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Adobe's PDF format now an ISO standard

post #1 of 50
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Adobe has relinquished control of the Portable Document Format (PDF) to the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), which will now assume developmental control of the format as an industry standard.

The ISO said the new standard, ISO 32000-1, Document management Portable document format Part 1: PDF 1.7, is based on the PDF version 1.7 developed by Adobe. It supplies the essential information needed by developers who write software that reads, creates, or otherwise interprets PDF files.

Since its inception back in 1993, Adobe has maintained complete autonomy as the developer and copyright owner of the electronic document format, which allows users to exchange and view the documents easily and reliably, independent of the environments in which they are created, viewed and printed, while preserving their content and visual appearance.

"By releasing the full PDF specification for ISO standardization, we are reinforcing our commitment to openness", said Adobe chief technology officer Kevin Lynch.

The explosion of Internet use in recent years helped PDF become one of the most common formats for document exchange, spawning billions of individual PDF documents and a community of more than 2000 PDF product developers along the way.

PDF also plays a central role in Apple's Mac OS X operating system, serving as the native metafile format that replaced the once-standard PICT format of yesteryears. Mac OS X's Quartz 2D graphics composition layer is also based on a model common to Display PostScript and PDF.

As such, Apple's system-level support for PDF allows any Mac OS X application with access to a Print command to create PDF documents automatically. Apple's Preview image viewer and Safari Web browser also support the format natively.

"As an ISO standard, we can ensure that this useful and widely popular format is easily available to all interested stakeholders," said ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden. "The standard will benefit both software developers and users by encouraging the propagation and dissemination of a common technology that cuts across systems and is designed for long term survival.

In a statement released Wednesday, the ISO added that future versions of the format will be published as subsequent parts of the ISO 32000-1 standard by the ISO subcommittee in charge of its maintenance and development.
post #2 of 50
I'd love to see Windows support pdf at the OS level so I don't need a 3rd party app to create pdfs while running Windows...
post #3 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmedia1 View Post

I'd love to see Windows support pdf at the OS level so I don't need a 3rd party app to create pdfs while running Windows...

That's an abuse of monopoly power.
post #4 of 50
Wow, I am surprised it wasn't already a standard, though it is good to know it finally is. The documentation for the specification has been around quite a while if I remember rightly.
post #5 of 50
Adobe has brought great things into the tech world. Albeit there has always been tension between the major tech players I ardently support Adobe and its products.
post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dasmo View Post

That's an abuse of monopoly power.

Is it really? If so, how come Apple can do it? If I am wrong I apologise..I don't know if they have paid some sort of licensing fee...but isn't it the same thing?

If MS does it it's illegal, if Apple does it, it's ok?
post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmedia1 View Post

I'd love to see Windows support pdf at the OS level so I don't need a 3rd party app to create pdfs while running Windows...

That'll never happen as long as Microsoft pushes it's proprietary XPS format as an alternative to PDF.
post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bslaght View Post

Is it really? If so, how come Apple can do it? If I am wrong I apologise..I don't know if they have paid some sort of licensing fee...but isn't it the same thing?

If MS does it it's illegal, if Apple does it, it's ok?

Apple doesn't have a monopoly in personal computers, MS does or did have a de-facto monopoly.

That said, I see nothing wrong with MS implementing PDF readers and PDF "printing". The third party companies are just going to have to come up with a compelling reason to pay for something better, i.e., better operation, customizability & better features. That's the nature of the deal. Good ideas with wide enough use are adapted and integrated into the OS.
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dasmo View Post

That's an abuse of monopoly power.

I don't think so. Once it is an open standard there's no reason MS should be excluded from the market. You could argue that they are taking away business opportunities from other companies, but since there are already free programs out there to do the job, I wouldn't think anyone would have a case that MS would be ruining the market for free PDF creators.

That said, I'm confused. I thought PDF was already an "open" file format, but the verbiage of the post suggests otherwise. How do we explain PrimoPDF and Foxit if the standard is not open?
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bslaght View Post

If MS does it it's illegal, if Apple does it, it's ok?

