PDF 2.0 on the horizon – preparing for next-generation PDF


  • Test your files and implementations against others, benefit from shared experience 
  • Explore the possibilities, workshops in the UK and USA

 PDF 2.0 Interop Workshops

Explore – how your own PDF software and/or test files work with the software and/or test files of other developers

Gain  – from shared experience and networking with your fellow PDF developers

Get – your questions regarding the meaning of the standard answered PDF Association interop workshops are intended to help achieve industry-wide consensus on the meaning and application of PDF technology standards. Managed by the PDF Association and hosted by leading companies in the PDF space, the interop workshops are designed to provide an environment that provides material value to every PDF developer, from creators to processors to viewers.

Why support PDF 2.0? 

Whenever a new version of an existing file format comes along there are some obvious questions that any software developer must ask themselves: do I need to support this new version? What specific benefits would I gain if I do, and what are the risks if I don’t?


PDF 2.0 includes many new features as well as new capabilities for existing features. Some have broad application across a variety of use-cases; others offer significant benefit for specific market sectors. Just a few examples:

  • Page-level output intents
  • New rules on halftones and spot functions
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • “Unencrypted wrapper” documents
  • State-of-the-art digital signature features
  • New 3D, rich media and geospatial features
  • Associated files
  • Document parts
  • Namespaces for Tagged PDF
  • Support for UTF-8


PDF 2.0 isn’t just about new features. Just as significant was the effort expended on eliminating ambiguities and instances of implementation-dependence. Conforming processors from multiple vendors should behave more similarly than before; experience shows that older products will have difficulty competing.

PDF 2.0 is designed to be largely backward compatible, but older processors still won’t handle new features. One example: the new page-level output intents will be silently ignored by a PDF 1.7 reader, leading to printed colour that may not be acceptable. Printers may initially limit their customers to 1.7 or earlier files, but they will eventually prefer to remove the risk by upgrading to products that support PDF 2.0 files.

About the host

Global Graphics is trusted by global brands to supply the technical innovation that adds value to printed and digital communication solutions, and participates in representing the UK on the ISO committees responsible for PDF technology. Learn more by visiting: http://www.globalgraphics.com/.

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