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Newly Available Redlined Versions of Standards Identify Changes to Previous Versions

Historical, Withdrawn Standards and Work Items Also Available

by Carla Falco

Are you tired of comparing the old standard to the new standard — line-by-line, figure-by-figure, equation-by-equation? Do you wish someone could just show you each word, reference, and numeral that’s been changed? Do you need an old version of a standard or want to know what’s under way for the future?

Four new offerings on ASTM International’s Web site meet all these needs — saving you time, money, resources and aggravation.

• Redlines,
• Historicals,
• Withdrawn standards, and
• Work items.

You Asked for It

Surveys and feedback from members and customers prompted ASTM to allocate the resources to make redlines, historicals, and withdrawns available. Currently, approximately 600 redlines and about 4,000 historicals. With the system for uploading these now in place, these numbers will increase as standards are revised and replaced with new editions are available.

Work items are a part of ASTM’s ongoing efforts to foster increased cooperation, participation and communication throughout the global standardization community. More than 600 work items were posted at the time of this writing, and additional items will be posted as new activities are established within different committees.

So what exactly are these new documents and how can they help you? Read further to learn more, then visit and click on the Standards navigation bar to see them in action.

What’s a Redline?

Redlines are PDF documents that provide a quick and easy way to compare all the changes between an active ASTM standard and its previous version. With a redline you’ll immediately see additions, deletions, and other changes between the active standard and its predecessor. A vertical bar appears in the left margin wherever a change has been made to a standard.

• Additions are noted with underlining.
• Deletions are noted with a strikethrough.
• Changes in charts and equations are indicated with strikethroughs, with the entire line containing the new information appearing below the original line (see Figure 1).

What’s a Historical Standard?

As its name indicates, a historical standard is an older version of an ASTM standard that has been superseded by a more current version. For example, an ASTM standard may have a designation of F 645-95 (95 is the year date of approval). If this standard has been superseded by a new version (e.g., F 645-99), F645-95 is considered historical.

Historical standards are available from ASTM in PDF only and are available for informational purposes.

What’s a Withdrawn Standard?

Not a new concept, but newly available online, a withdrawn standard is an ASTM standard that has been discontinued by the committee responsible for it. A standard may be withdrawn with or without replacement.

These standards are also available for informational purposes only.

What’s a Work Item?

Not only can you see what the old version of a standard was and what the current version is, you can also see a description of what a future standard might be. A work item is a new standard or a revision to an existing standard that is under development by a committee.

ASTM publishes work item descriptions in the interest of openness, as well as to solicit input from stakeholders who may not be members of the committee. New standard work item descriptions include title, scope and keywords. Revision work item descriptions include designation, title and rationale.

Work items are not available for purchase at this time.

How to Find What you Need

When you visit and search for an individual standard, you’ll notice the search results have a new look (see Figure 2). Search results now provide a list of the active, historical, and withdrawn standards as well as work items. Right from this results screen, you can order your standards (excluding redlines) or click on any title to reach the Document Summary page.

Redlines are found once you reach the Document Summary page of an active standard. In the left column of the document summary page, the option to purchase a redline appears. If the option does not appear, no redline version is available.

Subscription Services

Redline, historical and withdrawn standards are also available as part of ASTM’s subscription and enterprise-wide services. Customers can now choose from active standards only or, for a slight increase in cost, from active, redline, historical, and withdrawn standards. Visit the Standards page at, then click on Online Subscriptions to Standards for pricing and further details.

Start saving time, money, resources and aggravation today. Use the Search for Standards option at and see these groundbreaking new options. If you don’t find what you need or have comments or questions, we encourage you to contact ASTM Customer Service (phone: 610/832-9585; fax: 610/832-9555). //

Copyright 2003, ASTM

Carla Falco is manager, Product Promotion.