I think Dasmo was making a joke.
post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bslaght View Post

Is it really? If so, how come Apple can do it? If I am wrong I apologise..I don't know if they have paid some sort of licensing fee...but isn't it the same thing?

If MS does it it's illegal, if Apple does it, it's ok?

There are certainly things that a monopoly can't do that other companies can, but I don't think this would fall into that category.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

Adobe has brought great things into the tech world. Albeit there has always been tension between the major tech players I ardently support Adobe and its products.


Yeah me too. I'm sure the Adobe haters will no doubt try to spin this into an evil plot for world dominance sort of like the MS Office xml standard thing.

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post #13 of 50
Making PDF an ISO standard should allow applications like Pages, Word, WordPerfect, AbiWord, KWrite, Mellel, etc. to create/open/modify a pdf document as easily as its own "native" format, correct? If so, would it make more sense to save to PDF than ODF due to the number of PDF readers out there?
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

That said, I'm confused. I thought PDF was already an "open" file format, but the verbiage of the post suggests otherwise. How do we explain PrimoPDF and Foxit if the standard is not open?

No, it wasn't "open", but Adobe was allowing use of previous revision specs for no licensing fee while keeping the most current spec proprietary for Acrobat Pro sales.
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post #15 of 50
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Originally Posted by troberts View Post

Making PDF an ISO standard should allow applications like Pages, Word, WordPerfect, AbiWord, KWrite, Mellel, etc. to open a pdf document as easily as its own "native" format, correct? If so, would it make more sense to save to PDF than ODF due to the number of PDF readers out there?

Thing is that PDF is a create it and read it format. It is really not designed to be edited. If you have ever tried to fiddle around with a PDF file in Acrobat Pro, you would find out that it can be broken very easily. Even Illustrator PDFs are not very edit friendly as the text strings can get all jacked up.

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post #16 of 50
Great news. No downside.
post #17 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bslaght View Post

Is it really? If so, how come Apple can do it? If I am wrong I apologise..I don't know if they have paid some sort of licensing fee...but isn't it the same thing?

If MS does it it's illegal, if Apple does it, it's ok?

I believe his comment was a joke.

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post #18 of 50
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Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

Great news. No downside.

I concur. Nothing but good can come from this. Especially if there were related licensing fees. Analysts, start crunching the numbers!

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post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

i.e., better operation, customizability & better features.

I have never heard the word "customizability" and I am great at 'creating' new words!

Although your unique thinking has brighten my day, I think "customizable" or "customization" might have fit better?

Your not "strategery" with George Bush are you? (kidding, you know!)

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post #20 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts View Post

Making PDF an ISO standard should allow applications like Pages, Word, WordPerfect, AbiWord, KWrite, Mellel, etc. to create/open/modify a pdf document as easily as its own "native" format, correct? If so, would it make more sense to save to PDF than ODF due to the number of PDF readers out there?

iWorks can already do this, but you should note that PDF is not intended to be a word-processor document. In reality PDF is more like a vector image format optimised for the print medium, though easily handled on screen.
post #21 of 50
So did they really give it all up, or is Adobe working on a 2.0 spec for itself?
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post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

No, it wasn't "open", but Adobe was allowing use of previous revision specs for no licensing fee while keeping the most current spec proprietary for Acrobat Pro sales.

Adobe probably retains a lot of PDF specialized functionality even after this standard is made ISO. There will still be a lot of Acrobat specific stuff like forms and scripting, PDF-X, 3D, conferencing and so forth. I'd be surprised if they gave up all of that. It will be interesting to find out exactly what aspects actually make it into the ISO spec.

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post #23 of 50
Can we FINALLY edit the things like a normal text document then ?

PDFS are not final. Never has there been a more confusing format for the film industry than there is from a pdf
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripdragon View Post

Can we FINALLY edit the things like a normal text document then ?

PDFS are not final. Never has there been a more confusing format for the film industry than there is from a pdf

My depth of knowledge when it comes to PDF is quite shallow but with my years of experience working with the files... The Adobe PDF file format was built for presentation & distribution (especially on dissimilar systems) far more than it was ever intended to be an multi-editable document. (as noted by many people above)

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post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripdragon View Post

Can we FINALLY edit the things like a normal text document then ?

