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2 Lessons from UK government study on electronic document usage

March 6, 2014 0

The UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) is responsible for spearheading the development and adoption of digital services within and delivered by the British government. The GDS is studying file-formats to help the British government develop standards for its use of electronic documents. They have reviewed customer support logs, conducted significant survey research and engaged in… Read more

Electronic Documents – What Matters to the US Government

March 3, 2014 1

Leading the push for development of an archival variant of PDF over the past 15 years, the many US Courts organizations have document management challenges that most of us don’t really want to think about. Not only do they curate hundreds of millions of documents for decades, the Federal Courts receive and process millions more… Read more

Archivists: No flowers for PDF/A-3

February 28, 2014 3

The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), a consortium of archivist institutions committed to the long-term preservation of digital information, has published an important new paper analyzing PDF/A-3 from the archivist’s perspective. This post provides some brief analysis and comment. What is PDF/A-3? While PDF/A-2 is an update to the PDF/A-1 based on ISO 32000 instead… Read more

NARA’s 2014 Transfer Guidance Bulletin

February 25, 2014 0

On 31 January 2014 the US Government’s National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) issued updated Transfer Guidance, replacing the previous 2003 document. The new Bulletin is substantially overhauled, with greater emphasis on standards in general, and standardized file-formats – most notably PDF – in particular. While each agency does things their own way (hey, this is America!),… Read more

The 8 most popular document formats on the web

February 17, 2014 4

This post is an update to my twice-annual (approximately) track of document file-format popularity as measured by way of Google’s “filetype:” search. Here’s the previous survey, posted in January, 2013. New for 2014 I’ve decided to start tracking EPUB, Open Office files (ODT, ODP, ODS), TXT and RTF as well. In case you want all… Read more

, and the lists HTML cannot reach

February 13, 2014 0

A discussion on the WCAG listserv prompted me to think about lists. What’s the difference between the HTML and PDF treatment of list content? This short article contrasts HTML’s list tags with PDF’s standard structure elements for lists. The article argues that PDF’s list model is more capable. As PDF provides accessibility-support via a generic mechanism, the portable… Read more

  • , and the lists HTML cannot reach
  • February 13, 2014 0

    A discussion on the WCAG listserv prompted me to think about lists. What’s the difference between the HTML and PDF treatment of list content? This short article contrasts HTML’s list tags with PDF’s standard structure elements for lists. The article argues that PDF’s list model is more capable. As PDF provides accessibility-support via a generic mechanism, the portable… Read more

    Are your documents readable? How would you know?

    January 24, 2014 0

    Most electronic documents are PDF files. The problem – not all PDF files are created equal. Not all software does the right thing when editing a PDF file. Bad PDF is a reality, and so is substandard PDF software. To discuss this problem I offered a presentation on PDF validation at both 2013 EU and… Read more

    How to Fail PDF/UA

    January 14, 2014 0

    I’ve just completed a new article for the PDF Association introducing the Matterhorn Protocol. It’s intended for software development professionals thinking about accessibility in PDF. The article describes the purpose and function of the Matterhorn Protocol, and explains how developers may use this document to address PDF/UA conformance in a systematic and reliable manner. While… Read more

    As a format, is PDF “sufficiently accessible”?

    November 13, 2013 1

    From time to time one still hears this assertion: “While PDF is a useful medium for some situations; when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative provided in order for the information to be available to people with disabilities.” Those who feel this way believe PDF as a format is insufficiently accessible… Read more