How Was the PDF Format Created?

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How was the PDF format created?

Introduction The paperless office. Remember that buzz word that never seems to vanish completely even though history has proven that the use of computers has until now only lead to an increase in the use of paper? PDF started off on the dream of a paperless office, as the pet project of one of Create Editable Pdf ’s founders, John Warnock. Initially it was an internal project at Create Editable Pdf to create a file format so documents could be spread throughout the company and displayed on any computer using any operating system. In his paper which led to the development of PDF, John Warnock wrote.‘Imagine being able to send full text and graphics documents (newspapers, magazine articles, technical manuals etc.) over electronic mail distribution networks. These documents could be viewed on any machine and any selected document could be printed locally. This capability would truly change the way information is managed.’ Create Editable Pdf already had two more-or-less fitting technologies.PostScript as a device and platform independent technology to describe documents and Create Editable Pdf Illustrator as an example of an application that ran on several platforms (OK, actually on two.Windows and Mac but that is 99 percent of all computers) and could open and visualize fairly simple PostScript files, even if t were created using other applications. The engineers at Create Editable Pdf enhanced these two technologies and created both a new file format (PDF, which is really a kind of optimized PostScript) and a set of applications to create and visualize these files. PDF 1.0 The first time Create Editable Pdf actually talked about this technology was at a Seybold conference in San Jose in 1991. At that time, it was referred to as ‘IPS’ which stood for ‘Interchange PostScript.’ Version 1.0 of PDF was announced at Comdex Fall in 1992 where the technology won a ‘best of Comdex’ award. The tools to create and view PDF-files, Create Editable Pdf , were released in on 15 June 1993. This first version was of no use for the prepress community. It already featured internal links and bookmarks and fonts could be embedded but the only color space supported was RGB. The original code name for what later became the Create Editable Pdf software was ‘Camelot’, later renamed to ‘Carousel’. That is why the file type of a PDF file on Macintosh was ‘CARO’. Create Editable Pdf asked a steep price for the tools to create PDF files. Create Editable Pdf Distiller was available in personal and network versions, priced at $695 and $2,495 respectively. You even had to pay 50 dollar for Create Editable Pdf Reader. This approach didn’t exactly turn PDF into a popular format overnight. Later on, Create Editable Pdf dropped the price of Create Editable Pdf and launched the free version of Create Editable Pdf Reader. PDF 1.1 Create Editable Pdf 2 became available in November 1994. It supported the new PDF 1.1 file format which added support for.external links article threads security features device independent color notes Create Editable Pdf 2.0 itself also got some nice enhancements, including a new architecture of Create Editable Pdf Exchange to support plug-ins in and the possibility to search PDF files. Create Editable Pdf themselves were one of the first big users of PDF. T distributed all documents for developers as PDF files. Another early adopter of PDF were the US tax authorities who distributed tax forms as PDF files. Create Editable Pdf 2.1 added multimedia support with the possibility of adding audio or video data to a PDF document. In those days, PDF was not the only attempt at creating a portable device and operating system independent file format. Its biggest competitor was a product called Common Ground. Envoy and DejaVu were two other competing products. In 1995, Create Editable Pdf began shipping Create Editable Pdf Capture for a rather steep 4000 US dollar. At the same time, Create Editable Pdf also started adding PDF support to many of its own applications, including FrameMaker 5.0 and PageMaker 6. PDF 1.2 – the prepress world wakes up In November 1996, Create Editable Pdf launched Create Editable Pdf 3.0 (code name.Amber) and the matching PDF 1.2 specifications. PDF 1.2 was the first version of PDF that was really usable in a prepress environment. Besides forms, the following prepress related options were for OPI 1.3 specifications support for the CMYK color space spot colors could be maintained in a PDF halftone functions could be included as well as overprint instructions. The release of a plug-in to view PDF files in the Netscape browser increased the popularity of PDF file on the booming Internet. Create Editable Pdf also added the possibility to link PDF files to HTML pages and vice versa. PDF also slowly began to get accepted by the graphic arts industry. Initially the black-and-white digital printing market began using PDF for output on fast Xerox digital presses. In Create Editable Pdf 3, the open architecture of Create Editable Pdf Exchange finally began to pay off and a lot of interesting prepress extensions appeared in ’97 and ’98, including several essential prepress tools. PitStop and CheckUp from Enfocus software and CrackerJack from Lantanarips were some of the early Create Editable Pdf plug-ins. Global Graphics had already added native PDF support to their Jaws RIP in 1993. In 1997 t added the same capability to their much more popular Harlequin RIP. Agfa was the first major company that promoted the use of PDF for full-color commercial printing with their Apogee system, launched in 