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.


The Matterhorn Protocol 1.1


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

Matterhorn Protocol 1.1 cover page



PDF in Manufacturing

PDF in Manufacturing includes a high-level introduction to the wide range of manufacturing-relevant technologies built into the PDF format.

PDF in Manufacturing cover

Understanding Blockchain’s Role and Risks in Trusted Systems

This document provides guidance on the use of blockchain for Information Governance Professionals responsible for information assets within their organizations. It defines the key characteristics of the current market as well as existing challenges and opportunities.

Cover for Understanding Blockchain's Role and Risks in Trusted Systems Paper

PDF/X in a Nutshell

PDF Assiciation publication about PDF/X. PDF/X was the first ISO standard based on PDF technology. A subset of the PDF specification, PDF/X was designed to constrain PDF files in order to cater to specific use-cases in the print industry.


Concept of Operations for DLA Procurement of Weapon System Parts using 3D Technical Data

This paper describes a proposed set of actions for  enabling the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to use three-dimensional (3D) technical data in its daily operations.

Cover for Concept of Operations for DLA Procurement paper

PDF/A l’essentiell 2.0

PDF/A l’essentiel 2.0 PDF pour l’archivage à long terme is the french translation of PDF/A in a Nutshell 2.0 implemented with the support of Aproged.

PDF/A l'essentiel 2.0 PDF pour l'archivage à long terme

PDF/UA in a Nutshell

ISO 14289-1, more commonly known as PDF/UA, was first published in the summer of 2012 as the first complete definition of a set of requirements for universally accessible PDF documents. Rather than applying to the PDF file format alone, these …


PDF/A in a Nutshell 2.0

PDF/A is an ISO standard for using the PDF format for long-term archiving of digital documents. Since its publication in 2005, PDF/A has become the format of choice for archiving digital documents in a wide range of industries and applications. …

Visualizing vs. Communication: Enabling the Model-Based Enterprise with 3D PDF

This paper explains how 3D PDF enables the Model Based Enterprise by providing a means to communicate all of the information needed.

Cover for Visualization vs Communications paper a 3D PDF Consortium whitepaper

Positioning 3D PDF in Manufacturing

This paper highlights how these 3D PDF formats are similar, how they are different, and what role they should be considered for in a data architecture within an organization or set of relationships between organizations.

Positioning 3DPDF in Manufacturing Report Cover

Model Based Enterprise – A Technology Enabled Contract Management Approach

This paper highlights how the Department of Defense is changing its procurement practices through a revision to MIL-STD-31000.

Cover Model-Based Enterprise paper