PDF/UA-1:2014 now published

Duff Johnson // December 22, 2014


Two years after its initial publication, the 2nd edition of ISO 14289-1 (PDF/UA-1), the standard for accessible PDF technology is now available. But by far the most exciting thing about this new edition is the fact that it's also ISO's first fully accessible, PDF/UA-conforming standard.

Changes to the 2012 "first edition"

A minor revision, the 2nd edition integrates some errata and minor other clarifications. The changes are genuinely minor, the most substantive of which are:

  • in Clause 5, the method for specifying version and conformance has been clarified;
  • in 7.5 (second paragraph), the normative requirement to have a Scope attribute on a TH structure element has been changed from a shall to a should, and additional normative text added to explicate when the Scope element is required;
  • in 7.18.1 (first paragraph), elements of Subtype Popup have been exempted from the requirements in this clause;
  • in 7.18.1 (fourth paragraph), alternative descriptions for widget annotations have been clarified

ISO 14289-1:2014 replaces the first (2012) edition, which is now withdrawn. Those who have purchased PDF/UA-1 prior to December 17, 2014 should contact their vendor for a replacement.

PDF/UA-1:2014 itself conforms to PDF/UA!

The ISO asked for help in ensuring that the PDF/UA-1:2014 document be as accessible as possible.

To thank the international standards body for promoting accessibility in its publications, the final text of ISO 14289-1:2014 was converted to conform with its namesake by PDF Association and PDF/UA Competence Center member xyMedia, the developer of PAC 2, at no cost to the ISO.

The ISO will use the PDF/UA-conforming ISO standard as a basis for enhancing its own document production processes towards PDF/UA conformance.

Beyond the work done to ensure this new edition of PDF/UA was accessible, ISO's document vending processes have been adjusted to work with tagged PDF, allowing purchasers are iso.org to receive tagged PDF files whenever ISO makes them available.

How to get PDF/UA-1:2014

You can buy your copy of PDF/UA-1:2014 as a tagged PDF, visit the iso.org website. ISO affiliates around the world may use different vending systems that may (or may not) preserve the accessible nature of the PDF.

About PDF/UA

PDF/UA has been under development since 2004. The specification became an ISO standard in August, 2012. PDF/UA-2, to be based on ISO 32000-2 (PDF 2.0), is currently under development.

The PDF/UA standard was originally developed within AIIM's Standards Program, the Standards Development Organization (SDO) authorized by ANSI to represent the US. AIIM is also the secretariat of ISO TC 171, the home of ISO 14289.


Duff Johnson

Founder of Document Solutions, Inc. in 1996, Duff Johnson is a 23 year veteran of the electronic document space and a recognized leader in the electronic document technology industry. Now an independent consultant, Duff serves the PDF industry as ISO Project co-Leader (and US TAG chair) for ISO 32000 and ISO 14289. Previously Vice Chairman of the Board, Duff Johnson …


Duff Johnson

Founder of Document Solutions, Inc. in 1996, Duff Johnson is a 23 year veteran of the electronic document space and …

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