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Files inside PDF

May 2024 by Peter Wyatt (PDF Association)

This article aims to explain the different ways by which PDF stores “files”.

What is meant by a “file” with PDF depends on your viewpoint, and may include notions and expectations derived from how HTML and other formats may do things, some of which differ from the metaphors used by PDF software.

Diverse interfaces foster various end-user understandings of what “files” exist inside any given PDF. This is especially true when we consider the many similar terms in use. Understandings differ or are ambiguous depending on the users’ background, and the terms themselves may have different technical meanings.

Accordingly, end users are sometimes perplexed as to why they cannot simply “download” the JPEG file of a photo in a PDF, or extract a font from PDF viewing software, yet they might be able to extract the embedded spreadsheet they’d attached.

If your role relates to digital preservation or file forensics then accurately understanding the kinds of data that can be in a PDF and how it is stored can be very important.

Integrity protection for encrypted documents: ISO TS 32004 is the latest Extension to PDF 2.0

May 2024 by PDF Association staff (PDF Association)
Announcement, PDF Association news


The latest ISO Extension to PDF 2.0 offers backwards-compatible integrity protection via Message Authentication Code (MAC).

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May 2024 by PDF Association staff (PDF Association)
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The second PDF Week event of 2024 arrives May 6-10 in Tokyo! Members can attend remotely if they cannot join … Read more

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April 2024 by PDF Association staff (PDF Association)
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Hugging Face.AI examines PDF. New PDF support in Android. Google reinvents a 31 year-old PDF feature. FireFox wants you to … Read more

PDF in the Wild

April 2024 by PDF Association staff (PDF Association)
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A new ISO extension to PDF 2.0 adds PDF support for the Khronos Group’s glTF 3D format.

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April 2024 by Peter Wyatt (PDF Association)
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All ISO publications are written according to a set of rules known as the ISO Directives. In this article, the … Read more

Article

April 2024 by axes4 GmbH
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Accessibility is vital for ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can fully participate in society. This article delves into … Read more

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March 2024 by PDF Association staff (PDF Association)
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Authoritative answers to common questions about Tagged PDF, WTPDF and PDF/UA.

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March 2024 by Peter Wyatt (PDF Association)
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How meaningful is PDF’s version number? SafeDocs’ research reveals that 20% of extant files contain features that exceed the stated … Read more

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March 2024 by Peter Wyatt (PDF Association)
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Peter Wyatt shares his custom metadata panels – very useful for discovering ISO standards and PDF Declarations metadata! (until vendors … Read more

Article

March 2024 by PDF Association staff (PDF Association)
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Based on WTPDF, ISO 14289-2 serves to assure institutions that the PDF Association’s requirements for creating and validating accessible PDF … Read more

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March 2024 by PDF Association staff (PDF Association)
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Join pdfa.org for exclusive member benefits tailored to PDF development. Our Member Benefit Manager, Melina, engages in insightful discussions with … Read more

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