the PDF/A Competence Center’s point of view, PDF/A for long-term archiving is obviously the most important subset. PDF/A-1, ISO 19005-1, has been an international standard since autumn 2005. The next part, PDF/A-2, was technically completed in Paris. The formal ISO process leading to publication will still take several months so that, approximately 5 years after the first standard was released, the new part of the PDF/A standard will incorporate technological enhancements and reflect practical experience. Now that the content of PDF/A-2 has been completed, the groundwork was laid in Paris for a further part to the standard, PDF/A-3.

PDF/UA stands for Universal Accessibility and covers the issues around accessibility of documents for handicapped people. This is becoming increasingly important, especially in American and European government organisations. The PDF/A Competence Center has initiated a working group for PDF/UA and will be happy to provide you with more information. We are also extending an invitation to all interested persons who would like to join the working group.

PDF/E is the PDF standard for the engineering industry. It has been discussed in Newsletter 13.

PDF/X and PDF/VT have been developed in a separate ISO technical committee, TC 130 for the Graphic Arts Industry. PDF/X is the first PDF based ISO standard, addressing reliable file exchange in the pre-press industry. It is widely used there and has now evolved to version PDF/X-4. PDF/VT (“V” for “Variable” and “T” for “Transactional”) defines a variable data printing (VDP) job exchange format and is about to be published.

The official ISO documents can be purchased here: www.iso.org

For practical approaches and detailed information regarding all PDF standards, the association and especially the TWG (Technical Working Group) are always happy to assist. And the International PDF/A Conference in Rome will provide the best opportunity to meet all the world’s PDF experts and discuss PDF standards in detail, including PDF/A-2.


We welcome the following companies as members in the PDF/A Competence Center:

DO Consultancy, Netherlands
Intrafind Software AG, Germany
MFC Mikrokomerc, Serbia
CDP Communications Inc., Canada

Tags: 4th International PDF/A Conference, ISO Committee meeting, PDF/A-2
Categories: PDF/A