Facebook
Twitter
YOUTUBE
LINKEDIN
XING
About the contributor
PDF Association

Mission Statement: To promote Open Standards-based electronic document implementations using PDF technology through education, expertise and shared experience for stakeholders worldwide.
More contributions
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 Association technical resources: an overview

PDF is PDF because files produced with one vendor’s software can be read using a different vendor’s software with no loss of fidelity. Interoperability is key to our industry. The PDF Association is a international membership organization dedicated to …

2022: The last year of paper for records-keeping

NARA (The National Archives and Records Administration) is the final depository for the long-term records generated by all other agencies of the U.S. Federal Government. The agency has a key role in preserving the cultural history of the republic as we …

PDF 2.0 examples now available

The PDF Association is proud to present the first PDF 2.0 example files made available to the public. Created and donated to the PDF Association by Datalogics, this initial set of PDF 2.0 examples were crafted by hand and intentionally made simple in construction to serve as teaching tools for learning PDF file structure and syntax.

PDF 2.0 interops help vendors

The PDF 2.0 interop workshops included many vendors with products for creating, editing and processing PDF files. They came together in Boston, Massachusetts for a couple of days to test their own software against 3rd party files.

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.

< previousoverviewnext >


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