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PDF In-depth Archive

Our in-depth articles are archived in a series of categories for easy access. Select the category to the left to display only the articles related to that category.

Reducing PDF File Size (Optimizing PDFs)

Dan Shea

PDF is a powerful technology that can produce large, unwieldy files. Ideally, each PDF should be optimized for its intended purpose, audience and delivery method. This article talks about optimization and shows how to slim down over-sized PDF files using Acrobat.

Enterprise & Government   April 07, 2014

OPINION: PDF Continues its March Toward Ubiquity

Dan Shea

About 20 years on, it looks like PDF's inexorable march into dominance continues. The latest development is the US IRS's decision to support PDF-based digital signatures on two key forms (8878 and 8879). The spec might say that "No specific technology is required", but we all know that really means PDF. On a site called "Planet PDF" though, we would say that!

Enterprise & Government   March 24, 2014

Two Passwords Are Better Than One: The Low-Down On PDF Security

Rowan Hanna

For people who don't spend their time looking at PDF files in text editors*, PDF security is a sometimes misunderstood beast.

For example, those document restrictions that PDF files sometimes have -- no Printing, Content Copying, Page Extraction, etc -- are essentially useless unless the PDF also has a User Password.

Developer   January 09, 2014

Acrobat & PDF Developer Libraries

Dan Shea

In addition to Adobe's PDF Library, numerous third-parties produce libraries that can be used to create PDF. This page collects some of the better known PDF developer offerings.

Developer   November 13, 2013

PDF Security: A Brief What, Why and How

Jeremy Koadlow

Information that we have stored on our computers can be of a very sensitive nature, things we want private for business or personal reasons. There are also a number of ways that old, and new programs, formats and systems can be hacked. Flaws can be exploited and work-arounds can be made. There are always things that can be done to mitigate these risks.

Enterprise & Government   May 06, 2013

SEO For PDF: Preparing PDF for Search Engines

Jeremy Koadlow

Preparing PDF documents for search engines is something that is important to know not only for storing files but also for allowing others to find them and making them contribute positively on any sites that they are found. There is a checklist that has been created through a number of different sources which will give you a robust if not definitive guide on PDF SEO optimization.

Enterprise & Government   April 05, 2013

PDF Reflow in Microsoft Word 2013: Is it any good?

Leon Atherton

Microsoft Office 2013 is slated for release soon and users have been given a chance to get an early look at it. In this article, Leon Atherton, an IDR Solutions developer, takes a look at the new PDF reflow feature in Microsoft Word and gives his verdict.

Enterprise & Government   August 17, 2012

Adobe Reader and PDF security threats

Rowan Hanna

In recent years PDF has gotten a bit of a reputation for being a risky format, with security alerts related to Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat, and by extension PDF, being issued with some frequency. Rowan Hanna reviews the recent history of PDF exploits.

Enterprise & Government   June 04, 2012

Technical background to PDF font options

Kevin Newman

The PDF specification provides many options for the display of textual content and the related extraction of the text content. In this article I will try to highlight the key areas and terms that you will encounter when working under the hood with fonts in PDF files. Key terms that you should take note of are in bold.

Developer   March 28, 2012

What happened to the Portable in PDF?

Rowan Hanna

A huge selling point of PDF has always been that it is not limited to any one echo-system, making document exchange possible no matter the hardware or operating system being used. In this article Rowan Hanna looks at how the portability of PDF is being threatened by crippled-PDFs.

Enterprise & Government   February 20, 2012

Is EPUB a better e-book format than PDF?

Rowan Hanna

With Apple's recent release of iBooks 2 and a new application called iBooks Author, extra attention is being given to the EPUB file format, a free and open e-book standard by International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Rowan Hanna attempts to answer the question of whether it is a better format for e-books than PDF.

Developer   February 09, 2012

Possible alternative to Acrobat for Mac users

Ernest Svenson

Learning how to manipulate PDFs is critical if you want to efficiently capture and process digital information. Acrobat is the most obvious tool for the job, but the story is a bit more complicated for Mac users. If you don't need all of its features, Acrobat Pro is somewhat pricey, and Acrobat Standard is unavailable for Mac systems. PDFforLawyers.com's Ernest Svenson makes a case for his preferred Mac-based Acrobat alternative.

Enterprise & Government   September 05, 2011

EDITORIAL: The next "PDF-killer"

Dan Shea

The release of the new Computable Document Format (CDF) has been reported by some as ringing the death-knell of PDF. In this article, Dan Shea talks about the strengths, obstacles and possibilities for the new "PDF-killer".

Enterprise & Government   August 07, 2011

EDITORIAL: Control versus convenience with eBooks

Dan Shea

There has been a lot said, printed, blogged and tweeted about eBooks over the years, both good and bad. Recently, the main focus of this discussion has been the issue of copyright, along with its close companions, document security and piracy. In this article, Dan Shea takes a trip down memory lane and outlines his position of cautious optimism about the future of eBooks.

Enterprise & Government   July 23, 2011

Raising the bar

Frank Rem

Frank Rem from TallComponents writes about his experiences with PDF forms. Specifically, he sought to include a QR barcode on a PDF form, and to have it dynamically updated with the value of another form field. This article chronicles his trial and error efforts to accomplish this task in Acrobat.

Enterprise & Government   July 08, 2011

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Adding a PDF Stamp Comment

OK, so you want to stamp your document. Maybe you need to give reviewers some advice about the document's status or sensitivity. This tip from author Ted Padova demonstrates how to add stamps with the Stamp Tool along with related comments.