PDFS are not final. Never has there been a more confusing format for the film industry than there is from a pdf

PDF is not primarily for the film industry. Adobe developed PDF as a way to share documents while preserving their formatting and to produce high-quality print-outs on non-PostScript printers. If any industry is can be built around it, then it is the print industry.

As was stated above, PDF is not and never was intended to be a word-processing format. I can attest to the fact that even minor document changes in Acrobat Pro can totally screw-up a PDF. The benefit to using a format that doesn't lend itself to editing is small file sizes. If you make PDF editing as easy as Word or Excel, then you will have Word and Excel document sizes.
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripdragon View Post

Can we FINALLY edit the things like a normal text document then ?

PDFS are not final. Never has there been a more confusing format for the film industry than there is from a pdf

I think the problem is obtuseness as to the appropriate use for the appropriate format. If you want to edit something, then edit the original document, not the generated PDF. Editing from PDFs is like editing video extracted from the distributed DVD. It can technically be done, but it's not ideal.
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripdragon View Post

Can we FINALLY edit the things like a normal text document then ?

PDFS are not final. Never has there been a more confusing format for the film industry than there is from a pdf

And nothing has been MORE precise for the printing industry . Know what life was like before ? Bromides dude, eps files and postcript fonts everywhere. Seriously crap. Seriously what does hollywood use to write on ( toilet paper excluded )
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts View Post

Making PDF an ISO standard should allow applications like Pages, Word, WordPerfect, AbiWord, KWrite, Mellel, etc. to create/open/modify a pdf document as easily as its own "native" format, correct? If so, would it make more sense to save to PDF than ODF due to the number of PDF readers out there?

PDF vs ODF are Apples vs Oranges.

It's analogous to Postscript vs. XML and it's many child languages.
post #29 of 50
Call me when you have a client thats sending notes in a pdf format that is halfway across the world and barely reachable but you have so many hours to re edit the script , repeat.

Yeah it sounds stupid and it is. But people want to edit pdfs cause it looks and acts just like a text document. I don't care one way or the other, I just want apps like Pages to become common place.
post #30 of 50
i loathe pdf's. well. at least on windows. they dont load nearly as slow on macs (any more).

but still, i'm not a huge fan.
post #31 of 50
I welcome PDF as an ISO standard. I assume Adobe would rather continue to profit from Flash and possibly Air.

Pages and Numbers cannot import and otherwise load or modify PDFs. They can export to PDF.

I hope this means I can directly modify, save, and print PDF forms on Mac OS X in the near future without purchasing anything else.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripdragon View Post

Call me when you have a client thats sending notes in a pdf format that is halfway across the world and barely reachable but you have so many hours to re edit the script , repeat.

Yeah it sounds stupid and it is. But people want to edit pdfs cause it looks and acts just like a text document. I don't care one way or the other, I just want apps like Pages to become common place.

Ok, but you understand the difference a source document and an output format, right? Editing a PDF is bit like doing optical character recognition on a fax, or scanning a page containing a photo from a magazine and airbrushing out the text rather than going to the photographer's original file. Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should.

It's horses for courses. The whole point of sending someone a PDF is that it's the final output, you can be sure exactly how it looks and the recipient isn't going to prat about with it screwing up page breaks and so on. If you're supposed to edit the document, get the client to send it to you as a Word or Pages document!

-Rolf
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripdragon View Post

Call me when you have a client thats sending notes in a pdf format that is halfway across the world and barely reachable but you have so many hours to re edit the script , repeat.

Yeah it sounds stupid and it is. But people want to edit pdfs cause it looks and acts just like a text document. I don't care one way or the other, I just want apps like Pages to become common place.

Both Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word offer proper features and workflows for "Commenting" a document. You should really look into these.

It would require you and your client to own Acrobat Pro or Office whatever, but it is very easy to pass one file back and forth and to add "virtual post-it notes" to specific areas on the page or even to suggest changes and edits to specific sentences that the other can then approve or further modify.

