PDF – A long story made short

Posted: September 5, 2012 in Color, PDF
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Portable Document Format, or PDF, was first introduced by Adobe® Systems Incorporated in June 1993 with the announcement of a suite of products under the name of Adobe Acrobat®. More recently, PDF has become the focus of great attention as a key electronic format within the professional publishing industry and as the way to presented printable material on the World Wide Web.

 Page Content

 The format for PDF files breaks naturally into two classes:

1) the material representing “page content” or those directives that contribute directly to causing marking on a rectangular canvas (page or screen), and  

2) The auxiliary and structural information that assists dynamic viewing or helps organize the content into a complete “document.”

 Both PDF and the PostScript® Language share a common “imaging model” that includes text — using outline font technology, graphics — using lines and Bezier curves to form paths that can be either “filled” or “stroked”, and image sampled data — used to form pictures. All of these imaging primitives are woven into an imaging-model cloth using flexible positioning primitives, sophisticated color directives, and coordinate space warping mechanisms that include translation, rotation, and scaling.

 Auxiliary and Structural Information

 Let us understand, how information beyond the page content is included within a PDF file including:  bookmarks or table of contents, thumbnails, links, annotations, and forms fill-in information. PDF has at times been referred to as “object oriented PostScript”.  The organization of PDF files into objects is used to maintain a page independence that allows the pages to be accessed and processed in any order. This is crucial to document browsing and dynamic linking, but also has been deemed crucial to the prepress operations needed to prepare material for various production output devices and include imposition and trapping.

 Expressiveness and Flexibility of PDF

 The Portable Document Format is based on an intriguing notation that is both powerful and flexible. As with the imaging model, the roots of the PDF syntax and low-level semantics derive from the PostScript Language, but the key mechanisms that allow PDF files to be considered as a collection of related objects and to be accessed randomly are PDF’s own. The notion of a “dictionary” where “keys” can be looked up to find their “values” provides a cornerstone of flexibility for PDF. Dictionaries in particular, but PDF in general, allows for a program to find the key elements of what is desired and to ignore those components or parts that are not of particular interest at this time.

More to follow….

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Comments
  1. indhushree says:

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