Access and Feeds

Data Trends: The Standardization of PDF

By Dick Weisinger

It seems like it’s been forever, but it’s only been since 1993 that Adobe first introduced the PDF file format.  Adobe was forward thinking in their strategy of popularizing the PDF format by creating an easy to use and free Adobe Reader product.

Now more than 15 years later, the PDF format is a standard file format that is used by both business and consumers for consuming electronic documents.  In 2008, the PDF file format officially became an ISO standard, and the ISO version of PDF continues to evolve to support new functionality.

A new format standard called PDF/E is being developed specifically for being able to embed engineering drawings within the PDF format.  The new standard will support 3D models so that documents will be able to include renderings of product designs.

A related standard called PDF/E-2 is also intended for use with engineering documents, but it is designed primarily for archiving engineering documents, including the archiving of 3D renderings and data.  Ultimately PDF/E-2 may be merged with the PDF/A standard which was designed as an archival format for business-type documents.

A third new variation of PDF documents called PDF/UA is intended to assist disabled users and comply with the requirements of Section 508.  The new standard includes a screen reader and other utilities for helping disabled users.

Beyond that, a new version of the PDF ISO standard is in the works.  It is being called PDF 2.0 or more officially known as ISO standard 32000-2, and it is expected to be completed and agreed to by the end of 2010.

It’s great progress, but undoubtedly the proliferation of ISO PDF flavors will cause some confusion and can potentially cause problems and misunderstandings when documents are exchanged.

One comment on “Data Trends: The Standardization of PDF
  1. HP laptop black screen says:

    The standard pdf would really give the best output in providing the standard document version. The document sharing format would really be in sync with the latest data trend.

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  1. […] PDF file format created by Adobe is almost universally used when sharing fixed-format documents. Adobe made the PDF file format […]

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