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Adobe Systems, Inc., announced in late January that it intends to release the full Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.7 specification to AIIM, the Enterprise Content Management Association, for the purpose of publication by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Since 1995, Adobe has participated in various working groups that develop technical specifications for publication by ISO, and worked within the ISO process to deliver specialized subsets of PDF as standards for specific industries and functions. Today, PDF for Archive (PDF/A) and PDF for Exchange (PDF/X) are ISO standards; PDF for Engineering (PDF/E) and PDF for Universal Access (PDF/UA) are proposed standards. AIIM serves as the administrator for PDF/A, PDF/E, and PDF/UA.

"Today’s announcement is the next logical step in the evolution of PDF from de facto standard to a formal, de jure standard," says Kevin Lynch, senior vice president and chief software architect at Adobe. "By releasing the full PDF specification for ISO standardization, we are reinforcing our commitment to openness. As governments and organizations increasingly request open formats, maintenance of the PDF specification by an external and participatory organization will help continue to drive innovation and expand the rich PDF ecosystem that has evolved over the past 15 years."