Adobe's PDF format now an ISO standard

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    tmedia1tmedia1 Posts: 104member
    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...
  • Reply 2 of 49
    dasmodasmo Posts: 4member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 49
    ajmasajmas Posts: 552member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    bslaghtbslaght Posts: 40member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 49
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 49
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 49
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 49
    jamiecjamiec Posts: 42member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 49
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 49
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    trobertstroberts Posts: 701member
    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?
  • Reply 13 of 49
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 49
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Great news. No downside.
  • Reply 16 of 49
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,394member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,394member
    Quote:
    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!
  • Reply 18 of 49
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    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!)
  • Reply 19 of 49
    ajmasajmas Posts: 552member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 49
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member
    So did they really give it all up, or is Adobe working on a 2.0 spec for itself?
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