* * *

As far as PDF becoming a working standard, that's never going to happen. I asked an Adobe Rep why InDesign didn't just save to the PDF format. He told me that PDFs get smaller by throwing away the "background structure" that other file types use to maintain editability. PDF is meant to be what is called a "Terminal Format" or "Delivery Format". Its the same reason you can't maintain editable layers and vector type in your GIF files even though you made them in Photoshop CS3.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by dontlookleft View Post

i loathe pdf's. well. at least on windows. they dont load nearly as slow on macs (any more).

but still, i'm not a huge fan.

Then they are poorly made pdfs. They can load very fast or extremely slow, depending upon the author(s) of the document(s).
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhowarth View Post

Ok, but you understand the difference a source document and an output format, right? Editing a PDF is bit like doing optical character recognition on a fax, or scanning a page containing a photo from a magazine and airbrushing out the text rather than going to the photographer's original file. Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should.

It's horses for courses. The whole point of sending someone a PDF is that it's the final output, you can be sure exactly how it looks and the recipient isn't going to prat about with it screwing up page breaks and so on. If you're supposed to edit the document, get the client to send it to you as a Word or Pages document!

-Rolf

From the original posters observations they don't know the difference.
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

I have never heard the word "customizability" and I am great at 'creating' new words!

Although your unique thinking has brighten my day, I think "customizable" or "customization" might have fit better?

Your not "strategery" with George Bush are you? (kidding, you know!)

I truly hope you're just joking. Customizability is a real word, not a "created" word and not unique thinking. Your alternatives mean very different things. The first is a noun meaning the amount of customization an item can have. "Customizable" is an adjective describing such an object. "Customization" is a noun, but it describes actual changes to that object.
post #37 of 50
I think Adobe should have done this three or four years ago. There has been a strange backlash against pdf in some quarters in evidence in some of the clueless posts here and on other forums and it is clear that many people just don't understand it. Pdf's are meant to be small and OS independent files that will give the same output on a Windows machine or a Mac. They ought to be the ideal format for academic journals to receive and disseminate to reviewers. Alas! Editors of journals and even publishers are often technically backward and insist on Word files even though they will cause everyone headaches the minute there is a glyph that is different on different operating systems.

If you are trying to make large scale edits to a pdf file you or someone around you does not have a clue what they are doing.
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post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

I truly hope you're just joking. Customizability is a real word, not a "created" word and not unique thinking. Your alternatives mean very different things. The first is a noun meaning the amount of customization an item can have. "Customizable" is an adjective describing such an object. "Customization" is a noun, but it describes actual changes to that object.


But what about the comment about Dubya (George Bush)? That seemed to be on target.
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post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripdragon View Post

Call me when you have a client thats sending notes in a pdf format that is halfway across the world and barely reachable but you have so many hours to re edit the script , repeat.

Yeah it sounds stupid and it is. But people want to edit pdfs cause it looks and acts just like a text document. I don't care one way or the other, I just want apps like Pages to become common place.

The sender was a moron. You output to PDF expressly to make changes HARDER and the appearance less platform dependent. The exact opposite of sending something for edits. Just send the damn source file, there's even one less step involved to do that!

Following in the wake of BruceLee, Skim is also a PDF commenting application, and it is free software. It won't change the actual file, but you can mark it up plenty good.
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post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripdragon View Post

Call me when you have a client thats sending notes in a pdf format that is halfway across the world and barely reachable but you have so many hours to re edit the script , repeat.

Yeah it sounds stupid and it is. But people want to edit pdfs cause it looks and acts just like a text document. I don't care one way or the other, I just want apps like Pages to become common place.

Then you should not be getting your client to send you a script in pdf format if you are expected to edit it. You should only be sent the script or any document for that matter in pdf if the author has no intention of allowing you to edit it.

Scripts are written either in Microsoft Word or a specialised screenplay programme such as Final Draft (The industry standard) or Celtx (freeware), the script will be kept and edited within the applications own file format and only exported to pdf when finished. You should have Final Draft and have the scripts sent to you in that format.
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