PDF In-Depth

PDF Master: ISI head discusses the Paperless Office

June 09, 2004


Editor's Note: Jinsoo Kim, founder of Image Solutions, an Acrobat plug-in developer whose tools assist corporations and governmental agencies in the mass conversion of paper documents to PDF files. While the paperless office may never be a reality, Kim's software might very well be getting us closest to that ideal by enabling the highest volume of paper to PDF conversion of any software vendor.

Dan Shea: When and why did you first get involved with Acrobat/PDF?

Jinsoo Kim: The first electronic New Drug Submission in PDF file to FDA from Novartis Pharmaceuticals at 1996. Most of the New Drug Submission consists of over 250,000 pages with over 10 years R&D information. We developed TIFF-to-PDF conversion technology, without using Acrobat or other tools.

Shea: For those who don't know, what is it that you are doing with PDF right now?

Kim: We provide solutions to the Life Science (Pharmaceutical and Bio-Technology) industry on regulatory submission such as "New Drug Application" in PDF file format.

Shea: Briefly describe the most significant change in the development or use of the technology, since you first began working with Acrobat/PDF, and why do you consider it significant?

Kim: Today, the groupware is very important component in daily business. Sharing annotation feature will be very important.

Shea: Tell me, what is it about PDF that makes it useful to so many different people?


  1. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) -- it is very important viewing same data between the drug company and the FDA;
  2. container technology--all data is in a single file-objects are not linked such as in HTML and XML; and
  3. it's easy to create PDF files.

Shea: What do you see in the future of PDF?

Kim: International Document Archival Standard.

Shea: Can Acrobat and PDF be all things to all people?

Kim: No panacea is available.

Shea: Briefly describe a common misconception about or frequent problem you've seen with Acrobat/PDF that you'd like to try to clarify for others and/or provide a tip to address.

Kim: That a given PDF contains the same data as its source file. Word Processors are for creation, PDF files are for distribution.

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