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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.

Validation: Is it really PDF/A?

It is not always easy to tell at first glance whether an existing PDF file actually meets the ISO’s PDF/A standard. Applications such as Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader do use a pale blue banner to indicate when a file claims to be PDF/A compliant, but this is only an indicator and should not be used in place of a full examination to ensure the document meets the PDF/A standard.

Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader can indicate whether a document may be PDF/A compliant, but this is not a replacement for a full validation.

To be absolutely certain, you can perform a validation check which examines all relevant parts of a document.

When do I need to validate?

During the typical life cycle of a PDF/A file, there are particular points when it should be checked for complete ISO compliance.

  • After creation: A PDF/A file should be validated immediately after creation, to ensure that the process was carried out successfully.
  • On receipt: If a company receives a PDF/A file (by email, for example, or by other means), validation is advised. After all, it is impossible to know how the PDF/A file was created.
  • Prior to transmission/distribution: When sending a PDF/A file by email or making it available online, validation in advance is recommended.
  • Before archiving: You must validate data before placing it in a digital archive.
  • At the end of certain processes: Certain processing stages which should not adversely affect a PDF/A file under normal circumstances (such as inserting extra pages) may, in rare cases, cause a PDF/A to become invalid. Validation will clarify the situation for you.

If the validation process detects a violation of the PDF/A standard, the file can often be repaired using the appropriate software. If this is not possible, the only other option is to recreate the PDF document from scratch.

Finding the right validation solution

Several validation programs are available on the market. As with PDF/A creation software, you can choose between workstation applications, server-based solutions and modules for workflow systems. PDF/A files can also be validated using programming libraries.

Some PDF/A creation tools can also perform a test after conversion to ensure the result meets the ISO standard. Naturally, these solutions can also validate PDF/A documents delivered from elsewhere.

Adobe Acrobat Pro, already used in many industries, can test almost all PDF ISO standards including the three parts of PDF/A, using its Preflight function.

Acrobat’s Preflight function checks for compliance with PDF standards.

Note regarding process validation: during an automated stage of processing, such as scanning to PDF/A, the process as a whole is validated rather than each individual PDF in the process.

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Tags: Preflight, email, validate files
Categories: PDF/A