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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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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 Association expands its board of directors

Catherine Andersz of PDFTron Systems, Alaine Behler of iText Software and Peter Wyatt, ISO Project Leader for ISO 32000 enrich the newly elected board of the PDF Association.

PDF/A creation tools

PDF/A documents can be created in a variety of ways:

  • From scanned documents
  • By direct conversion of the source data
  • By exporting from the program used to create the source document
  • Using an intermediate step which turns a PDF file into PDF/A
  • Using print output formats or print data streams such as GDI, PCL, PostScript, AFP and XPS.

This section will sketch out just a few typical approaches. For a more extensive list, including specific products which allow you to create PDF/A files, visit the PDF Association’s website at www.pdfa.org.

Desktop software

On a standard workstation, office applications in particular will already offer inbuilt tools (or can easily be retrofitted) to export word-processed files, spreadsheets or presentations directly to PDF/A. If the “Tagged PDF” option is enabled, then Microsoft Office, OpenOffice and LibreOffice will even support PDF/A Conformance Level A for semantically structured data.

OpenOffice Tagged PDF
Some word processing software (such as OpenOffice, shown here) allow you to create PDF/A-1, including “Tagged PDF” as a prerequisite for Conformance Level A.

Some PDF/A conversion solutions use print data creation tools to generate PDF or PDF/A files. Another approach is to use programming libraries to convert data or directly write to PDF.

Adobe Acrobat is used for PDFs in many industries, and it provides comprehensive support for PDF/A. This software can be used to examine PDF/A files to ensure they actually meet the PDF/A standard.

Individual-workstation products al­so exist which allow users to scan to PDF/A, including OCR. This software is sometimes supplied with the scanner itself.

Server-based solutions

Server-based solutions exist for mass PDF/A creation. This allows business-wide standardisation of your working processes and lets you manage large volumes of data. Some desktop PC products also have server-based versions for high-volume processing.

Programming libraries

Programming libraries allow developers to add PDF/A functionality to their own applications without having to develop the needed technology from scratch. Some desktop or server-based products are also available as programming libraries. Suppliers can thus integrate extra functionality into their solutions with minimal development work on their part. These extra functions may include PDF/A creation, validation and management. A business’ IT department can also add PDF/A features to the company’s own software environment for internal projects.

Integrated PDF/A functions

Many document and output management solutions providers offer modules which can be used to perform PDF/A functions. Many systems are already available for high-volume management of a wide variety of input and output channels in PDF and PDF/A format.

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Tags: AFP, GDI, PCL, PostScript, XPS, tagged PDF
Categories: PDF/A