Ghent Workgroup publish a free new user guide about PDF standards


The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) has published a new user guide that provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about PDF standards. This user guide has been written by David van Driessche, Executive Director of the Ghent Workgroup and co-chair of the Specification and Process Control subcommittee.

If you work with PDF documents, chances are that sooner or later you’re going to encounter PDF standards. You might knowingly save a PDF conforming to this or that standard, but you might also use standards without even being aware of it. Why? Because many of the vendors who create software using PDF implement standards for you: saving a PDF file for a specific use from that software likely uses some standard under the hood.

It is, of course, always better to be aware of what you are doing. Using PDF standards correctly is important, and knowledge about the different standards and what they can and will not accomplish for you can make all the difference in getting the result you’re looking for.  That’s why Ghent Workgroup thought it might be interesting to create a document that clarifies some of the language you might encounter, demystifies some of the curious statements you might hear and that provides pointers to help you navigate the wonderful world of PDF standards.

One of the biggest restrictions to adoption of any complex technology is people having the feeling they don’t understand it,” says David van Driessche: “As the Ghent Workgroup, we need to overcome this by making things simple. This document aims to do that. Of course, a Frequently Asked Questions document like this is never really finished and will continue to evolve together with our industry.

Some of the questions covered in this user guide are: What’s the difference between PDF standards and PDF specifications? What should I know about PDF/X-1, PDF/X-4 and PDF/X-6? What version of PDF/X should I be using? What is PDF/A and what are the different versions? Etc.

The user guide is free to download on this page:

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