What to expect from PDF 2.0?

What to expect from PDF 2.0 aka ISO 32000-2?

This article summarizes the most important aspects of PDF 2.0 as specified in ISO 32000-2:2017 and revised in ISO 32000-2:2020 which comprises almost 1000 pages. This standard was first published in July 2017 – nine years after publication of the first standardized version PDF 1.7 as ISO 32000-1 in 2008. The revised edition ISO 32000-2:2020 doesn't add new features, but clarifies various issues.

Not all features added in PDF 2.0 have been designed from scratch. In fact, the majority of new features have been available in Acrobat versions for quite a while. Other features have been taken from the existing PDF/X, PDF/A, and PDF/VT standards in order to consolidate everything in PDF 2.0. We therefore start by presenting PDF 2.0 features which have been taken from existing sources before advancing to completely new capabilities provided by PDF 2.0. Finally, we’ll cover a few deprecated aspects of PDF functionality.