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PDF 2.0 Application Note 002: Associated Files

Associated Files (defined in ISO 32000-2, 14.13) leverage the ubiquity of PDF to build on the commonplace concept of “attachments” in electronic communications.

The Associated Files model is exceptionally flexible and can address a wide variety of use cases. Using the Associated Files feature, PDF 2.0 writers can provide additional information as files related to a PDF object in a standardized and therefore machine-readable and potentially machine-actionable way. The Associated Files mechanism also provides for connecting metadata about a related object with the related object itself.

The Associated Files mechanism was introduced in PDF/A-3 and became part of the PDF specification with PDF 2.0 published in 2017.


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This document is freely available under a CC-BY 4.0 license.

The Associated Files feature allows PDF 2.0 writers to provide additional information related to a PDF 2.0 object in a standardized and interoperable machine-readable manner.

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Published by the PDF Association © 2018

Community: PDF TWG

Publications: PDF 2.0 Application Note 001: Black Point Compensation, PDF 2.0 Application Note 003: Use of object metadata streams

PDF 2.0

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