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What is a PDF/E? (Everything You Need to Know)

Today, we are bringing to you a new dose of knowledge on PDF formats! This time we will talk about a PDF/E file format. You will learn what PDF/E is, when to use it as well as how to edit it. What is more, we will show you how to convert a PDF to PDF/E and how to convert PDF/E back to PDF. If you want to view and edit your PDF/E, you can always use our UPDF software. We recommend you download the software now so that you can practice as you read our guide.

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What is a PDF/E?

A PDF/E file is a type of PDF. It stands for "Portable Document Format/Engineering". It was created in March 2004 by Adobe and officially made available under ISO standards in 2008. PDF/E was designed to address the needs of engineering workflows. It is a format that supports engineering documents such as technical drawings and complex graphics. PDF/E is commonly used by architects, engineers, construction workers, and manufacturers.  

Also Read: What is a PDF/X?

PDF vs PDF/E: Similarities and Differences


PDF and PDF/E are portable document formats, meaning their structure is the same. Both formats can include objects, text, images, and graphics as well as interactive elements such as links, forms, audio, and video. Moreover, both formats support security features like password protection, document encryption, and adding digital signatures.


PDF is a general-purpose format used for text documents (essays, dissertations, educational papers, etc.), forms, presentations, and more. It is generally used by office workers, students, scholars, and writers. PDF/E is designed specifically for technical and engineering documentation. It supports handling od 3D models, CAD data, and an enhanced metadata. Thus, it is used by construction, manufacturing, and engineering industries.

Also Read: PDF vs PDF/A: Understanding The Differences

The Benefits of PDF/E

There are various benefits of PDF/E files such as:

  • Supporting Rich Media and Interactive Elements – PDF/E allows for embedding complex elements such as 3D Models and animations, which makes it ideal for industries that need to create detailed documents.

Moreover, interactive elements such as hyperlinks, bookmarks, forms, annotations, and comments can be attached. This ensures that engineers can easily collaborate.  

  • Data Reliability – The information within the document is preserved accurately, thus, engineers don't have to worry about measurements and specifications becoming corrupted.  
  • Long-term Storage – PDF/E supports long-term archiving, which ensures that documents can be accessed without losing any information in the future.
  • ISO Compliance – The format is approved by ISO 24517 standards. This means that it is compliant with industry standards.

How to Open and Edit PDF/E?

Our UPDF software can help you open, view, and edit your PDF/E document. Why should you use UPDF? The answer is simple – you can open and view the file for free. And if you want to save the edited PDF/E, the price is much lower compared to other applications. UPDF has all the essential features that you may need to successfully and quickly edit your PDFs.

The software allows for annotating, adding images and links as well as redacting files. If you ever feel like you don't have any ideas, you can use UPDF's AI Assistant which will help you generate some initial concepts. We also understand that PDF/E can be confidential and contain important information. Thus, with UPDF, you will also be able to password-protect your work.

You can download UPDF now by clicking the button below. The software can be used on most popular operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. To learn more about UPDF, watch this video:

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To open and edit PDF/E, you can follow the below guide.

Step 1. Open PDF by clicking the "Open File" and select the PDF to import it to the UPDF. Now, you can view the PDF. If you want to edit the PDF/E, you can click on the "Edit PDF" at the left side panel.

what is a pdf e edit PDF with UPDF

Step 2. Click on the text that you want to edit. Now, you can edit the existing content in the PDF. To add new text, links, and images, you can click on the icon on the top, then, click on where you want to add the text on.

what is a pdf e add text to PDF with UPDF

If you like this software after testing, you can upgrade to pro version at a very low price.

How to Convert PDF to PDF/E?

You can convert your PDF to PDF/E by using Adobe Acrobat. The application can be downloaded  from the Adobe website.

Step 1. Once you have it on your device, open it and click "Open File" to open your PDF. Then choose "Apply PDF standards" from the panel on the left.

what is a pdf e apply PDF standards with adobe acrobat

Step 2.  Now, click "Save as PDF/E". You can't convert a file without a subscription. However, you can choose a free 7-day trial to test all Adobe features and then cancel it or continue with the subscription.  

what is a pdf e save as PDF/E with Adobe Acrobat

How to Convert PDF/E to PDF?

You can convert your PDF/E file to PDF with Adobe Acrobat. Open your file in the software by clicking "Open File". Now, click on the "Use Print Production" at the left side panel. Click on "Preflight", select "PDF Standard",  click on the "Documents info and Metadata" under the "Profiles" and select "Remove PDF/E Information" , then, click on the "Fix" to convert DPF/E to PDF.

what is a pdf e convert pdf/e to pdf with adobe acrobat


We hope that you learned more about PDF files, what PDF/E is, and how to convert it.  

PDF/E is a great file format to use if you work in the engineering, manufacturing, or construction industry. Using this format will help you create better-quality documents for your work. Remember, you can view and edit any PDF file format, including PDF/E, with UPDF. Don't wait – try it out for free and start learning new skills today!     

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