Duff Johnson

Executive Director at PDF Association

An independent consultant, Duff Johnson is a veteran of the electronic document technology marketplace. He founded or led several software and services businesses in the electronic document industry since 1996, and holds several industry awards.

Duff now serves the PDF industry as ISO Project co-Leader and US TAG chair for both ISO 32000 (the PDF specification) and ISO 14289 (PDF/UA). As Executive Director of the PDF Association, Duff coordinates several working groups, speaks at a wide variety of industry events and promotes the advancement and adoption of PDF technology worldwide.

 



Duff Johnson

Executive Director at PDF Association


An independent consultant, Duff Johnson is a veteran of the electronic document technology marketplace. He founded or led several software and services businesses in the electronic document industry since 1996, and holds several industry awards.

Duff now serves the PDF industry as ISO Project co-Leader and US TAG chair for both ISO 32000 (the PDF specification) and ISO 14289 (PDF/UA). As Executive Director of the PDF Association, Duff coordinates several working groups, speaks at a wide variety of industry events and promotes the advancement and adoption of PDF technology worldwide.

 

AUTHOR OF THE FOLLOWING

DoJ reposts the Mueller Report April 23, 2019
Article

As reported within hours by Quartz, four days after its initial release and fanfare-free, the US Department of Justice re-posted the Mueller Report PDF with a few improvements. They also added a few problems that …



Even with OCR, the Mueller Report PDF isn’t fully searchable April 20, 2019
Article

On April 19 we published an analysis of the Mueller report PDF released by the US Department of Justice. Further analysis of the PDF file reveals an additional serious problem. Even after running OCR software, the …



A Technical and Cultural Assessment of the Mueller Report PDF April 19, 2019
Article

What can we learn about the Mueller Report from the PDF file released by the Department of Justice (DoJ) on April 18, 2019? This article offers two things: a brief, high-level technical assessment of the …



Interview with EDC keynote speaker David Blatner April 15, 2019
Interview Presentation preview

Author of over 15 books and a guru to generations of graphic designers, David Blatner is a legend in digital publishing. He’s also the keynote speaker opening the 2nd day of the Electronic Document Conference in …



Document management and the state of PDF support April 4, 2019
Article

When I’m not working for the PDF Association I still do some consulting in the document management space. Some recent conversations prompted me to revisit an assessment I wrote four years ago exploring a typical conversation …



Recently identified PDF digital signature vulnerabilities March 8, 2019
Article

On February 25, 2019, researchers from Ruhr University Bochum  and Hackmanit GmbH published pdf-insecurity.org, a detailed explanation of several vulnerabilities they had identified in PDF viewers and online validation services relevant to signature validation in digitally-signed …



The new PDF Association website January 29, 2019
PDF Association news News

Welcome to the brand new PDF Association website. This sweeping relaunch has a modern and user-friendly interface and offers interesting contributions for every visitor.



Electronic Document Conference: Call for Papers November 26, 2018
Announcement News PDF Association news

This event allows those engaged with electronic document technology focusing on developers, product managers, professional document users, creative professionals and others, to exchange views and discuss subjects of common interest. The Electronic Document Conference 2019 will …



Have we passed ‘peak PDF’? October 31, 2018
Article

How do we gain insight into how users’ views of documents are shifting? Google Trends is an increasingly interesting source of high-level marketplace data. By aggregating Google’s search data over time, reporting a term’s popularity …



Refried PDF July 31, 2018
Article

My hospital emailed me a medical records release form as a PDF. They told me to print it, fill it, sign it, scan it and return it to the medical records department, in that order. …



Using PDF/UA in accessibility checklists June 8, 2018
Article

PDF/UA, like PDF itself, is internally complex, but used correctly, actually makes things easier.



