Technical Notes, best-practice guides, test suites, educational videos and more

The PDF Association publishes a variety of documents and other resources to help developers, product managers, and others interested in leveraging PDF to meet their business and organizational objectives.

Most publications listed on pdfa.org are developed through our publications process, and are freely available to members and non-members alike.

PDF Association members may access drafts of current and upcoming ISO standards via the members-only intranet.


The Matterhorn Protocol 1.1


The Matterhorn Protocol, a free publication, identifies all possible ways to fail PDF/UA-1.

Matterhorn Protocol 1.1 cover page



Print workflow and metadata

Print workflow and metadata standards are used to communicate the intended appearance, processing steps, or job tickets for printed products through the use of existing PDF features.

Example PDF with processing step optional groups visible (from ISO 19593-1)

ISO 32000 (PDF)

ISO 32000 is the family of ISO standards that defines the core PDF specification for both PDF 1.7 and PDF 2.0.

ISO 32000-2 Document management Portable Document Format Part 1 PDF 2.0 cover with PDF Association logo

ISO 15930 (PDF/X)

The ISO 15930 family of standards define PDF/X, which support the graphic arts and professional printing sectors.

ISO 15930-9 Graphic Technology Prepress digital data exchanged using PDF Part 9: Complete exchange of printing data cover

ISO 19444 (XFDF)

ISO 19444 specifies an XML format for representing forms data and annotations in ISO 32000-2 (PDF 2.0). It is the XML equivalent of FDF.

ISO 19444-1 Document management XML Forms Data Format Part 1 Use of ISO 32000-2 XFDF 3.0 cover with PDF Association logo

ISO 21757 (ECMAscript for PDF)

ISO 21757-1 defines the ECMAScript API for automating and interacting with the 2D and 3D content in PDF 2.0 documents.

ISO 21757-1 Document management ECMAScript for PDF Part 1 Use of ISO 32000-2 PDF 2.0 cover with PDF Association logo

PDF Specification Index

This page provides external links to legacy Adobe PDF references and errata, as well as the ISO 32000 family of standards. PDF Version Year Reference Documents Adobe PDF 1.0 1993 Portable Document Format Reference Manual Version 1.0 (ISBN 0–201–62628–4) Adobe …

PDF icon with upper right corner folded down and red arrow pointing right and gray arrow pointing left

PDF 2.0 Application Note 003: Use of object metadata streams

This free application note summarizes precisely where PDF creators should add XMP metadata to PDF 2.0 objects, and thus where PDF 2.0 processors should search for it.

Application Note 003 cover

ISO 32000 – the core PDF specification

ISO 32000-2:2020 is the current version of the PDF specification. It was developed by the volunteers of ISO TC 171 SC 2 WG 8.

PDF 2.0 on iso.org

Normative references of ISO 32000-2:2020

To help implementers locate the latest information, the PDF Association maintains a page of links to current versions of documents normatively referenced from ISO 32000-2:2020.

Screen shot of normative references page.

PDF 2.0 Application Note 002: Associated Files

The Associated Files feature allows PDF 2.0 writers to provide additional information related to a PDF 2.0 object in a standardized and interoperable machine-readable manner.