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ISO 32000

ISO 32000 is the family of ISO standards defining the core PDF specification.

ISO 32000-2:2020 = PDF 2.0

ISO 32000-2 defines PDF 2.0; the first ever PDF specification developed in a vendor neutral open consensus-based forum under ISO processes and procedures.

PDF 2.0 was originally published in July 2017. ISO 32000-2:2020 is the so-called “dated revision”, including numerous improvements, corrections and clarifications identified during early implementation and adoption of PDF 2.0.

The initial edition of PDF 2.0 was the culmination of nine years of work by a dedicated group of approximately 30 subject-matter experts from around the world. The 2020 edition replaces the 2017 edition. Although PDF 2.0 is an open standard, one major difference compared with prior versions of PDF is that ISO holds the copyright to the PDF specification. Prior to April 5, 2023, therefore, PDF 2.0 was not freely downloadable.

In addition to defining new features and capabilities in PDF, PDF 2.0 includes many critical corrections and clarifications in clauses common to both PDF 2.0 and PDF 1.7. Where the older specification can be ambiguous or difficult to understand, the improved clauses in PDF 2.0 can assist all PDF developers in supporting earlier versions of PDF.

Additional information about ISO 32000 can be found in the PDF Association’s Technical Resources.

Covers of sponsored ISO standards with Adobe, Apryse and Foxit logos.ISO 32000-2 now available at no cost

As of April 5, 2023, PDF’s latest and most up-to-date core specification, PDF 2.0, is available from the PDF Association at at no cost thanks to sponsorship support provided by Adobe, Apryse and Foxit. The document includes industry-formalized errata.

Read the press-release and download the bundle of ISO 32000-2 + ISO TS 32001 +  ISO TS 32002 + ISO TS 32003 + ISO TS 32004, all at no cost!

Participating in PDF’s standardization

Participating in PDF standardization activities is open to all PDF Association members, via its Category A Liaison with ISO TC 171 SC 2. Subject matter experts and stakeholders may also join their national standards body to represent their country in ISO TC 171 SC 2‘s working groups.


The copy of ISO 32000-2:2020 made available by the PDF Association includes errata. PDF Association hosts a public GitHub repository to provide all developers a means of openly reporting errata against many published ISO standards for PDF for review and resolution by industry. All errata in PDF specifications are important, from minor typos and formatting issues, to larger ambiguous, unclear or apparently contradictory statements. By reaching a consensus on resolutions together, PDF interoperability and implementation reliability will be improved. You can review the full list of all industry ratified corrections to PDF 2.0 specifications.

Normative references

The PDF Association also maintains an archive of documents, many originally published by Adobe Systems, used as normative references (and thus necessary to complete implementation) in ISO 32000-2. Many of these documents are freely downloadable.

Sample PDF 2.0 files

A small selection of sample PDF 2.0 documents is available from GitHub, with each document demonstrating a specific PDF 2.0 feature.

Application Notes

The PDF Association’s PDF TWG authorized publication of the following Application Notes for PDF 2.0.

PDF 2.0 Application Note Publication Date
PDF 2.0 Application Note 001: Black Point Compensation September 17, 2018
PDF 2.0 Application Note 002: Associated Files October 26, 2018
PDF 2.0 Application Note 003: Use of object metadata streams March 16, 2021

ISO 32000-1:2008 = PDF 1.7

ISO 32000-1:2008 is the core specification for PDF 1.7 and remains available today. In January 2007 Adobe donated its PDF 1.7 specification to ISO. A subsequent “fast track” process was used to publish a refinement of this specification as ISO 32000-1:2008, with copyright held jointly by Adobe and ISO. Accordingly, equivalent publications are available from both ISO (at cost) and Adobe (at no cost).

Due to the very significant effort that went into improving ISO 32000-2, the PDF Association does not accept errata against ISO 32000-1:2008. Please refer to the equivalent clause in ISO 32000-2.

See the Adobe patent release regarding ISO 32000-1:2008 and the 2011 statement by Adobe’s Matthew Hardy.

PDF 1.7 Related Publication Publication Date
PDF 1.7 – ISO 32000-1 Summary of Changes August 1, 2008



Download ISO 32000-2:2020 (no charge)

Download ISO 32000-1 from Adobe (no charge) 

ISO 32000 is the family of ISO standards that defines the core PDF specification for both PDF 1.7 and PDF 2.0.

PDF 2.0 iconPDF icon

Community: PDF TWG

ISO Group Responsible: ISO TC171 SC2 WG8

ISO Status: status of all PDF-related ISO work

Errata: PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2) Other core PDF specifications and related errata, starting with PDF 1.0.

PDF 2.0

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