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PDF Association

Mission Statement: To promote Open Standards-based electronic document implementations using PDF technology through education, expertise and shared experience for stakeholders worldwide.
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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.

PDF/A in public administration

Many government authorities and public institutions worldwide now specify formats to use for digital data. Government offices often recommend that working documents use open file formats. More and more often, PDF/A is the only format accepted for final-version files.

  • EU Publications Office:The EU Publications Office is tasked with providing access to all laws, declarations and publications. Since 2007, the EU Digital Library has been tasked with storing printed texts – some of which date back to 1957 – in digital form as well. In a pilot project, an external digitisation team took two years to turn 130,000 paper documents in eleven languages into PDF/A-1b files with searchable text. An important factor in choosing PDF/A was that XMP metadata can be used for keywords and other bibliographic information. To simplify print-on-demand book orders, the archive files are now also available in the ISO standard format for digital print data, PDF/X-3.

    Das EU Publications Office in Luxemburg.
    The EU Publications Office in Luxembourg.
  • The European Patent Office: Since April 2010, the European Patent Office has published patent documents not just in PDF format, but also in PDF/A. For the Patent Office, an important feature of the PDF/A format is found in the way it uses metadata: the XMP metadata fields can include the publication number, the patentee and the international patent classification.

Libraries and archives are taking a leading role in implementing and developing PDF/A. In the USA and Europe in particular, these institutions are choosing the ISO standard for long-term archiving.

  • “Comply or Explain” in the Netherlands: The government of the Netherlands has a “Comply or Explain” policy regarding open standard software. The national action plan “Nederland Open in Verbinding” enforces the use of open standards and requests the use of standard file formats, namely ODF, PDF and PDF/A. All public institutions in the country must use open standard software, as must all companies which take on public contracts. Any entity which cannot meet these requirements must fully justify this decision. In many cases, it is generally easier and ultimately more cost-effective to switch over to a standardised process.
  • Brazil: In 2007, the Brazilian government introduced the e-PING architecture which regulates the provision of digital services. For final versions of a document to be transmitted or archived, Brazil prefers PDF/A.
  • Denmark: Since April 2011, all Danish government bodies are required to save non-editable documents in PDF/A format.
  • France: Since early 2009, the French authorities have recommended the ISO’s PDF/A standard for archiving administrative documents with static, unchanging content.
  • Switzerland: Due to archiving requirements, all electronic communication between citizens and administrative authorities is required to use the PDF/A file format. This regulation has been in force since 2008.
  • Germany: German registry offices have run an electronic register of births, marriages and deaths since 2009; for registered data, they use PDF/A and XML. By 2014, these offices are expected to have switched over to an all-digital system.

For further user reports and the latest PDF/A recommendations, visit the website of PDF Association: www.pdfa.org.

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Categories: PDF/A