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About the contributor
Bernd Wild

PDF/A Competence Center, Member of the Board; intarsys consulting GmbH, Karls­ruhe, Germany
More contributions
Participating in the PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit’s objective is to establish a broad-based understanding of how PDF files should be tagged for accessibilty. It’s an opportunity to focus on establishing a common set of examples of accessible PDF content, and identify best-practice when tagging difficult cases.

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.

Session Intro – Track 2: Legal Certainty

The archiving of information and documents takes up more and more space in the modern information society. On the one hand, the number of new documents, whether paper-based or already electronic, increases every year. On the other hand, legal and organisational regulations demand that these documents are maintained for many years or even many decades. It is not unusual for business documents relating to tax to be archived for 10 years, or over 30 years for documents in the health sector and up to over 90 years in the plant engineering or aircraft industries.

In addition to the length of time for the archiving, the scope of the information that is to be archived also changes. Where this was restricted several years ago to a relatively few documents that were seen as business-relevant in organisations, all communication between business partners and within an organisation is coming to the fore as a result of rules, e.g. SOX or the more generally formatted “Compliance”. This particularly affects the archiving of e-mails, which has come to represent a fundamental medium of business communication.

One of the main advantages of PDF/A is that it supports embedded electronic signatures. This means that for scanned documents, electronic invoices, forms and contracts you can have a legally binding signature that freezes their content reliably. The basic requirements for electronic signatures, and the supported standards, is presented by Andrea Valle in ”PDF/A and Digital Signatures“.

One of the success stories in using PDF/A and electronic signatures is clearly eInvoicing. While public authorities make requirements on authenticity, integrity and readability of invoice documents, they also request a stable and consistent electronic archiving of tax-relevant documents. This brings us to the presentation by Domenico Barile: “Electronic Invoices as PDF/A With Respect to Italian Legal Requirements”, which describes the possibilities and potential of electronically signed PDF/A invoices in the light of Italian tax legislation.

Since PDF/A was the first standardised document format for long-term archiving suitable for archiving different document types, and is also suitable for PDF, we must pay careful attention to several aspects regarding the conversion of PDF documents to PDF/A. This particularly concerns the handling of character sets that must be embedded in order to achieve a reproduction of a document according to the PDF/A standard that is true to the original. The presentation by François Fernandes: “Reproducibility of Archived Documents”, deals with the hazards that you must consider when converting PDF documents to PDF/A.

Although the conversion of PDF documents to PDF/A has been slowly developing into an established practice, the use of the ISO format during the archiving of e-mails is still in the early stages. Among other things, this is due to the fact that an e-mail often does not represent a homogenous document, but is more of a container for various file formats. The requirements that exist when archiving e-mails in PDF/A, and the relevant approaches, are the theme of the last presentation by Dr. Bernd Wild: “The Challenges in Archiving e-mails with PDF/A”.


Tags: 4th PDF/A Conference, Proceedings
Categories: Legal, PDF, PDF/A