This week in PDF: Microsoft XML format accepted as ISO standard

April 03, 2008


This week in PDF has seen Microsoft's Office Open XML format officially placed on a par with PDF, the release of a 2D PDF barcode reader and an update to a PDF conversion utility. Also this week, launched a PDF forms and LiveCycle Designer Templates contest.

First up, Microsoft's Office Open XML specification -- OOXML for short -- has been officially accepted by the ISO standards body. Hot on the heels of PDF's acceptance as an ISO standard, this latest development officially puts to the two document formats on a par. As previously reported on Planet PDF, Microsoft originally submitted the specification to European standards body, Ecma International, in late-2005. After approving it about a year later as ECMA standard 376, Ecma International then fast-tracked OOXML through the ISO approval process. To find out more, check out the official ISO announcement.

In other standards-related news, Infinite Research has announced a tool that can read PDF417 standard, two-dimensional barcodes. ClearImage PDF417 recognizes an unlimited number of barcodes in any orientation on even poor quality images from scanners, fax, microfilm or cameras. Check out the official product page for more information about the product.

On the PDF editing and conversion front, Visual Integrity has updated its PDF FLY product. Version 7.0 allows users to output documents in BMP, PDF and PostScript formats, along with those supported by previous versions of the software. Other enhancements in the update include increased performance, selective page-range conversions, advanced font mapping options, watch folder support, intelligent object recognition, fine-tuning of text placement and layering based on colors for CAD formats. Full details can be found in the official press release.

Last but not least, has launched a design competition for authors of PDF forms and LiveCycle Designer templates. According to the site:

The PDF Forms and LiveCycle Designer templates Contest is an opportunity to win yourself some prizes while sharing examples of your PDF Forms design and/or technical expertise.

It's easy to enter
Just create a visually interesting or technically sophisticated fillable PDF Form or a LiveCycle Designer 8 template. Upload the file for use in the gallery. That's all there is to it!

The submission deadline is April 30, so hopeful entrants should visit the contest page for more information on how to enter.

That's it for this week. Watch this space!

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