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Chapter 3. Syntax > File Structure

3.4. File Structure

The preceding sections describe the syntax of individual objects. This section describes how objects are organized in a PDF file for efficient random access and incremental update. A canonical PDF file initially consists of four elements (see Figure 3.2):

  • A one-line header identifying the version of the PDF specification to which the file conforms

  • A body containing the objects that make up the document contained in the file

  • A cross-reference table containing information about the indirect objects in the file

  • A trailer giving the location of the cross-reference table and of certain special objects within the body of the file


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