PDF/D Consortium
Building a better PDF
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About PDF/D   

What is PDF/D?

PDF/D is "Document PDF": no Flash, no audio, no JavaScript, no 3D, just documents with an emphasis on internationalization and support of structured documents. It is a pragmatic subset of the PDF specification with stricter constraints.

PDF/A is focused on long-term archiving of electronic documents. PDF/A preserves appearance and, with PDF/A-1a, makes the content universally accessible independent of language or character set.
PDF/X is focused on perfect print production.

PDF/D is not focused on the appearance of PDF documents but rather creating a better PDF from a software engineering point of view. Since PDF/D is merely well-constrained subset of PDF, it can easily be defined to include the features required to support other subset specifications like PDF/A and PDF/X.

Areas of interest include:

  • Reducing the size and complexity of PDF for developers
  • Technical Excellence: choosing the technically superior feature when alternatives exist (example: XRef streams v. PDF 1.4 xref tables)
  • Structured Documents and Single Sourcing: improving round-trips to document software

The PDF/D specification is still very much a work-in-progress but you can read more about our ideas here: PDF/D Overview

PDF/D Consortium

The PDF/D Consortium was founded by Solid Documents with the intent of having constructive collaboration between independent software developers who share a mutual interest in the betterment of PDF standards, developer tools and software class libraries.

Organizationally we are modeling ourselves after another successful consortium that we have been involved in for more than a decade: Open Design Alliance.

Members get access to all the work of the consortium including source code and test cases. The consortium is sustained by annual membership payments.

If you have interest in participating and working with us on building a better PDF, please contact us at for details about joining.


PostScript and the original PDF specification were not created by committees. Linux Kernel development is not democratic. Neither is PDF/D.

The evolution of the PDF/D standard takes place under the steady guiding hand of a benevolent dictatorship. It is the result of the creative efforts of several experienced PDF software engineers and it is a work-in-progress. In the spirit of Agile software development we are flexible to evolving requirements and believe that rapid continuous delivery of a work-in-progress has more value than working behind closed doors on an albatross.

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