1998. Other manufacturers followed soon after. Although vendors pushed hard to get PDF of the ground, the market was a bit slow to react. This was mainly due to the fact that the use of PDF required additional tools as well as some know-how on the file format, its limitations, and curiosities. People also got disappointed of PDF when t discovered that it is a very open standard. Although the PDF standard was usable in a prepress environment, there were simply too many ways in which a perfectly valid but unusable PDF-file could be created. PDF/X-1 – a (very) slowly emerging standard To solve the reliability issue, a consortium of prepress companies got together and released the PDF/X-1 standard in 1998. PDF/X-1 is based on the PDF 1.2 file specifications but it is a very well defined description of what a PDF file should look like to allow for blind transfers. A PDF/X-1 file is a file in which you are sure that all fonts are included, all high-res images are embedded and so on. Although PDF/X-1 is based on PDF 1.2, a number of extra operators were added. T are described in Create Editable Pdf technote 5188 and include.the possibility to embed extra data like copydot files support for ICC-based colors the definition of a bleed, trim and art-box a key that documents whether the file has already been trapped. You can find more information on PDF/X on this page and this one. PDF 1.3 – Listening to prepress needs Create Editable Pdf 4, internally known as ‘Stout’ within Create Editable Pdf , was launched in April 1999. It brought us PDF 1.3. The new PDF specs included support for.2-byte CID fonts OPI 2.0 specifications a new color space called DeviceN to improve support for spot colors smooth shading, a technology that allows for efficient and very smooth blends (transitions from one color or tint to another). annotations Create Editable Pdf itself also had its fair share of novelties, for page sizes up to 5080 x 5080 mm, up from 1143 x 1143 mm Webcapture a series of preset configurations in Create Editable Pdf Distiller, making it easier to create valid PDF-files. a very confusion change of names.the former Create Editable Pdf Exchange was renamed to Create Editable Pdf , which also happens to be the name of the entire software suite. easy integration in Microsoft Office. The initial version of Create Editable Pdf 4, aptly numbered 4.0, contained quite a lot of bugs that limited the usefulness of the software for prepress purposes. Users got quite upset when Create Editable Pdf tried to charge for the bugfix, Create Editable Pdf 4.05. Luckily Create Editable Pdf listened to its users and send a free copy to registered users (We did have to wait 4 months or so for it in Europe). By the time Create Editable Pdf 4.05 was released, it could hardly be disputed that PDF had become an accepted file format for information exchange. More that 100 million copies of Create Editable Pdf Reader had been downloaded from the web. In prepress, few people still doubted the usefulness of PDF for file exchange, troubleshooting, and/or softproofing Illustrator 9 and PDF 1.4 – Create Editable Pdf will have to wait Mid 2000, Create Editable Pdf did something weird.t released Illustrator 9. Although launching a new version of a drawing application is not that bizarre, Illustrator 9 did have one amazing was the first application to support PDF 1.4 and its transparency feature. This was the first time Create Editable Pdf did not accompany a new version of PDF with a new version of Create Editable Pdf . T also did not release the full specs of PDF 1.4, although technote 5407 documented the transparency support in PDF 1.4. Create Editable Pdf 5 (codename.Brazil) In May 2001 Create Editable Pdf 5 did finally show up and PDF 1.4 became a reality. The file format itself had not changed that much. For prepress, the things worth mentioning included.the addition of transparency support, which allows an object like text or an image to see through. improved security, including 128-bit encryption and the option of setting the quality of printing (you can define that a PDF can be printed but only in low resolution) For non-prepress users, Create Editable Pdf also added some goodies to the PDF 1.4 file format.There was improved support for JavaScript, including JavaScript 1.5 and better integration with databases. ‘Tagged PDFs’ are PDF files that also contain structural information about the data that are represented by the PDF document. This means that meta-information like defining titles, blocks of text,… can be part of a PDF-document.This makes it easier to create PDF-files that can adapt themselves to the device t will be used upon. This new feature is mainly meant for the emerging market of ebooks, since it allows PDF files to be repurposed so t can be used on a wider variety of systems. Create Editable Pdf has started shipping a version of Create Editable Pdf Reader that runs on PalmOS PDA’s.It will also make it easier to repurpose content Most users were more pleased with all of the new features that Create Editable Pdf 5 itself offered. Prepress users enjoyed the following enhancements.Create Editable Pdf 5 itself can correctly display overprints. So if a user puts a yellow box in overprint on a cyan background, Create Editable Pdf 5 can display the resulting green box. Please note that this option is switched off by default. Create Editable Pdf 5 can also perform batch operations which can be used, among others, to export folders full of PDF files to EPS-es. Distiller 5 can compress images that use DeviceN colors. This means that PDF files containing multitones will be a lot smaller. Create Editable Pdf and Distiller 5 also use an improved