PDF – The Missing References

Mar 26, 2007 12:00:00 AM | Learning PDF PDF – The Missing References

Adobe has not released all necessary references to help PDF developers construct well-formed PDF files. Why Postscript Red, Green, & Blue Refs. are next best.

by Mark Gavin

The Adobe PDF Reference is similar to the Adobe Postscript Language Reference; in that they can both be compared to a dictionary.  A dictionary is a document which contains all of the words that can be used in a language; but, it doesn’t teach you how to combine those words into a good, well structured book.

PDF is based on Postscript.  The documentation for Postscript was released as a set of three volumes.

Postscript Language Reference – Red Book

PostScript Language Program Design – Green Book

PostScript Language Tutorial and Cookbook – Blue Book

Postscript References

These documents are typically referred to by the color name; because, the covers of the books are actually Red, Green and Blue.

The PDF Reference is similar to the Postscript Red Book.  Unlike Postscript; Adobe has not released a PDF Blue Book or a PDF Green Book to help teach developers how to construct well formed PDF files.

So why is Postscript important to PDF?  Much of PDF is built on top of Postscript; and, since the Blue Book and the Green Book do not exist for PDF; reading and understanding the Postscript documentation is the next best information source available to PDF developers.

The above links can be found on a web site for the “Collider Detector at Fermilab“.  The lab has an excellent page on Postscript.

Written By: Mark Gavin