PDF/UA, ISO 14289, was published in July, 2012 after 8 years of development by AIIM’s US Committee for PDF/UA. The PDF/UA standard describes a specific way of using ISO 32000-1:2008, the PDF specification, to produce reliably accessible PDF files.
This page will attempt to maintain an updated list of software supporting PDF/UA, as well as a history of developments in the PDF/UA world.
NOTE: While good-faith efforts are made to keep this information up to date, this table should not be assumed to be complete or accurate. Further, the information provided is, of necessity, at an extremely high level. Please contact the vendors directly to learn more about their products. The table will be updated as new information is made available.
Vendors Planning or Shipping Products that Support PDF/UA
Product / Platform
|Access for All*||PAC 2.0 / W||Desktop||-||-||-||Human||HTML / RTF||Shipping|
|Actuate Corporation||Document Accessibility Appliance / Many||Server||Yes||Yes||-||Partial||HTML||Shipping|
|Adobe Systems||Acrobat / W & M||Desktop||Yes||Yes||Yes||Human||Yes & API||TBA|
|InDesign / W & M||Desktop||Yes||-||-||-||-||TBA|
|axaio software||MadeToTag / W & M||Plug-in (InDesign)||Yes||-||-||Partial||-||Shipping|
|callas software||pdfGoHTML / W & M||Plug-in (Acrobat)||-||-||-||Partial||HTML||Shipping|
|pdfaPilot / Many||Server & Desktop||-||-||Some||Partial||HTML / EPUB||Shipping|
|Crawford Technologies||PRO Transform Plus / Many||Server||Yes||Yes||-||-||-||Shipping|
|Datalogics||Adobe PDF Library / Many||Libraries||Yes||-||-||-||-||Shipping|
|kühn & weyh Software||M/TEXT CS 6.5 / Java||Desktop/Server||Yes||-||-||-||-||Shipping|
|iText||iText Core / Java & C#||Libraries||Yes||Yes||-||-||-||Shipping|
|NetCentric||CommonLook Clarity / W||Desktop & Server||-||-||-||Machine||-||TBD|
|CommonLook Office / W||Add-in (MS Office)||Yes||-||-||Human||-||TBD|
|CommonLook PDF Global Access / W||Plug-in (Acrobat)||-||-||Yes||Human||-||Shipping|
|NV Access||NVDA / W||Assistive Tech.||-||-||-||-||Yes (AT)||Mostly complete|
|PDFlib GmbH||PDFlib 9 family / Many||Libraries||Yes||Yes||-||Machine||-||Shipping|
|xyMedia||axesPDF QuickFix / W||Desktop||-||-||Yes||Yes||HTML Preview||Shipping|
|axesPDF for Word / W||Add-in (MS Word)||Yes||-||-||Machine||-||In Beta|
* - Access for All’s PAC is developed by xyMedia.
Key to Product Features
- Create – The ability to create PDF/UA conforming (tagged) PDF files from a source file or existing untagged PDF.
- Assemble – The ability to assemble two (or more) conforming PDF/UA files together, outputting a conforming file.
- Edit – The ability to update the logical structure tree, ie, to remediate an existing tagged PDF.
- Verify – The ability to check aspects of a file for PDF/UA conformance.
- “Machine” verification indicates software-only checks without human verification. Absent human verification, machine verification is usually inadequate
- “Human” verification indicates that the software includes, in addition to machine checks, a means of allowing a user to verify elements requiring human verification, such as judging the quality of alt. text or confirming valid reading order.
- “Partial” means that the software provides some limited aspects of verification such as a “quick check.”
- Viewer – The product includes an end-user-oriented interactive PDF (or PDF-alternative) viewer, akin to Adobe Reader.
NOTE: Feature claims have not been independently verified.
What’s happening in PDF/UA today
- The ISO Committee for PDF/UA is developing PDF/UA-2, which will utilize ISO 32000-2 (PDF 2.0)
- The US Committee for PDF/UA is intensively reviewing the DIS of ISO 32000-2 clause 14.7 – 14.9
- The PDF Association’s PDF/UA Competence Center is developing sample PDF files and best-practice materials
The History of PDF/UA and supporting documentation
- 2015-02-18 The US Access Board publishes its 2015 NPRM for refreshing the Section 508 regulations. The NPRM language puts PDF/UA on an equal footing with WCAG 2.0
- 2014-12-17 ISO publishes ISO 14289-1:2014. A very minor technical update to PDF/UA, the 2014 edition is the first ISO standard to itself conform to PDF/UA! Tagging was performed pro bono by xyMedia
- 2014-07-29 AIIM publishes the PDF/UA-1 Technical Implementation Guide for ISO 32000
- 2014-06-14 The PDF Association publishes the PDF/UA Reference Suite
- 2014-04-30 The PDF Association publishes the Matterhorn Protocol 1.02
- 2013-10-10 The PDF Association publishes a minor update to the Matterhorn Protocol
- 2013-10-03 AIIM updates the PDF/UA Technical Implementation Guide to version 1.2a
- 2013-08-15 Access for All announces their free PAC 2.0, the first implementation of the Matterhorn Protocol
- 2013-08-04 The PDF Association publishes the Matterhorn Protocol, the definitive validation algorithm for PDF/UA
- 2013-03-07 AIIM publishes PDF/UA Technical Implementation Guide: Understanding ISO 14289-1 (PDF/UA-1)
- 2012-08-20 The US Library of Congress states its preference for documents that conform to PDF/UA in addition to PDF/A
- 2012-08-16 AIIM publishes Achieving WCAG 2.0 with PDF/UA
- 2012-08-15 Adobe Systems announces its intention to integrate PDF/UA into their products
- 2012-08-01 ISO publishes ISO 14289 (PDF/UA)
- 2012-03-15 Cherie Ekholm, Duff Johnson and Greg Pisocky introduce PDF/UA at CSUN 2012
- 2010 ISO accepts PDF/UA as a New Work Item (NWI)
- 2005 Duff Johnson becomes chairman; meetings occur approx. every three weeks for the next 5 years
- 2004 AIIM Standards forms PDF/UA Committee
- 2001 Adobe Systems ships Acrobat 5.0 including support for Tagged PDF
All information is posted at the sole discretion of Duff Johnson Strategy and Communications.