The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently announced the publication of ISO 32000-2 (PDF 2.0), the latest version of the PDF specification.

PDF 2.0 is the culmination of nine years of work by a dedicated group of approximately 30 subject-matter experts from around the world. The document is a refinement of the venerable PDF format, originally published and made freely available by Adobe Systems since 1993.

In addition to improved and clarified text, PDF 2.0 includes many new features. Several key sections, including digital signatures, metadata and tagged PDF, have been entirely overhauled.

“PDF 2.0 represents a major advance in the PDF specification,” said Duff Johnson ISO Project co-Leader for ISO 32000 and Executive Director of the PDF Association. “Almost every clause of the document has been improved to help developers agree on the implementation of existing features, while many new features enable improved electronic document workflows using PDF. We expect PDF 2.0 to help developers worldwide find new applications for the Portable Document Format in many different areas,” he said.

Peter Wyatt, an R&D Manager at CiSRA, Canon’s Australian research and development center said: “The result of PDF 2.0 is a truly open international standard, developed entirely under ISO processes. Like previous versions of PDF, PDF 2.0 is backwards compatible with ISO 32000-1:2008 (PDF 1.7) and the earlier Adobe PDF specifications. ISO 32000-2:2017 significantly clarifies many aspects of PDF making it an invaluable technical asset for every vendor and developer working with any generation of PDF technology.”

Phil Spreier, Technical Director of the 3D PDF Consortium said, “PDF is an important and widely used format in engineering markets around the world. PDF 2.0 enhances the format’s 3D capabilities by including support for PRC (ISO 24517). The addition of the PRC format enables PDF to better store precise CAD and PLM data in a cost effective, ISO standard format. This is a great benefit to heavy industries, construction and manufacturing companies that are investing in 3D technologies.”

PDF 2.0 is an open standard. Any subject-matter expert whose country is a member of ISO’s TC 171 SC 2 can join the other experts at the table, and help determine the nature and direction of the world’s de facto electronic document format.

ISO standards development for PDF in the United States is managed by the 3D PDF Consortium. US-based subject-matter experts may join the US TAG for ISO 32000 by contacting TC 171 SC 2 secretary Betsy Fanning at

For those interested in purchasing ISO 32000-2, it is available for purchase and download from the ISO website, priced at 198 Swiss francs.

About the PDF Association
First established as the PDF/A Competence Center in 2006, today, the PDF Association is an international organization promoting awareness and adoption of open standards in digital document applications using PDF technology. The association facilitates education, networking and communication, and the sharing of expertise and experience with interested parties worldwide. The current membership includes over 100 enterprises and numerous individual subject-matter experts from more than 20 countries.

The management board includes industry leaders from Adlib Information Systems Inc., Adobe Systems Inc., callas software GmbH, Datalogics Inc., Dual Lab, Foxit Europe GmbH, intarsys consulting GmbH, levigo solutions GmbH, Nitro Software Inc. and Satz-Rechen-Zentrum (SRZ). The association’s chairman is Matt Kuznicki, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Datalogics Inc. The Executive Director is Duff Johnson, independent consultant and ISO Project Leader of ISO 32000 and ISO 14289.

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