Sustainability of Digital Formats: Planning for Library of Congress Collections

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PDF_1_4, PDF Version 1.4

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Table of Contents
Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name PDF (Portable Document Format), version 1.4

PDF (Portable Document Format), developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated, is described by Adobe as a general document representation language. PDF represents formatted, page-oriented documents. These documents may be structured or simple. They may contain text, images, graphics, and other multimedia content, such as video and audio. There is support for annotations, metadata, hypertext links, and bookmarks.

Version 1.4 was the basis for the first versions of ISO standards PDF/X and PDF/A.

Production phase In general, a final-state format for delivery to end users. PDF/X, based on PDF 1.4 is a middle-state format for submission of images to printers (prepress).
Relationship to other formats
    Subtype of PDF, Portable Document Format
    Has earlier version PDF_1_3, PDF, Versions 1.0-1.3
    Has later version PDF_1_5, PDF, Version 1.5
    Has subtype PDF/A-1, PDF for Long-term Preservation, Use of PDF 1.4. The first version of PDF/A was based on PDF 1.4
    Has subtype PDF/X, PDF for Prepress Graphics File Exchange. The first version of PDF/X was based on PDF 1.4

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings See PDF.
LC preference See PDF.

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure See PDF.
    Documentation See PDF. Version 1.4 spec is at
Adoption TBD
    Licensing and patents See PDF.
Transparency See PDF.
Self-documentation Version 1.4 can include XMP metadata packages. XMP is Adobe's framework for including arbitrary blocks of metadata, using a representation in RDF.
External dependencies See PDF.
Technical protection considerations See PDF.

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

Normal rendering See PDF.
Integrity of document structure See PDF.
Integrity of layout and display See PDF.
Support for mathematics, formulae, etc. See PDF.
Functionality beyond normal rendering See PDF.

File type signifiers and format identifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Filename extension pdf
See PDF.

Notes Explanation of format description terms

History PDF 1.4 was published in November 2001, and corresponds to Acrobat version 5. PDF 1.4 was incorporated into the first versions of the PDF/X and PDF/A ISO standards.

Format specifications Explanation of format description terms

Useful references


Last Updated: 02/21/2017