PDF Association logo.

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
Talking about electronic documents

We’ve done PDF Day events and technical conferences across Europe, in the US, in Australia, and elsewhere. This Electronic Document Conference is the first PDF Association event that’s open to all technologies pertaining to documents. It’s about explor …

Happy new logo!

2006: The PDF/A Competence Center A new year brings new things, and 2019 is no exception! The “four red blocks” logo was first created for the PDF/A Competence Center in 2006. When that organization became the PDF Association in 2011, the design was ad …

Save-The-Date: PDF Day France, Toulouse, April 4, 2019

PDF Day France will be the first French-speaking event of the PDF Association, organised by our member ORPALIS. It will take place in Toulouse which is the home ground of Airbus and we are very happy that Airbus will present a case study around its usage of PDF in their document management environment!

Electronic Document Conference: Call for Papers

Prospective presenters at the Electronic Document Conference 2019 are invited to submit high-quality original proposals for 25-minute presentations on subjects of interest to developers and technical product managers concerned with electronic document implementations.

Have we passed ‘peak PDF’?

How do we gain insight into how users’ views of documents are shifting? Google Trends is an increasingly interesting source of high-level marketplace data. By aggregating Google’s search data over time, reporting a term’s popularity as compared with all other searches.

Typical uses for PDF/A

The PDF/A standard has proved its suit- ability for a wide variety of tasks. Here we can show you just a few brief practical examples.

Scanned documents for archiving: PDF/A is widely used to digitise paper-based files and records. A document scanner reads the original text, and specially de- signed software automatically converts the data into a searchable PDF/A file.

Archive migration: Solutions exist to help digital archives which are still using older formats to migrate to PDF/A. In most cases, the process can even be automated.

Incoming and outgoing mail: Whether a company receives letters or emails, PDF/A provides a reliable storage format for them. Letters can be automatically scanned and archived as PDF/A files, and emails and their attachments can be stored in PDF/A too. There are also great advantages to storing a copy of all out- going mail in PDF/A format. Outgoing mail data can be retrieved from popular print data streams such as AFP (Advanced Function Presentation).

Office documents: If your presentations, spreadsheets and text documents are likely to have long-term relevance and need to remain available for long periods of time, then PDF/A is the perfect format in which to archive them. The original programme used may directly support this to some extent, or you can use additional software packages. In both cases, the process can be automated.

Documentation and typesetting: Brochures and instruction books are usually created using layout programs and editorial systems. As a result, an archivable PDF can be created at the same time with- out significant extra work. This can either be done using external solutions (rather than using the original program that created the document) or using a print-ready PDF which is often already available in the PDF/X format, the ISO standard for print documents (see page 17).

Creating documents from databases: Many PDF/A files were originally created from databases or were created using XML data. This structured input data of- ten allows you to create PDF/A Conformance Level A documents. You can also convert forms to PDF/A.

Digital document folders: As of PDF/A-3, source documents can also be embedded directly into a PDF/A file in their original format. This eliminates time-consuming hybrid archiving processes in which additional documents (Excel tables, image files, CAD drawings) had to be managed separately from the archived PDF/A file in their original formats. Thanks to PDF/A-3, all relevant information is now contained within a single file.

Team collaboration: PDF/A-3 in particular is exceptionally powerful and flexible when used within modern collaboration frameworks. Its hybrid approach means that each document can contain the current working version of a document and the final – archive-ready – version. As a result, PDF/A-3 provides ideal support for all the most important functions within a Microsoft SharePoint environment, for example. In particular, this includes collaborative work on documents as well as distribution and archiving.


< previousoverviewnext >

Tags: E-mail archiving, archival format, archive migration, collaboration, documentation
Categories: PDF, PDF/A