The ISO-standard anniversary of the PDF…and happy Canada Day!

By Roger Beharry Lall | July 1, 2014

2 minute read

To us Canadians at Adlib, today is a very important day marking 2 momentous occasions:

  1. Today is Canada Day, which celebrates the Constitution Act of 1867 which united the 3 colonies into one country known as Canada. It’s a day filled with red and white flags, cold beer, and barbeques
  2. Today also happens to be a big day for the PDF! It was on this day in 2008 that the PDF was officially released as an open standard and published by the International Organization for Standardization as ISO 32000-1:2008.

As a Canadian and a PDF-fanatic, today is a very exciting day for me. Not only will it be filled with cold beer and barbeques, but I will find a way to chat about the PDF to everyone I meet. Someone’s got to spread the word!

Talking ‘bout the PDF

You’ll probably hear all about Canada day on the news, so I won’t bother discussing that holiday. I’m going to focus on the lesser-known anniversary – that of the PDF being released as an ISO standard.

Let’s start off with the incredible benefits this file format provides organizations:

  • Doesn’t require special file viewers to open the file
  • Is platform-agnostic so can be easily viewed on mobile phones and tablets
  • Has small file sizes which reduce storage needs
  • Can be made searchable with Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Enables collaboration and sharing
  • Has different versions specifically for different document processes, such as PDF/A for archiving
  • Can be made secure with digital signatures and passwords

The benefits of the PDF are many, and it’s great that it has been released as an open standard, allowing an external organization to maintain the specifications and develop future versions. There are literally thousands of PDF vendors on the market, each promising unique features which convert other file formats into PDF. If you’re ever looking for PDF transformation software for your business, keep in mind that not all PDFs are equal.

PDF for the enterprise

The above benefits of PDF can be taken even further – advanced, if you will – with the right PDF conversion software. When dealing with an enterprise-grade transformation product, additional benefits can be achieved:

  • Integration into existing business systems and ECMs
  • Automation of manual tasks
  • Reduction of human error
  • Increased fidelity ensuring all content from the source file is properly converted
  • Added enhancements such as headers, footers, page numbers and watermarks

Learn more about why not all PDFs are created equal in this white paper.

Don’t forget to celebrate the PDF today

We’re sorry if you’re not Canadian, eh, and apologize if you can’t join us for a brewsky, but like I said, this day is also abooooot PDF, so there shouldn’t be any excuses on why you’re not celebrating this venerable file format. Take a few minutes to understand the features and benefits of the PDF, and the great strides that have been taken to make it one of the most useful – and useable – file formats in existence.

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