PDFpackage – a lightweight content management platform April 5, 2018
Article

In a recent article I discussed using PDF as a container to organize, transport and archive collections of content. Since then I’ve had numerous discussions about this idea with members of the PDF technology and related …



PDFcontainer – a proposal February 6, 2018
Article

Introduction PDF technology profiles can be leveraged to provide trusted, predictable containers for record types that often present workflow and preservation challenges, with email and case files (associated files in arbitrary formats) as primary use-cases. Community-developed …



“PDF can do THAT?!” December 15, 2017
Article

PDF files deliver a complete package of information that defines a document; everything that’s needed to represent the text, graphics and layout that the recipient receives. To most people, PDF is “electronic paper” – the …



The only digital document format December 8, 2017
Article

What is a “document”? A document is a record of some (typically written) content – a publication, a contract, a statement, a painting – at a moment in time. Until the advent of computers (and …



The Power of the Page November 14, 2017
Article

It’s a question that vexes vendors of web-based solutions everywhere: why do people still insist on PDF files? And why does PDF’s mindshare keep going up? “PDF is such antediluvian technology!” they say. “It’s pre-web, are …



PDF 2.0: The worldwide standard for electronic documents has evolved August 30, 2017
Article

The Portable Document Format is perhaps the most common example of a de facto standard, so much so that Wikipedia features PDF on its “de facto standards” page. From Ethernet and 802.11 to HTTP and …



SHA-1 is gone… and it’s deprecated in PDF 2.0 as well February 28, 2017
Article

As we reported yesterday, those in the crypto world are well-aware that Google and others have proven that SHA-1, the venerable cryptographic hash function standard, is dead. The consequences, however, are yet to be determined. …



veraPDF accepted for PREFORMA Phase 3 acceptance testing February 17, 2017
News

The veraPDF consortium has completed PREFORMA’s prototyping phase, and has been awarded the contract for the final six month testing phase.



PDF 2.0 interop events help ensure consistent implementations February 2, 2017
News

The first post-Adobe ISO standard for PDF technology creates new opportunities for developers of electronic document software. Berlin, February 2, 2017 –The PDF Association, the non-profit industry trade-group for organizations specializing in PDF technology, today …



New Section 508 rules require PDF/UA for PDF 1.7 creators January 31, 2017
News

The US Access Board has issued new rules updating its “Section 508” accessibility requirements. PDF/UA-1 support is required for PDF creation software producing PDF 1.7 files.



Apple’s PDF problems deepen with Sierra January 5, 2017
News

Apple’s PDF problems get worse on Sierra, says Tidbits publisher.



veraPDF 0.28 – last version before the 1.0 release! December 22, 2016
News

The final beta-release of veraPDF is now available. Version 1.0 is expected on January 9th 2017. The 1.0 release is required by PREFORMA in order to initiate its Phase 3 testing and acceptance process.



Fast Business: “10 things you need to know about PDF” November 22, 2016
News

It’s all about the strategic perspective on PDF.



PDF Day Australia featured in Technology Decisions November 21, 2016
News

The website Technology Decisions wrote: For the first time, PDF Day will be held in Australia during November. The event is designed to assist CIOs, document management experts and electronic content policymakers understand ISO-standardised PDF …



veraPDF 0.26: new PDF parser, new batch processor November 18, 2016
News

veraPDF version 0.26 includes the first beta release of the new purpose-built PDF parser. This release can be used alongside the PDFBox parser to compare results. In addition, a new batch processor and updated reporting …



IDM asks: “will you be ready for PDF 2.0”? November 12, 2016
News

ISO 32000 Project co-Leader and PDF Association member Peter Wyatt talks PDF 2.0 and the upcoming PDF Day Australia conference on November 25 in Sydney.



veraPDF: have your say November 8, 2016
News

Have you used veraPDF? Let the project’s funder know your views!



veraPDF 0.24 released October 11, 2016
News

The latest veraPDF now includes batch processing (beta), additional error-handling and extraction of the AFRelationship key.



Register now for PDF Day Australia! September 9, 2016
News

Looking for PDF expertise in the Asia / Pacific region! Come to PDF Day Australia on November 25, 2016 in Sydney!



veraPDF 0.22 released September 8, 2016
News

The latest incremental release reflects user requests, some minor fixes and a decision taken in the PDF Validation TWG.



