Announcing PDF Declarations

The PDF Association has published a new feature for PDF: a standardized mechanism allowing authors to define and share their own document profiles leveraging PDF technology.

ISO-standardized subsets of PDF such as PDF/A, PDF/UA and PDF/X already include identification mechanisms. However, in many cases users of PDF files would like to include a portable, machine-readable statement about the document such as:

  • Adherence to accessibility or other specifications (e.g., WCAG 2.1)
  • Expectations for content (e.g., that all images use a specific encoding)
  • A policy statement regarding document content (e.g., pertaining to privacy regulations)
  • Profile PDF for specific purposes (e.g., as an email archive)

The PDF Declarations mechanism provides a means of including metadata asserting the file's conformance or use of some 3rd party specification or profile that may or may not be related to PDF technology. The 3rd party specification or profile may describe or require properties specific to some or all of the content in the PDF document.

Of course, the mere presence of a PDF Declaration does not provide any guarantee, but it does offer authors and vendors with an easy means of leveraging common understandings about a given set or type of PDF documents.

Anyone can make their own PDF Declaration, but only published Declarations can provide interoperability between systems. The PDF Association considers defining new "official" PDF Declarations on request. Contact for more information.

Download PDF Declarations today.


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