The future of documents


At the DocEng conference, I met a lot of academics and professionals discussing interesting requirements and solutions related to PDF documents. It was impressive to see what these people are working on, what they (don't) know about PDF and whether it works according to their needs. Here is my experience ...


A tour of the PDF standards

Blog standards

Everybody whose occupation is related to a business process that relies on a subset standard will know it: somebody working in prepress will know PDF/X as an archivist knows PDF/A. But for PDF professionals, it also makes senses to know something about other subset standards. One reason could be that it is technically not complicated to create PDF files that comply with more than one standard (major portions of their text are exactly the same). Therefore, we wrote this article with a short description of all PDF based ISO standard!


Archive e-mails system-independently with PDF/A


E-mails are increasingly replacing paper mail and are therefore an integral part of processes. So, it might be interesting to do e-mail archiving as their content must be retained for years. Furthermore, there are more good reasons for e-mail archiving. If e-mails and their attachments are structured in the same way as all other documents and stored in a uniform format, this facilitates the comprehensive information search. However, e-mails are often - if at all - stored in proprietary formats. Whether these are reproducible or searchable in the long term is questionable. System-independent e-mail archiving in PDF/A format is a secure alternative!


Entirely barrier-free: PDF/UA in the Banking Industry


The goal of banks should be that all information is also accessible by people who use special tools, such as screen readers, special mouse or voice output/input. The ISO-certified PDF/UA format (Universal Accessibility) can help to ensure that the documents and forms offered on the internet are barrier-free.


Does PDF 2.0 have any effect on PDF/A?

PDF 2.0

PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2) has been available as a new standard since August 2017 - the result of almost ten years of work by about 30 experts from all over the world. It is the first PDF specification that has been completely developed within the ISO! From an archive perspective, the question now arises as to what extent the changes in PDF 2.0 are significant for PDF/A.


Complex projects become compact files - Mapping document structures with PDF/A-3


PDF/A-3 is a powerful tool for mapping projects and document structures, and also for converting work documents into archive documents. Compared to PDF/A-1 and PDF/A-2, this standard part is characterized by the fact that any file formats can be embedded. The question 'does archiving PDF/A-3 documents raise questions about the archivability of embedded files' is justified by many concrete and meaningful applications in this blog.


Is it possible to apply the same individualization techniques in both the digital and the print sector?


The print sector in the form of printed catalogues, price lists or postal mailing campaigns, continues to be an important pillar and these instruments are in demand for individualized addressing (e.g. special advertising campaigns). Therefore, the question arises whether it is possible to apply the same individualization techniques in both the digital and the print sector.


Can a PDF easily comply to PDF/A, PDF/X and PDF/UA?

Universal key

One of the questions that have been discussed at the recent PDF Days was whether a PDF can comply to more than just one ISO standard. Some of the attendees seem to have been confused by the amount of different standards. I guess it is a legitimate question why we have so many different standards and how difficult it would be to create a PDF that complies with more than just one of them. So, I wrote this blog.