US federal agencies approve PDF/A September 2, 2016
News

US agencies have released updated guidelines on digitizing books and other materials.



Microsoft announces support for PDF/UA on MacOS August 25, 2016
News

PDF/UA documents from Microsoft are on the way.



Making “information management” real August 15, 2016
Article

ECM needs a common portable container to move information management to the next level.



veraPDF 0.20 now available August 4, 2016
News

version 0.20 is a minor update to the software. In addition, 34 files have been aded to the test corpus for PDF/A-2b.



veraPDF 0.18 released July 14, 2016
News

veraPDF ships a new interim release.



PDF Association gets new Board, new Chair June 22, 2016
News

The composition of the Board now includes six from Europe and four from North America, including Adlib Software, Adobe Systems, callas software, Datalogics, DocuSign, Intarsys, Levigo, LuraTech (a unit of Foxit), Nitro and Satz-Rechen-Zentrum Berlin.



veraPDF 0.16: full support for all parts and conformance levels of PDF/A June 3, 2016
News

The veraPDF purpose-built validator for PDF/A now covers all parts and conformance levels of PDF/A.



Apple’s True Tone brings color management parity to iOS May 9, 2016
News

Apple’s latest tablet brings ColorSync functionality to iOS.



veraPDF 0.14 drops with launch of demo website May 5, 2016
News

Along with 65 new atomic test suite files, the 0.14 release features validation of all parts and conformance levels of PDF/A.



AIIM’s Standards Award goes to PDF Association Executive Director April 28, 2016
News

PDF Association Executive Director Duff Johnson wins the Thomas Bagg Standards Award.



PDF from a USB key keeps things cool April 8, 2016
News

PDF’s value-proposition is exemplified by a USB key developed to monitor temperatures in shipping containers.



veraPDF 0.12 now available March 31, 2016
News

veraPDF 0.12 features improved PDF/A-2b and PDF/A-3b validation and a complete REST API.



PDF/UA from Google Docs is coming soon! March 31, 2016
News

An optional PDF/UA conversion add-on will soon allow users to create PDF/UA documents from Google Docs.



AIIM announces publication of ANSI/AIIM/ISO 14289-1:2016 March 29, 2016
News

PDF/UA is the newest US National Standard, and it’s available for only $15 from aiim.org!



Apache PDFBox 2.0 lands March 21, 2016
News

It’s a milestone release for this open source, permissively-licensed Java software for PDF creation and processing.



Nordic Council of Ministers adopts PDF/UA March 11, 2016
News

The Nordic Council of Ministers adopts PDF/UA for a key publication series.



veraPDF 0.10 now available March 7, 2016
News

Release 0.10 includes a substantially improved CLI, an initial set of PDF/A-2 test files, and more.



Quark Xpress 2016 now converts PDF to native Quark objects March 7, 2016
News

The latest Quark Xpress will be able to repurpose PDF page content into its own object and layout model.



WhatsApp adds support for PDF before other formats March 4, 2016
News

A world-leading chat application adds PDF support before any other.



Microsoft to “improve support” for PDF/UA in 2016 February 23, 2016
News

Among many other accessibility-related enhancements to its Office products in 2016, Microsoft plans to improve support for PDF/UA.



A new Competence Center for PDF/E February 22, 2016
News

As with every other industry, the architectural, engineering and construction industries have been slowly transitioning from paper to electronic documentation and specifications. PDF/E is the ISO subset of PDF designed for these applications.



What you may be missing when you search PDF documents February 11, 2016
Article

PDF files can be hard to search with confidence. Here’s why it matters, how it happens, and what you can do about it.



PDF Accessibility Days videos and presentations now available! February 8, 2016
News

Videos and presentations from the November, 2015 PDF Accessibility Days are now available!



3D PDF Consortium joins the PDF Association February 5, 2016
News

Now a Partner Organization, the 3D PDF Consortium will bring the experience of 3D PDF development and implementation to the PDF Association.



veraPDF 0.8 released! December 23, 2015
News

veraPDF 0.8 includes several updated features and a variety of bug-fixes.



