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ISO standards, test suites, best-practice guides…

The PDF Association publishes a variety of documents and other resources for those interested in leveraging PDF technology, and as of Q4 2021, also sells the ISO standards relating to PDF technology as developed by ISO TC 171 SC 2.

In addition to formal ISO standards many PDF Association publications developed through our publications process are freely available.

PDF Association members may access process documents and drafts of upcoming ISO standards via the Member Area.

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ISO 32000 (PDF)

PDF 2.0

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


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Best Practice in creating PDF files for variable data printing – Designer Edition

This guide, and its companion for developers (Best Practice in creating PDF files for variable data printing – Developer Edition), are intended to help designers, composition tool operators and software vendors avoid creating inefficient PDF files.

Screen-shot of the document's cover.


Best Practice in Creating Print Files for Variable Data Printing – Developer Edition

This guide and its companion, Best Practice for creating PDF files for Variable Data Printing – Designer Edition is intended to help designers, composition tool operators or software vendors to avoid creating inefficient PDF files.

Cover for Best Practice in creating PDF files for variable data printing Developer edition


PDF Specification Index

This page provides external links to legacy Adobe PDF references and errata, as well as the ISO 32000 family of standards. The PDF Association is not authorized to host these files on behalf of the PDF industry. This page was …

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


EA-PDF

EA-PDF is a new project to define the essential characteristics and optimal functional requirements of email messages and necessary related information in a PDF technology-based archive.



Accessible 3D content

The PDF Association maintains links to best-practice content in this area. These materials are not vetted by the PDF Association. To suggest a new resource contact info@pdfa.org with your recommendation. Scott Vinkle’s blog post on 3D model accessibility: https://scottvinkle.me/blogs/work/3d-model-accessibility  

3D PDF logo


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