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PDF (Portable File Format)

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a technology developed by Adobe for sharing electronic documents.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is the standard format for the secure and reliable distribution of electronic documents. PDF files preserve the fonts, colours, formatting and graphics of the original source documents. It is also the format of files available for download on the EUROPA web site.  



PDF files are platform independent and are viewed and printed via the freely available Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded for free.

PDF files are generally produced from source files existing in other formats, such as MS Word, MS Excel, HTML-Web pages, Power Point, etc. Any application capable of printing can be used to produce PDF-formatted versions of print outputs. There are also several free and proprietary tools for converting files to PDF.

PDF was officially released as an open standard on July 1, 2008, and published by the International Organization for Standardization as ISO/IEC 32000-1:2008.


Use on EUROPA (checkpoints)

  • Version of PDF currently in use for publishing on EUROPA is 1.5.
  • Optimise your PDF files before publishing on EUROPA. By optimising the PDF files the size of the files is smaller and the document can be delivered page by page.
  • You should insert the following mandatory metadata into PDF files before publishing: Title, Author, Keywords, Subject.
  • Always indicate the PDF format in order for the user to know beforehand that it is pointing to the PDF file; The PDF format can be indicated by the PDF appropriate standard icon PDF doc 
  • Always specify the size of the PDF file in the following format [<size of the file>KB].
  • Try to keep the size of the PDF files under 2 MB.
  • There are a number of possible technical options: optimisation, security features (including forbidden operations such as printing, selecting text, extracting graphic elements, etc.), forms, encrypted, partial or complete embedding of fonts (when uncommon or non-standard fonts and/or characters are required). 

Conversion tools/ Services

PDF CoDe is a service for converting the files via email. You can send a file to be converted into PDF format to the generic PDF CoDe mailboxes where the file is converted and send back to your inbox.  To know more about how to create a PDF, consult our "Creating PDF with PDF CoDe" page.



Guidelines and references



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