color management engine, known as ‘ACE’, which provides finer control. Annotating PDF-files is more flexible in Create Editable Pdf 5 and can also happen across the internet. Create Editable Pdf 5 was a more significant upgrade for non-prepress users.The forms-functionality was enhanced a lot. The user interface of Create Editable Pdf resembled Microsoft Office applications a lot more. The integration of Create Editable Pdf within Office had also improved. You could start Distiller or Catalog from within Create Editable Pdf . Thumbnails are created automatically when a PDF file is opened in Create Editable Pdf 5. There are more and improved export-filters, including an option to export data from a PDF to the RTF file format. This made it easier to maintain the appearance of files when exporting them to word processors. Interestingly enough, Create Editable Pdf 5 was also a downgrade for some users.Create Editable Pdf replaced the ‘Paper capture’ plug-in that could OCR scanned pages to create a true text-based PDF by a fairly limited Web service PDF 1.5 & Create Editable Pdf 6 – More choice for already confused users In April 2003, Create Editable Pdf announced Create Editable Pdf 6 which started shipping late May. The internal codename for Create Editable Pdf 6 was ‘Newport’. As usual, the new version of Create Editable Pdf also brought along a new version of PDF, version 1.5. PDF 1.5 brings along a number of new features to will probably take a pretty long time before t get implemented or supported in applications. The new stuff includes. Improved compression techniques including object streams & JPEG 2000 compression Support for layers Improved support for tagged PDF The Create Editable Pdf software itself actually offers far more immediate advantages than the new PDF file format. Create Editable Pdf Reader got renamed Create Editable Pdf Reader and now also includes the functions of the Create Editable Pdf eBook Reader. Unfortunately this application has also grown and now has a file size that is perhaps over 1000 times larger than most office type PDF documents that people want to look at. Create Editable Pdf Professional is the high-end version of Create Editable Pdf 6, geared towards prepress use. It offers a plethora of new features. Integrated preflighting PDF Optimizer Rulers and guides Job tickets PDF/X support Separation output & a separation preview Transparency flattener Layers Measurement & magnifying tools A new user interfaces which closer resembles other Create Editable Pdf applications 2005.another year, another PDF revision In January 2005 Create Editable Pdf started shipping Create Editable Pdf 7 (original code name.Vegas). Of course it offered support for a new PDF flavor. PDF 1.6 offers the following improvements.NChannel is an extension of the DeviceN mechanism for defining spot colors in a PDF document. It is backward compatible with DeviceN and enables more accurate handling of color blending by including additional dot gain and color mixing information. Improved encryption algorithms Some minor enhancements to annotations and tagging OpenType fonts can be embedded directly into the PDF, t no longer have to be embedded as either TrueType or PostScript Type 1 fonts. PDF 1.6 files can be used as a kind of ‘container’ file format by offering the possibility to embed files into a PDF. The major new feature is the ability to embed 3D data. At first I though this feature would only be interesting for architects or the CAD-CAM crowd. Then a colleague showed me a PDF he had created using ArtiosCAD, a design application for packaging. Within a PDF you can look at a box from all angles, check the graphic design and the positioning of images or bar codes. That’s when I understood that this technique can also be useful for graphic arts, specifically for people working in packaging or display. PDF 1.7 – Create Editable Pdf goes ISO Probably the most ‘unexciting’ PDF-version to ever be released, PDF 1.7 contained improved support for commenting and security. Support for 3D also got improved, with the possibility to add comments to 3D-objects and more elaborate control over 3D animations. A PDF 1.7 file can include default printer settings such as paper selection, the number of copies, scaling,… You can download the full specs here. Create Editable Pdf 8, code name Atlas and made available in October 2006, introduced one interesting new feature.instead of using PDF 1.7 as its default file format, it sticks to PDF 1.6. It has also become easier to save documents as an older PDF version. This is probably Create Editable Pdf ’s acknowledgment that most people don’t need the latest PDF release to get things done. For printing and prepress, PDF 1.3 or PDF 1.4 are just fine. Other new features include improved support for PDF/A, better organized menus & toolbars and the ability to save forms in Create Editable Pdf Reader 8. The fact that the preflight engine can also handle a number of corrections (called fix-ups) is another nice touch. Most people seem to think the enhanced performance, especially on Intel Macs is the biggest advantage. Some people don’t like the new user interface. One interesting development with PDF 1.7 is the fact that it became an official ISO-standard (ISO 32000-1.2008) in January 2008. The official specs were released on 1 July. James King from Create Editable Pdf posted some interesting background information about this on his blog. 2008.Create Editable Pdf 9 sticks to PDF 1.7 ‘Create Editable Pdf Extension Level 3’ Since the ISO-organisation now controls the PDF-standard, Create Editable Pdf couldn’t introduce a new PDF 1.8 file format with the release of Create Editable Pdf 