Before I ramble about how much i have already learnt from the OctoberPDFest personally, I want to bring to your attention that as of today, it is a free, ongoing event. So do not forget to attend more of these sessions. Now on to the fest:
Dietrich von Seggern, the Managing Director of callas software commenced the OctoberPDFest on October 5 with an overview of the upcoming new PDF standards like PDF/A-4, PDF/X-6 and PDF/VT-3 where PDF 2.0 features were brushed upon first. All these standard parts are now based on PDF 2.0 – more precisely on a dated revision of PDF 2.0 that will also be published around end of this or beginning of next year. While this dated revision provides no “big” new features it improves and clarifies existing provisions to a great extent – as Dietrich expressed it: “While it is not very exciting for end users, it is a must read for all implementers and vendors of PDF software.”
The upcoming PDF/A-4 (ISO 19005-4) subset will greatly ease PDF/A conversion to where many provisions are either totally removed (example being XMP Extension Schemas, CIDSet and CharSet in fonts etc) or relaxed (for example live forms better supported). PDF/A-4 will have a close relationship to PDF/X-6 and PDF/UA-2 silencing some of the questions raised by these different sectors for a more baseline-d standard. In addition, conformance levels 'u' and 'a' will be deprecated. Next in line is PDF/X-6 (ISO 15930-9) for publishing and print which 'inherits' from PDF/A-4 and will be ready by end of 2020. PDF/X-6 comes with 2 conformance levels: 'n' supporting multi-channel color and 'p' for referenced ICC profiles in output intent. PDF/VT-3 (ISO 16612-3 ), which is a subset of PDF/X-6 will be ready by end of 2020 as well. If you missed this presentation: There is a second opportunity on October 29 at 5pm CEST: Register here...
Just this week, Dietrich, in his second session, educated the attendees about automating office files to PDF (not to mention that PDF is more reliable and hence conversion is a great idea), the Do's and Dont's, Email to PDF and about information beyond appearance like text search, tagging or metadata. While there is an easy approach in converting office files to PDF, i.e. via the printer driver, it has a lot of limitations like Unicode (unrepresented text), no tagging or metadata. The session compared test cases in terms of Word documents, Excel, Powerpoint results when it comes to conversion via Libre Office or Microsoft Office.
PDF rendering is more reliable and robust, a lot faster for longer documents, archivable and an essential part of all current digital processes. It is a great idea to convert office formats to PDF..
I hope there are many takeaways for you from this OctoberPDFest.