TWAIN Working Group and PDF Association Announce PDF/R, a PDF Technology-Based ISO Standard

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PDF/R format designed expressly to support modern standards-based document imaging workflows

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The TWAIN Working Group (TWG) and the PDF Association, today announced PDF/R (a.k.a. PDF/raster), an ISO-standardized format for storing, transporting and exchanging multi-page raster-image documents, such as scanned documents and photographs. As a subset of PDF technology, PDF/R takes advantage of existing widespread support for viewing, printing and processing PDF files. As a domain-specific subset of PDF, it is simple to generate and interpret, allowing it to replace the TIFF and JPEG file formats for capture and delivery of scanner output. PDF/R provides the portability of PDF while offering the core functionality of TIFF, bitonal, grayscale and true color images. PDF/R fits well into existing workflows and is compatible so either existing libraries or newly developed frameworks can be used for embedded systems like firmware. PDF/R features include support for encryption and authentication, and is as extensible as PDF itself.

The project to create PDF/R was started by the TWAIN Working Group as part of its TWAIN Direct project to connect scanners to applications through networks. The PDF Association worked in conjunction with the TWAIN Working Group to develop and formalize PDF/R as an ISO Standard, published as ISO 23504 in late 2020. Although directly integrated into TWAIN Direct scanning technology, PDF/R can also be adopted as a standalone file format for use in other applications.

“Before PDF/R document scanning systems were based on image formats instead of document formats,” said Duff Johnson, CEO, PDF Association. "PDF/R delivers the advantages of PDF to all imaging workflows, allowing even low-cost scanners to produce PDF documents complete with metadata, encryption and digital signatures, if desired, straight from the scanner."

“The PDF/R standard is a great replacement to the traditional TIFF and JPEG image formats supported by traditional scanning devices and applications. PDF/R delivers compact, high quality images from image acquisition devices providing efficient and secure delivery of documents over a network.”, said Joseph Odore, TWAIN Chair and Product Manager Document and Imaging, Office Products Business Unit of Panasonic Corporation.

About TWAIN Working Group
The TWAIN Working Group, established in 1992, is a not-for-profit association of industry leaders who have gathered to create a standard that benefits the imaging industry as a whole. TWAIN's purpose is to provide and foster a universal public standard which links applications and image acquisition devices. The ongoing mission of this organization is to continue to enhance the standard to accommodate future technologies. TWAIN generates multiple opportunities for application developers and users to access information and broaden the standard; through a developer’s forum, main website and online self-certification process. Current members of the TWAIN Working Group include P3iD Technologies, Inc., Panasonic Corporation, ExactCODE GmbH, Fujitsu Computer Products of America Inc., InoTec GmbH Organisationssyteme, Kodak Alaris, Plustek, Inc., Atalasoft, Microtek, Inc., Dynamsoft, Epson America, Inc., LEAD Technologies and Hewlett Packard. More information about PDF/R, the TWAIN API and imaging standards can be obtained at, and

About the PDF Association
First established as the PDF/A Competence Center in 2006 the PDF Association today is an international standards development organization promoting awareness and adoption of open standards in digital document applications using PDF technology. The association facilitates education, networking and the sharing of expertise and experience with interested parties worldwide. The current membership includes over 150 organizations and numerous individual subject-matter experts from more than 35 countries. PDF Association, Inc, a US-based subsidiary, administers the standards development program and US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ISO TC 171 SC 2. The management board includes industry leaders from AbleDocs, Adobe,callas software, Datalogics, Digital Frontiers, Dual Lab, Foxit,intarsys consulting, iText, Nitro, Orpalis, PDFTron, and ISO 32000 Project Leader Peter Wyatt. The PDF Association’s Board of Directors is chaired by AbleDocs’ Matt Kuznicki. The Chief Executive Officer is Duff Johnson, ISO Project Leader of ISO 32000 and ISO 14289. More information is available at

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Erin Dempsey
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