2015 PDF Technical Conference videos are now posted! December 15, 2015
News

Videos from the PDF Technical Conference are now posted!



Google updates PDF viewer in Chrome December 8, 2015
News

Google’s latest release of Chrome includes updated support for PDF viewing.



PDF end user experience survey for people with disabilities December 7, 2015
News

Karlen Communications is surveying users with disabilities to better understand the end user experience of PDF documents within that population.



Clarifying the standard December 1, 2015
News

SD Times talks PDF with a number of developers in the electronic document field, including several PDF Association members.



Comments are due on the European Single Electronic Format November 25, 2015
News

The amended Transparency Directive will require public company annual financial reports in an ESEF beginning January 1, 2020.



veraPDF 0.6 released November 18, 2015
News

The veraPDF consortium has announced the 0.6 release of the veraPDF PDF/A validation software and test-suite. This release features validation of conformance criteria for PDF/A-1b.



European Accessibility Act Coming in December 2015 October 30, 2015
News

The European Disability Forum reports that European Commissioner Thyssen has confirmed that the European Accessibility Act, under development since 2012, is ready for discussion, and possible approval by the College of Commissioners on 2 December. …



Firefox dropping plug-in support October 12, 2015
News

Firefox will drop support for plugins based on NPAPI by the end of 2016.



New PRC-based 3D PDF component released September 24, 2015
News

Announcing a new 3D PDF solution using PRC.



New York Times: Print is far from dead September 23, 2015
News

Paper is still with us: “Digital books accounted last year for around 20 percent of the market, roughly the same as they did a few years ago.”



Phil Ydens and Jon Callas to keynote at the PDF Technical Conference 2015 September 21, 2015
News

2 PDF-packed days; 3 tracks, 37 sessions, and two great keynote speakers: Adobe’s Phil Ydens and Silent Circle’s Jon Callas!



veraPDF consortium releases 0.4 of its prototype PDF/A validator September 17, 2015
News

The 0.4 release includes the first complete (in principle) PDF/A-1b validation profile, and while unverified, tests well against the internal corpora.



New PDF/A and PDF/UA flyers are here! September 3, 2015
News

Official PDF Association PDF/A and PDF/UA flyers updated



Microsoft adds “Print to PDF” native to Windows 10 August 28, 2015
News

PDF creation is now native in Windows.



Unicode 8 core specification now available August 27, 2015
News

The complete specification for Unicode 8.0 is now available, with 7,716 new characters.



veraPDF consortium issues first public software release July 15, 2015
News

Release 0.2 of veraPDF does not yet perform PDF/A validation, but as a proof-of-concept it demonstrates the approach selected for project.



Sophos: Google easily fooled by PDF link-farms July 10, 2015
News

Link-farming with PDF (still) fools Google. What are they parsing, and what are they doing with what they get?



Samsung may soon support PDF annotation features July 7, 2015
News

Will Android heavyweight Samsung introduce PDF annotation support?



Unicode 8.0 is now available June 18, 2015
News

The latest version of the Unicode Standard adds 7,716 new characters and six new scripts. New additions range from emoji characters (including five modifiers for diversity), new ideographs for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, support for more lowercase Cherokee …



PDF/A use in archives correlated with page size (!?!) June 11, 2015
News

PDF/A adoption remains slow, even in European academic archives.



Comments close on the Section 508 NPRM June 1, 2015
News

Will PDF/UA be an option or a requirement for PDF documents in the coming refresh of Section 508? Duff Johnson walks you through the issues and reviews 3rd party testimony on PDF/UA.



EU: may exclude “non-web format content” from Directive May 28, 2015
News

EU policy-makers reconsider application of WCAG 2.0-based regulations to non-web content.



PDF Technical Conference 2015: Registration now open! May 20, 2015
News

The PDF Technical Conference 2015 in San Jose, California this coming October offers a unique collection of developer-oriented resources to help non-experts grow PDF-specific knowledge.



