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Don’t risk losing users’ trust: future-proof your PDF implementations

July 2024 by Peter Wyatt (PDF Association)

To avoid confusing and frustrating users, applications can and should be robustly prepared for significant changes to PDF – with end user messaging in mind – well before files start to occur in the marketplace.

As PDF’s technical community continues its work on defining a future version of PDF it must consider the impact of these changes on today’s software, and how implementers can best support end users.

Web browsers offer a lot of relevant experience in terms of how they manage similar incompatibility issues, including missing functionality. For example, “reporting to a user” does not always have to be via a primary user interface dialog or prominent banner but might be via logs, a status bar symbol, or an on-screen widget.

The key point is that an end-user must have some means of learning that an incompatibility has been detected between their software and the document they’ve opened and are (presumably) trying to understand!

PDF has always been and always will be fully extensible; PDF software should always be written to reflect that fact.

Preparing for PDF files “from the future”

May 2024 by Peter Wyatt (PDF Association)
Article, For members only


LOGIN REQUIRED: These synthetic files are intended for user experience and human-computer interaction (HCI) specialists to assess the behavior of their current generation of PDF applications to ensure that appropriate … Read more

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July 2023 by Peter Wyatt (PDF Association)
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PDF Association members now have a new resource: advance previews of targeted test cases highlighting differences between implementations, including in-depth … Read more

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July 2023 by PDF Association staff (PDF Association)
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Leverage PDF Week Fall 2023 to highlight your support for standardized PDF technology!

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May 2023 by PDF Association staff
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The documentary is scheduled for release in early 2024. There’s still time to become a supporter!

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March 2023 by PDF Association staff (PDF Association)
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All remaining seats at PDF Week are reserved for ISO WG attendees and PDF Association members.

For members only, PDF Association news

July 2019 by Roman Toda (Normex)
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Users printing to PDF are throwing away information that could be reused by downstream applications. Find out how “Deriving HTML … Read more

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