The following specialized subsets of PDF specification has been standardized as ISO standards (or are in standardization process):

  • PDF/X (since 2001 – series of ISO 15929 and ISO 15930 standards) – a.k.a. “PDF for Exchange” – for the Graphic technology – Prepress digital data exchange – (working in ISO Technical committee 130), based on PDF 1.3, PDF 1.4 and later also PDF 1.6
  • PDF/A (since 2005 – series of ISO 19005 standards) – a.k.a. “PDF for Archive” – Document management – Electronic document file format for long-term preservation (working in ISO Technical committee 171), based on PDF 1.4 and later also ISO 32000-1 – PDF 1.7
  • PDF/E (since 2008 – ISO 24517) – a.k.a. “PDF for Engineering” – Document management – Engineering document format using PDF (working in ISO Technical committee 171), based on PDF 1.6
  • PDF/VT (since 2010 – ISO 16612-2) – a.k.a. “PDF for exchange of variable data and transactional (VT) printing” – Graphic technology – Variable data exchange (working in ISO Technical committee 130), based on PDF 1.6 as restricted by PDF/X-4 and PDF/X-5
  • PDF/UA (under development in 2011 – ISO/DIS 14289-1) – a.k.a. “PDF for Universal Access” – Document management applications – Electronic document file format enhancement for accessibility (working in ISO Technical committee 171), based on ISO 32000-1 – PDF 1.7

There is also the PDF/H, a.k.a. “PDF Healthcare”, a Best Practices Guide (BPG), supplemented by an Implementation Guide (IG), published in 2008. PDF Healthcare is not a standard or proposed standard, but only a guide for use with existing standards and other technologies. It is supported by the standards development organizations ASTM and AIIM. PDF/H BPG is based on PDF 1.6.


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