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About the contributor
Olaf Drümmer

Olaf Drümmer is founder and managing director of callas software, a Berlin/Germany based company specializing in PDF analysis and processing, and of axaio software, developer of software extensions for Adobe Indesign and QuarkXPress. In addition he has been actively involved in the development of PDF standards within ISO since 1999.
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.

ISO PDF/X Committee Working on Next Version of the File Exchange Standard for the printing industry

Berlin, September 16, 2011: The ISO committee for PDF/X – formally known as TC 130 WG 2 TF 2 – today completed a full day of work on the next version of PDF/X in Berlin.

Among the topics discussed were the needs of the packaging industry – whether for more accurate definition and processing of multiple spot color inks, the handling of non-print elements like cut or fold lines, or the use of layers. In order to properly address these issues in a future version of PDF/X much more direct involvement from the packaging industry is necessary though.

Another question was whether and if so how to protect PDF/X files while they are being exchanged over unsafe communication channels like email. While it is possible to encrypt and password protect PDF files this often creates interoperability problems, and as a consequence so far has always been prohibited for PDF/X files. Some experts proposed to simply put a PDF/X file as an attachment inside yet another PDF file and then to encrypt that container PDF file. Even in that case though it would be preferable to have a common approach consistently used across the industry.

Other proposed extensions for a future version of the PDF/X standard deal with instructions for late stage processing steps like sharpness enhancements or channel preserving color transformations.

A tight working schedule in the form of bi-weekly web conferences between the two face to face meetings held per year has been agreed on, in order to get the most important aspects addressed while at the same time the PDF committee finalizes and published the next version of the underlying PDF format – PDF 2.0. The update from PDF 1.7 to PDF 2.0 will be the first PDF format update carried out completely by an ISO committee after Adobe had handed over the PDF format to ISO, and its publication is expected for the first half of 2013. The next version of PDF/X will be based on PDF 2.0.

All those who believe an improved PDF/X standard should take into account their specific needs, and who wish to make sure that their needs are addressed well in the next version of the PDF/X standard, should provide input to the ISO committee accordingly. This is especially true for PDF/X users in the packaging industry. The author of this article will be more than happy to take in any feedback and forward it to the PDF/X committee.

Tags: Inks, Packaging, Password protection, Preserve channels, Spot colors
Categories: PDF/X, Print & Publishing