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Technical Notes, best-practice guides, test suites, educational videos and more

The PDF Association publishes a variety of documents and other resources to help developers, product managers, and others interested in leveraging PDF to meet their business and organizational objectives.

Most publications listed on pdfa.org are developed through our publications process, and are freely available to members and non-members alike.

PDF Association members may access drafts of current and upcoming ISO standards via the members-only intranet.

FEATURED RESOURCE

The Matterhorn Protocol 1.1

PDF/UA

The Matterhorn Protocol, a free publication, identifies all possible ways to fail PDF/UA-1.

Matterhorn Protocol 1.1 cover page


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Print workflow and metadata

Print workflow and metadata standards are used to communicate the intended appearance, processing steps, or job tickets for printed products through the use of existing PDF features.

Example PDF with processing step optional groups visible (from ISO 19593-1)


MIL-STD-31000 Technical Data Packages (TDPs)

The US DoD MIL-STD-31000 standard describes requirements for preparing technical data packages (TDPs) which can be packaged in 3D PDF files.

Technical Data Package hierarchy chart


ISO 32000 (PDF)

ISO 32000 is the family of ISO standards that defines the core PDF specification for both PDF 1.7 and PDF 2.0.

ISO 32000-2 Document management Portable Document Format Part 1 PDF 2.0 cover with PDF Association logo


ISO 16613 (PDF/VCR)

PDF/VCR enables variable data printing applications using PDF template-based variable content substitution and a framework for in-RIP variable content merging.

ISO 16613-1 Graphic technology - Variable content replacement Part 1 cover page with PDF Association logo


ISO 16612 (PDF/VT)

The ISO 16612 family of standards defines PDF/VT for supporting variable data and high-volume transactional printing. PDF/VT builds on top of PDF/X.

ISO 16612-3 Graphic Technology Variable Exchange using PDF/X-6 PDF/VT-3 cover


ISO 15930 (PDF/X)

The ISO 15930 family of standards define PDF/X, which support the graphic arts and professional printing sectors.

ISO 15930-9 Graphic Technology Prepress digital data exchanged using PDF Part 9: Complete exchange of printing data cover


RFC 8118 (application/pdf Media Type)

RFC 8118 defines the application/pdf Media Type and provides an overview of PDF fragment identifiers.

PDF icon with upper right corner folded down and red arrow pointing right and gray arrow pointing left


PDF 3D Formats

PDF 1.7 introduced interactive 3D support using the U3D file format. PDF 2.0 expanded 3D support to include the ISO PRC format, and an ISO extension will soon be published supporting STEP (AP242) 3D models.

ISO 14739-1 Document management - 3D use of Product Representation Compact (PRC) format Part 1 PRC 10001 cover with PDF Association logo


ISO 16684 (XMP)

ISO 16684 is the ISO family of standards that defines XMP (eXtensible metadata platform) for XML-based metadata. XMP is widely used across PDF and other file formats, and is mandated by many ISO PDF subsets.

ISO 16684-1 Graphic technology - extensible metadata platform with PDF Association logo (XMP) - Part 1: Data model cover


ISO 19444 (XFDF)

ISO 19444 specifies an XML format for representing forms data and annotations in ISO 32000-2 (PDF 2.0). It is the XML equivalent of FDF.

ISO 19444-1 Document management XML Forms Data Format Part 1 Use of ISO 32000-2 XFDF 3.0 cover with PDF Association logo