Monday, July 16, 2012

More on PDF

The PDF document file format is confusing to many because it can do so much. This post provides a list of resources that may help.

Portable Document Format or PDF files can be like a box of "Cracker Jack"- one just doesn't know what is inside until the box is opened.

As explained in Rick Borstein's article posted last week, PDFs can be both and/or image. But Rick also noted in his communication with me that it was an old article (2005) based on Acrobat 7.0 functionality. Since that time the PDF format (Acrobat is now at version 9.1) has expanded to contain many more capabilities including: 
  • The ability to include 3D artwork
  • Additional 256-bit AES security/encryption capabilities
  • XFA 2.4-3.0 (XML Forms data) 
So is your PDF a picture, a document (searchable), or a form? The answer is yes, it can be all three. No wonder there is confusion. 

PDF is obviously a huge topic and one that deserves a book to fully explain (see for example: PDF Explained, 2011). But short of that, the following list of articles on the subject may be of help or interest in your work

PDF/A International Standards

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