First set of candidate veraPDF corpus files delivered May 18, 2015
News

The first set of 49 candidate test suite files has been loaded to veraPDF’s public Github repository.



ISO meetings under way in San Jose April 22, 2015
News

Following 24 hours of teleconference meetings ISO committee delegates and PDF Association members gather in San Jose.



PDF/UA was in the air at Xplor 2015 April 17, 2015
News

In essence, Xplor is about doing clever things with PDF files.



German TR RESISCAN bans lossy JBIG2 for legally-significant content April 17, 2015
News

Germany Standards bureau bans lossy JBIG2 compression from use in German federal agencies.



veraPDF consortium wins EU contract to develop an industry-supported open source PDF/A validator April 14, 2015
News

In October 2014 the PDF Association (in association with its veraPDF consortium partners) won phase 1 of the PREFORMA contract to design and develop an industry-supported open-source PDF/A validator. PREFORMA has now awarded Phase 2, …



Adobe Systems releases “Acrobat DC” – successor to Acrobat XI April 7, 2015
News

Adobe delivers the 12th major version of the software that introduced PDF.



Duff Johnson testifies to the US Access Board regarding PDF/UA April 2, 2015
News

PDF Association Executive Director testifies to the US Access Board



The PDF/A Adoption Survey closes April 17! March 31, 2015
News

For members only, the PDF/A Adoption Survey collates impressions of the marketplace factors affecting PDF/A adoption.



The British Library’s PDF Format Preservation Assessment March 27, 2015
News

Preservation risks associated with PDF/A, a formal analysis.



Corel’s latest Technical Suite boasts PDF/A, 3D PDF support March 27, 2015
News

The X7 Technical Suite has been enhanced with new support for ISO standardized PDF technology.



Adobe: “Acrobat DC” is coming in April March 17, 2015
News

Adobe Systems announces Acrobat DC as its replacement for Acrobat XI.



PDF/UA featured in the 2015 Section 508 Refresh February 18, 2015
News

PDF/UA is featured in the US Access Board’s 2015 Notice of Public Rule Making for the Section 508 refresh.



Open Preservation Foundation becomes a PDF Association Partner Organization January 27, 2015
News

The Open Preservation Foundation and the PDF Association have signed an agreement to formally recognize their on-going collaborative partnership.



Australian gov: PDF accessible, but not accessibility-supported on mobile January 5, 2015
News

A just-published report from the Australian government finds that PDF as a file-format is accessible but that PDF as supported on mobile devices is not.



PDF/UA-1:2014 now published December 22, 2014
News

The 2nd edition of PDF/UA is a minor revision, but what’s more exciting is that it conforms to PDF/UA!. Developers interested in accessible PDF should acquire it without delay.



Attendees rate PDF Day in DC and NYC a success! December 19, 2014
News

An overwhelming majority say that they learned readily applicable information, both from the sessions and one-on-one discussions.



PRC now published as ISO 14739-1:2014 December 18, 2014
News

The Product Representation Compact (PRC) format for sharing 3D data with end users has been published as ISO 14739-1:2014.



A consortium including the PDF Association wins phase 1 of an EU Commission tender to create an industry-supported PDF/A validator November 13, 2014
News

The VeraPDF consortium, which includes the PDF Association as a lead partner, has been awarded the PREFORMA first phase design contract for a definitive PDF/A validator.



PDF Days Aim to Unlock Power of Format November 7, 2014
News

The Document Imaging Report covers PDF Day and talks about support for PDF in the ECM marketplace.



PDF Association appoints Duff Johnson as Executive Director October 1, 2014
News

The PDF Association today announced the appointment of the organization’s Vice Chairman to the role of Executive Director.