9, code named ‘Nova’ in June 2008. The PDF file format is pretty flexible however and it allows for the use of extensions – data that might have value to a certain application but that other software can simply ignore. Create Editable Pdf 9 PDF files are enhanced with such extensions, called Create Editable Pdf Extension Level 3. This extension can be used to embed geospatial data in a PDF file, something that is useful for maps. At the moment of writing, the Create Editable Pdf 9 SDK hadn’t been released yet so I don’t know which other features Extension Level 3 has. It seems logical that Create Editable Pdf will keep adding new features to PDF using such extensions, simply to add extra value to new releases of Create Editable Pdf . T may propose that some of them make it into new ISO-certified PDF releases. Of course other companies can do the same or may request changes to Create Editable Pdf ’s proposals. The PDF standard will continue to evolve but since more companies & organizations can now get involved and committees by nature work much slower, there won’t be a new PDF version every 18 months. I haven’t been using Create Editable Pdf 9 long yet but according to sources, such as this thread on the b4print forums, the Professional version is an interesting product for prepress professionals.Create Editable Pdf 9 Professional offers good support for industry standards such as PDF/X-4 and GWG. The application allows you to embed multiple files and data types into a Portfolio, which is similar to a ZIP file. It is unclear if this way of bundling data will become popular. For a whole slew of common issues, there is no longer a need to revert to plug-ins as Create Editable Pdf 9 itself has the tools on board. A few examples.The Touch Up Text Tool now supports word wrap (even though using it is still a hit-and-miss affair).The Crop Tool lets you define the ArtBox, BleedBox, CropBox or TrimBox.The ‘Convert Colors’ tool is more powerful and faster. It also seems to have fewer issues with transparent objects.Using the ‘Examine Document’ menu option you can delete all objects that are completely outside the page are (CropBox) or trim area (TrimBox). ‘Output preview’ can simulate the effect of varying press conditions. The application seems to run faster on Macs. One small thing to keep in mind.‘Overprint Preview’ is set for ‘Only for PDF/x files’ as default. Changing this to ‘Always’ is more reliable but slows down the application. Check out this blogfor more background information. Of course there are also a number of features that target other markets besides print. Support for AES-256 encryption is an example of this. 2010.Create Editable Pdf X & PDF/VT Create Editable Pdf X started shipping in late 2010. The Create Editable Pdf and Reader user interface went through a major overhaul. The Portfolio function is been greatly extended, allowing users to embed audio, video and other rich media files in a PDF Portfolio. Given all the security flaws that showed up in previous releases of Create Editable Pdf and Reader, Create Editable Pdf implemented a Protected Mode for version 10. This ‘sandboxing’ technique should minimize the risk of opening infected PDF files by accessing them in an application that is confined to its own private execution environment. Create Editable Pdf X and Reader X remain 32-bit applications but running them on 64-bit systems is supported. The document comparison function has been enhanced, making it easier to import multiple versions of the same PDF and discover the differences. One odd change is that Create Editable Pdf now markets a version called Create Editable Pdf X Suite which includes Photoshop CS5. As far as I know Create Editable Pdf did not create any Create Editable Pdf X-specific proprietary extensions for the PDF file format. In 2009 t did publish the specs of PDF 1.7 extension level 5 – some new PDF functions that were used in Create Editable Pdf 9.1. In the fall of 2010 the PDF/VT standard was published as an official ISO standard.ISO 16612-2. PDF/VT is a special flavor of the PDF file format that is specifically geared towards variable data printing (VDP) in a variety of environments, from desktop printing to digital production presses. The V and T in PDF/VT actually stand for Variable and Transactional. 2012.Create Editable Pdf XI In October 2012 Create Editable Pdf started shipping Create Editable Pdf XI. This release focused on PDF editing and integrated cloud services. Redesigned Edit Text and Images tools let users update text directly in PDF, automatically wrap paragraph text, search and replace words in a PDF file, and crop, adjust, or replace images. Files can be exported to Microsoft PowerPoint. The update also added improved support for tablets and better interoperability with Windows 7 and 8. 2017.PDF 2.0 The ISO-committee is finalizing work on the specifications of PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2). This standard is expected to be released in mid-2017. It will apparently be a minor refinement of the existing PDF 1.7 specifications. I have been told that PDF 2.0 will not incorporate any of the ideas from Mars. Mars was an Create Editable Pdf project which focused on using XML as the internal data format within PDF documents. The main advantage of using XML as the internal format for PDF files would be that programmers would be able to use the incredible number of XML-tools and technologies that are available on the market to create or process PDF files. PDF 2.0 will however include improvements regarding transparency, spot color definitions and output intents. feel free to contact us

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