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This week in PDF: PDF competitor to form basis for new document standard

July 05, 2007

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While Adobe courted controversy with its "Send to FedEx Kinko's", this week in PDF sees drafting begin on a standard based on a PDF competitor, the release of a free, PDF-based patent widget and a major update to a PDF printing tool.

First up, standards body EMCA International has very quietly announced that it will begin drafting a document standard based on Microsoft's XML Paper Specification (XPS), a competitor to the PDF format. According to Ecma's Web site, the goal of the TC46 - XPS Technical Committee is to create "a formal standard for an XML-based electronic paper format and XML-based page description language which is consistent with existing implementations of the format called the XML Paper Specification." Critics, however, have claimed that Microsoft exerts too much control over the standards approval process. They worry that submissions such as this and that of the Redmond giant's Office Open XML will displace more "open" standards like that of the XML-based Open Document Format (ODF). More information can be found on the EMCA International Web site.

Moving from opening up formats via formal standardization to establishing proprietary control now, and PatentMonkey.com has launched a new PDF-based patent tool. The free patent PDF download widget for web publishers can be placed in any number of applications including intranets, blogs or company Web sites as a free service for users. Publishers who visit the widget site, fill out a simple form will be provided with a choice of templates along with the code needed to enable the widget. The publisher's site visitors then have fast and efficient access to US patents or published applications. Check out the widget site for more.

Last but not least, Software602 has released an update to its PDF printing tool. Print2PDF 7.0 provides users with the ability to create, merge, and sign PDF documents using a digital signature, while retaining control over document changes and content extraction. Features new to version 7.0 include PDF/A-1b support for compliance with standards for long term archive, 64-bit support for Windows Vista x64 Edition and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, web linearization (fast web view) for effective PDF distribution on the web and integration with the Windows Certificate store. For detailed product information, visit the official Print2PDF website.

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

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