Document productivity: your thoughts please! September 20, 2014
News

A 5 minute survey providing insight into the way people think about electronic documents vs. documents on paper. The questions invite the user to reflect on how they use (or don’t use) electronic documents to …



PDF Day in Washington DC and New York City! September 19, 2014
News

The PDF Day events in Washington DC and New York City offer executives and managers high-level, non-commercial information to improve their understanding of how PDF fits into their technology infrastructure, and what they could do …



“Introducing PDF/UA” World Tour Starts 2 October in Canberra September 5, 2012
Member News

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 Melbourne, Australia. NetCentric Technologies, the world’s leading PDF accessibility vendor and maker of CommonLook suite of tools and services, will be joined by NV Access and Vision Australia in an unique …



PDF Association Vice-Chair Testifies Before U.S. Access Board on Behalf of PDF/UA March 16, 2012
News

The December 2011 ANPRM asserts “…it is straightforward to apply the WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements to all electronic content.” NetCentric’s Duff Johnson, chair of the US Committee for PDF/UA, contests this claim, …



ISO Standards: Update from Bellevue January 24, 2012
Article

The twice-annual PDF Standards Week for the winter of 2011-2012 was hosted by Microsoft in their Bravern facility in Bellevue, Washington during the first week of December, 2011. Present to conduct the meetings were delegates …



Thinking Beyond the PDF January 20, 2011
Article

Duff Johnson considers the Beyond the PDF workshop and suggests PDF/E as a means of developing real-world solutions for science publishing.



Reviewing the Australian Government’s Report on PDF Accessibility January 5, 2011
Article

Duff Johnson reviews a recent report on PDF content accessibility produced by the Australian federal government. The Report accurately characterizes the current state of affairs for Assistive Technology (AT) users attempting to interact with PDF …



Accessibility: What PDF/A-1a Really Means October 1, 2010
Article

NOTE: Since this article was published the ISO specification for PDF/A has added new “parts”. Visit the PDF/A resource page for current information on published versions of PDF/A.    Executive Summary PDF/A-1a is the higher …



CONTRIBUTOR OF THE FOLLOWING

Six Questions to Duff Johnson, Executive Director at PDF Association April 16, 2018
Interview

Our Executive Director Duff Johnson gives some personally information about his experience with the “PDF universe” and much more.



Panel Discussion “Driving interoperability” April 11, 2018
Presentation preview

Session Description:  Everyone understands paper’s features, and how it “works”. For PDF, “full-function” isn’t really defined. 4 PDF experts will discuss under moderation from Duff Johnson, Executive Director of the PDF Association, how to encourage …



Beyond the page: my story with PDF 2.0 April 11, 2018
Presentation preview

Duff Johnson, Executive Director of the PDF Association, will be hosting a keynote titled “Beyond the page: my story with PDF 2.0” at the PDF Days Europe 2018. Presenter: Duff Johnson has worked in the …



PDF statistics April 11, 2018
Presentation preview

Duff Johnson, Executive Director of the PDF Association will be hosting a presentation titled “PDF statistics” at the PDF Days Europe 2018. Presenter: Duff Johnson has worked in the PDF space since 1996, the year …



The PDF Association and the Library of Congress December 13, 2017
News PDF Association news

Earlier in 2017 both the US Library of Congress and NARA joined the PDF Association as Liaison members, an option available to non-profit and governmental organizations interested in contributing to the development and best-practice of PDF technology. As …



SD Times features PDF 2.0 December 7, 2017
News

SD Times, a leading periodical targeting systems and application developers, has featured PDF in its December 2017 publication. The journalists at SD Times interviewed various members of the PDF technology community, including experts from several …



ISO 32000 Project Leaders receive ISO Excellence award November 30, 2017
News PDF Association news

PDF 1.7, the final Adobe edition of the PDF specification, was published in 2006, and converted to an ISO standard in 2008. Since then, Working Group 8 of ISO TC 171 SC 2 has worked …



AUTHOR OF THE FOLLOWING RESOURCES

PDF 2.0 Application Note 002: Associated Files October 26, 2018
Application notes

The Associated Files feature allows PDF writers to provide additional information about files related to a PDF file in a standardized and therefore machine-readable manner.



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