Advantages of PDF/A

Check out the advantages of a PDF/A archive over a TIFF or a paper-based archive.

Electronic documents have countless advantages over traditional archiving formats (e.g. paper or microfilm). Improved accessibility alone may substantiate the implementation of an electronic archive. Some advantages of a PDF/A archive over a TIFF or a paper-based archive are:

Full-Text Search

PDF/A stores objects (e.g. text, graphics), allowing for an efficient full-text search in an entire archive. TIFF is a raster format and must first be scanned with an OCR (optical character recognition) engine.

File Size

PDF/A files require only a fraction of the memory space of original or TIFF files, without loss of quality. The smaller file size is especially advantageous by electronic file transfers (FTP, e-mail attachment etc.)


PDF/A format can be optimized. The optimization can be focused on images (e.g. scanned checks) or extracting structured data (e.g. voucher information). TIFF treats all file information the same.


Metadata like title, author, creation date, modification date, subject, keywords, etc. can be stored in a PDF/A file. PDF/A files can be automatically classified based on the metadata, without requiring human intervention.

About PDF/A Competence Center

The first of the PDF Association's Competence Centers.

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