Portable Document Format (PDF) is a page-oriented, graphically rich format based on PostScript semantics and it is also the format interpreted by the Adobe Acrobat viewers. Although each of the pages in a PDF document is an independent graphic object this property does not necessarily extend to the components (headings, diagrams, paragraphs etc.) within a page. This, in turn, makes the manipulation and extraction of graphic objects on a PDF page into a very difficult and uncertain process.
The work described here investigates the advantages of a model wherein PDF pages are created from assemblies of COGs (Component Object Graphics) each with a clearly defined graphic state. The relative positioning of COGs on a PDF page is determined by appropriate "spacer" objects and a traversal of the tree of COGs and spacers determines the rendering order. The enhanced revisability of PDF documents within the COG model is discussed, together with the application of the model in those contexts which require easy revisability coupled with the ability to maintain and amend PDF document structure.
Bagley, S. R., Brailsford, D. F., & Hardy, M. R. B. (2003). Creating reusable well-structured pdf as a sequence of component object graphic (cog) elements. In C. Roisin, C. Vanoirbeek, & E. Munson (Eds.),