Friday, June 27, 2008

PDF 57

Years ago PDF was seen as the simple way forward and one man’s PDF was the same as any others. Today as with all standard formats, it has evolved and different markets have used and developed it to meet their needs. So what is PDF? We all understand it to be a fixed page format but what can one do within it?

What is the difference between print-ready PDF and text PDF or web based PDF, rich PDF, text under Image PDF, interactive PDF, bitmap PDF? Are these one man’s definitions, or as we often find open to debate and even named differently according to who you talk to? There are significant difference between some PDFs and these may restrict what you can do with them or the work required to fully exploit them. Has anybody ever written the ‘Dummies guide to…’ or have we all assumed everyone knows what everything is?

As we go digital then many would suggest that there is two defined formats PDF and XML. But just as there are many XML variants and a need to standardise these with respect to sectors there may also be a need for a clear reference as to what are the different types of PDF, their attributes, optional features are and where they should or not be used.

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