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PDF/A
Filename extension Type code Magic number Developed by Initial release Extended from Standard(s)
.pdf

'PDF ' (including a single space)
%PDF

ISO 2005 PDF ISO 19005-1:2005[1] ISO 19005-2:2011[2]

PDF/A is a file format and an ISO Standard for the long-term archiving of electronic documents. PDF/A is in fact a subset of PDF, obtained by leaving out PDF features not suited to long-term archiving. This is similar to the definition of the PDF/X subset for the printing and graphic arts. In addition, the standard places requirements on software products that read PDF/A files. A "conforming reader" must follow certain rules including following color management guidelines, using embedded fonts for rendering, and making annotation content available to users. PDF/A-1 is based on the PDF Reference Version 1.4 from Adobe Systems Inc. (implemented in Adobe Acrobat 5 and latest versions) and is defined by ISO 190051:2005, an ISO Standard that was published on October 1, 2005: Document Management - Electronic document file format for long term preservation - Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4 (PDF/A-1)[1] PDF/A-2 is based on ISO 32000-1 - PDF 1.7 and is defined by ISO 19005-2:2011, published on June 20, 2011 under the formal name Document management -- Electronic document file format for long-term preservation -- Part 2: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/A2).[2] PDF/A-2 is a very recent standard and is not widely used.

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• Embedded files are forbidden in PDF/A-1. • • • . universal rendering. and color information.1 PDF/A-1 o 2.2 PDF/A-2 3 Identification 4 Drawbacks 5 Background 6 See also 7 References 8 External links [edit] Description The Standard does not define an archiving strategy or the goals of an archiving system. but is not limited to. but they are supported in PDF/A-2. • Encryption is forbidden. font programs and hyperlinks). fonts. raster images and vector graphics). Other key elements to PDF/A compatibility include:[3][4][5] Audio and video content are forbidden. JavaScript and executable file launches are forbidden. A PDF/A document is not permitted to be reliant on information from external sources (e.[hide] • • • • • • • • 1 Description 2 Conformance levels and versions o 2. • Colorspaces specified in a device-independent manner. This also applies to the so-called PostScript standard fonts such as Times or Helvetica. • Provisions for digital signatures in accordance with the PAdES (PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures) standard are supported in PDF/A-2. • Transparent objects and layers (Optional Content Groups) are forbidden in PDF/A-1. but PDF/A-2 offers the possibility to embed PDF/A files. • Use of standards-based metadata is mandated. All of the information necessary for displaying the document in the same manner every time is embedded in the file. allowing archiving of sets of documents in a single file. This includes. It identifies a "profile" for electronic documents that ensures the documents can be reproduced exactly the same way in years to come. • External content references are forbidden. all content (text.g. All fonts must be embedded and also must be legally embeddable for unlimited. • LZW and JPEG2000 image compressions are forbidden in PDF/A-1. A key element to this reproducibility is the requirement for PDF/A documents to be 100% self-contained. but JPEG 2000 compression is allowed in PDF/A-2.

However PDF/A-2 compliant files will not necessarily be PDF/A-1 compliant.PAdES standard. all valid PDF/A-1 documents should also be compliant with PDF/A-2.Level A compliance in Part 1 PDF/A-1b . According to the specification. PDF/A-2 address some of the new features added with versions 1. PDF 1. i.5.6 and 1. PDF/A-1a includes all the requirements of PDF/A-1b and additionally requires that document structure be included (also known as being "tagged"/"Tagged PDF"). but these requirements allow for a higher level of document preservation service and confidence over time. embedding of OpenType fonts.7 (ISO 32000-1). 1. The requirements for Level A conformance place greater responsibilities on writers preparing conforming files. PDF/A-2 should be backwards compatible.[4] [edit] Identification .[edit] Conformance levels and versions [edit] PDF/A-1 The standard specifies two levels of compliance for PDF files: • • PDF/A-1a .7 of the PDF Reference. PDF/A-1a also requires Unicode character maps. rather than PDF 1. Part 2 of the PDF/A Standard is based on a more recent version.Level B compliance in Part 1 PDF/A-1b has the objective of ensuring reliable reproduction of the visual appearance of the document. Level A conformance also facilitates the accessibility of conforming files for physically impaired users. provisions for digital signatures in accordance with the PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures . the following terms are recommended when referring to the ISO 19005-1:2005 specification when the full ISO name is not being used: • • • • PDF/A – a synonym for the ISO 19005 family of standards PDF/A-1 – a synonym for ISO 19005-1 PDF/A-1a – a synonym for ISO 19005-1 Level A conformance PDF/A-1b – a synonym for ISO 19005-1 Level B conformance [edit] PDF/A-2 PDF/A-2 is the second part to the standard. with the objective of ensuring that document content can be searched and repurposed. possibility to embed PDF/A files in PDF/A-2 for archiving of sets of documents as individual documents in a single file.4 and offers a number of new features: JPEG2000 image compression. support for transparency effects and layers.e.

This need exists in a growing number of international government and industry segments.org or PDF export tool in Microsoft Office 2007 suites. Publishing and Converting Technologies. newspapers. and the Association for Information and Image Management to develop an International standard that defines the use of the Portable Document Format (PDF) for archiving and preserving documents. including legal systems. and others. • A PDF document can be identified as PDF/A.The Association for Suppliers of Printing. • [edit] Drawbacks As a PDF/A document must embed all fonts that it uses. hence. The majority of PDF generation tools that allow for PDF/A document compliance. That restriction was removed in PDF/A-2. The use of transparency is forbidden in PDF/A-1. . and will further ensure that those documents will be able to be retrieved and rendered with a consistent and predictable result in the future. This may happen for instance with documents that were generated before the definition of the PDF/A standard. but may incorrectly contain PDF features not allowed in PDF/A. a PDF/A file will often be bigger than an equivalent PDF file that does not have the fonts embedded. since a separate copy of each font will be embedded in each file. documents which claim to be PDF/Acompliant should be tested for PDF/A compliance. will also make any transparent images in a given document non-transparent. by authors aware of features that present longterm preservation issues. regulated industries. except for its lack of PDF/A metadata.aiim. claiming to be PDF/A and being so are not necessarily the same A PDF document can be PDF/A-compliant.org/pdfa/ns/id/" namespace.A PDF/A document can be identified as such through PDF/A-specific metadata located in the "http://www. The goal was to address the growing need to electronically archive documents in a way that will ensure preservation of their contents over an extended period of time. such as the PDF export in OpenOffice.[3] [edit] Background PDF/A was originally a new joint activity between NPES . This may be undesirable when archiving large numbers of small files that all use the same fonts. libraries. However.