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
Using PDF/UA in accessibility checklists

PDF/UA, like PDF itself, is internally complex, but used correctly, actually makes things easier.

PDF Association expands its board of directors

Catherine Andersz of PDFTron Systems, Alaine Behler of iText Software and Peter Wyatt, ISO Project Leader for ISO 32000 enrich the newly elected board of the PDF Association.

PDF Days Europe 2018 concludes with record number of attendees

Richard Cohn, Principal Scientist at Adobe and the co-author of PDF 1.0, gave the opening keynote at the PDF Days Europe 2018.

Interview with René Treuber, Product Manager of axaio software, about PDF Days Europe 2018

René Treuber, Product Manager of axaio software, will be hosting a presentation titled “Introducing ISO standards for PDF “processing steps” and “print product metadata”” at the PDF Days Europe 2018. In this Interview he gives some background information about it.

Interview with Roman Toda, CTO of Normex, about PDF Days Europe 2018

Roman Toda, CTO of Normex, will be hosting a presentation titled “Encryption with PDF 2.0” at the PDF Days Europe 2018. In this interview he gives some background information about it.

PDF/A – the ISO standard for long-term archiving


Up to the end of the 20th century, physical media formats (paper, microfilms and microfiches) were the only option for businesses and public authorities storing documents for the long term in a reproducible format. The major drawback to these analogue approaches was the significant time and effort required: documents are hard to search through, trained personnel are required, specialist equipment is needed to read microfilms, and entire climate-controlled rooms are needed to store documents.

The first digital archiving format to gain ground in many countries was the TIFF image format. In 1993, however, a modern, more powerful format became available in the form of PDF. This became the basis on which the standard archive format PDF/A was developed.

For companies, public authorities and private users needing to store digital information for a long period of time – be it 5 years, 50 or 500 – the PDF/A standard is now the clear choice of file format.

PDF/A is a multi-part ISO standard developed over many years of committee work by industry associations, businesses and public authorities around the world. The result is “a file format based on PDF, known as PDF/A, which provides a mechanism for representing electronic documents in a manner that preserves their visual appearance over time, independent of the tools and systems used for creating, storing or rendering the files.” (ISO 19005-1, quoted from the introduction).

ISO Logo
The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the largest organisation in the world for developing and publishing international standards.

The first part of the standard, PDF/A-1, has been available since the 1st of October 2005. Its official designation is “ISO 19005-1:2005. Document management – Electronic document file format for long-term preservation – Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4 (PDF/A-1)”.

Since then, two further parts have been made available to users: PDF/A-2 (since 2011) and PDF/A-3 (since 2012). These parts exist in parallel and are optimised to meet particular needs.
The PDF/A standards family regulates how to create electronic documents to ensure they can be reliably reproduced for decades to come. The standard does not describe how to build a revision-safe archive, nor the theory behind one.

The decisive advantages of PDF/A

  • A PDF/A file contains everything needed to display it and nothing which could negatively impact the display.
  • PDF/A files can be used on any platform.
  • Free programs exist for displaying PDF/A files.
  • The multi-part PDF/A standard offers great flexibility to users.

Widespread acceptance of PDF/A

PDF/A is becoming more and more common, be it in industry, public administration, financial services or academia. A large number of authorities and institutions worldwide recommend PDF/A or specifically require the use of the standard

overviewnext >


Tags: ISO
Categories: PDF, PDF/A