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PDF Association

Mission Statement: To promote Open Standards-based electronic document implementations using PDF technology through education, expertise and shared experience for stakeholders worldwide.
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What is a “Competence Center”?

The PDF Association started in 2006 as the “PDF/A Competence Center”. The mission was to identify – and thereby establish – a common interpretation of the PDF/A-1 specification. With that accomplished through meetings open to all members, the secondary …

“PDF can do THAT?!”

PDF files deliver a complete package of information that defines a document; everything that’s needed to represent the text, graphics and layout that the recipient receives. To most people, PDF is “electronic paper” – the digital expression of a cellul …

The only digital document format

What is a “document”? A document is a record of some (typically written) content – a publication, a contract, a statement, a painting – at a moment in time. Until the advent of computers (and scanners), the media typically considered useable for such r …

Save the Date: PDF Days Europe 2018, May 14-16, in Berlin

PDF Days Europe is the most popular PDF event of the year. It’s where the PDF industry meets, and where institutional and corporate users come to learn what else PDF could do for them. The first two PDF Days will offer a broad range of educational sessions focussed on current and perennial topics in the world of PDF technology implementation.

The Power of the Page

It’s a question that vexes vendors of web-based solutions everywhere: why do people still insist on PDF files? And why does PDF’s mindshare keep going up? “PDF is such antediluvian technology!” they say. “It’s pre-web, are you kidding me? It’s so old-f …

PDF/A creation tools

PDF/A documents can be created in a variety of ways:

  • From scanned documents
  • By direct conversion of the source data
  • By exporting from the program used to create the source document
  • Using an intermediate step which turns a PDF file into PDF/A
  • Using print output formats or print data streams such as GDI, PCL, PostScript, AFP and XPS.

This section will sketch out just a few typical approaches. For a more extensive list, including specific products which allow you to create PDF/A files, visit the PDF Association’s website at www.pdfa.org.

Desktop software

On a standard workstation, office applications in particular will already offer inbuilt tools (or can easily be retrofitted) to export word-processed files, spreadsheets or presentations directly to PDF/A. If the “Tagged PDF” option is enabled, then Microsoft Office, OpenOffice and LibreOffice will even support PDF/A Conformance Level A for semantically structured data.

OpenOffice Tagged PDF
Some word processing software (such as OpenOffice, shown here) allow you to create PDF/A-1, including “Tagged PDF” as a prerequisite for Conformance Level A.

Some PDF/A conversion solutions use print data creation tools to generate PDF or PDF/A files. Another approach is to use programming libraries to convert data or directly write to PDF.

Adobe Acrobat is used for PDFs in many industries, and it provides comprehensive support for PDF/A. This software can be used to examine PDF/A files to ensure they actually meet the PDF/A standard.

Individual-workstation products al­so exist which allow users to scan to PDF/A, including OCR. This software is sometimes supplied with the scanner itself.

Server-based solutions

Server-based solutions exist for mass PDF/A creation. This allows business-wide standardisation of your working processes and lets you manage large volumes of data. Some desktop PC products also have server-based versions for high-volume processing.

Programming libraries

Programming libraries allow developers to add PDF/A functionality to their own applications without having to develop the needed technology from scratch. Some desktop or server-based products are also available as programming libraries. Suppliers can thus integrate extra functionality into their solutions with minimal development work on their part. These extra functions may include PDF/A creation, validation and management. A business’ IT department can also add PDF/A features to the company’s own software environment for internal projects.

Integrated PDF/A functions

Many document and output management solutions providers offer modules which can be used to perform PDF/A functions. Many systems are already available for high-volume management of a wide variety of input and output channels in PDF and PDF/A format.

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Tags: AFP, GDI, PCL, PostScript, XPS, tagged PDF
Categories: PDF/A