Overhauling PDF Forms technology

Excerpt: The Technical Working Group’s chair explains the current missions of the PDF Forms TWG; a declarative model for business logic, alignment with web forms and optimized accessibility.

About the author: Leonard Rosenthol is the Senior Principal Architect for PDF & the Document Cloud at Adobe, having been involved with PDF technology for more than 20 years. He represents Adobe on … Read more

July 21, 2021
by Leonard Rosenthol

The PDF Forms Technical Working Group (TWG) is working on a proposal for advancing forms in PDF to address some issues that have been identified over the years.  

One key aspect of the TWG’s work is the proposed move from a scripting language that lacks fully documented behaviours to a declarative model for the business logic and rules for the form. This change would include not only calculations, but also formatting and validation.

A second important undertaking of the group is to update the capabilities of PDF forms with those of the web, such that conversion from HTML to PDF or derivation from PDF to HTML is as lossless as possible. In addition, we’re introducing support for modern web technologies such as JSON for data modelling and exchange.

The final area of investment for the PDF Forms TWG is to improve accessibility of PDF forms, especially in the areas of field labels and field groupings, in a way that is well aligned with both WCAG and PDF/UA.

PDF Association members are encouraged to login to the Member Area and join the PDF Forms TWG to participate in this discussion!