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About the contributor
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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The Power of the Page

It’s a question that vexes vendors of web-based solutions everywhere: why do people still insist on PDF files? And why does PDF’s mindshare keep going up? “PDF is such antediluvian technology!” they say. “It’s pre-web, are you kidding me? It’s so old-f …

PDF Association technical resources: an overview

PDF is PDF because files produced with one vendor’s software can be read using a different vendor’s software with no loss of fidelity. Interoperability is key to our industry. The PDF Association is a international membership organization dedicated to …

2022: The last year of paper for records-keeping

NARA (The National Archives and Records Administration) is the final depository for the long-term records generated by all other agencies of the U.S. Federal Government. The agency has a key role in preserving the cultural history of the republic as we …

PDF 2.0 examples now available

The PDF Association is proud to present the first PDF 2.0 example files made available to the public. Created and donated to the PDF Association by Datalogics, this initial set of PDF 2.0 examples were crafted by hand and intentionally made simple in construction to serve as teaching tools for learning PDF file structure and syntax.

PDF 2.0 interops help vendors

The PDF 2.0 interop workshops included many vendors with products for creating, editing and processing PDF files. They came together in Boston, Massachusetts for a couple of days to test their own software against 3rd party files.

PDF/UA becomes an American national standard


Cover of the ANSI version of PDF/UA.The ISO standard for accessible PDF files is just 24 pages. Until now, this short document was available from the ISO and its member bodies at a cost of 88 Swiss Francs (about USD $90), or from individual ISO member organizations at some similar price.

As of March 28, 2016, PDF/UA is available from AIIM for USD $15.

PDF/UA conforming files make PDF content accessible to users with disabilities in compliance with federal and state regulations. When documents conforming to PDF/UA are supported by the user’s viewer software, the standard enables enhanced use of PDF in smart phones, desktop applications, search engines, taxonomy systems and more.

Although Portable Document Format technology is now 23 years old, and an ISO standard, vendors still differ substantially in terms of their attention to the format’s various features, including the “Tagged PDF” feature necessary for accessibility. PDF/UA solves this problem.

PDF/UA was created to provide a common, technically-specific understanding of what constitutes accessible PDF documents Since the specification’s original publication almost four years ago we’ve seen a remarkable degree of investment in tagged PDF by software developers, accessibility professionals and organizations worldwide. Mandates to produce accessible documents are proliferating in government and government-contractor organizations in North America, Europe, Australia and beyond. In the larger economy, accessibility best-practices for websites and electronic documents increasingly specify WCAG 2.0 for HTML/CSS/JavaScript content and video, and PDF/UA for electronic documents.

Based on the Access Board’s 2015 draft, it’s reasonable to expect that new Section 508 and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations in the United States will leverage PDF/UA to drive development of accessibility solutions for line-of-business content across the economy.

PDF/UA is consistent with WCAG 2.0, but far more technically specific, and provides a clear-cut means of affirming that a given PDF document meets high standards for accessibility.

Now available from AIIM as a PDF/UA-conforming document for just $15, the new ANSI edition of PDF/UA is just 17% the cost of the ISO original. It is anticipated that reducing the cost in this manner will serve to promote awareness of PDF/UA, and the development of technically consistent, standards-based approaches to the accessibility challenge in the years to come.

Going forwards, both document creation and consumption vendors are likely to hear more requests about their support of PDF/UA.

Purchase ANSI / AIIM / ISO 14289-1:2016 from AIIM.org.


Tags: AIIM, ANSI
Categories: PDF/UA, Standards development