What is PDF/A?

We all understand there are various advantages of using pdf but have you heard of the alternative format “PDF/A”? If not, let’s look into it now!!

What is PDF/A?

The use of PDF/A is intended specifically for the long-term storage and preservation of electronic documents. It is a Portable Document Format version that adheres to ISO standards (PDF). Unlike PDF, which allows features like encryption and font linking, PDF/A restricts these since they are not ideal for long-term archiving. This means that a document can be reproduced in the same way using the PDF/A format, regardless of the application used. Basically, the file contains all the information needed to continuously display the document and all of its parts, keeping your documents safe, accessible, and secure over the long term.

What are the different types of PDF/A?

By combining various PDF/A standards and conformance levels, a variety of PDF/A variants are achievable. Each PDF/A standard outlines the variety of features and image compression methods that can be used to preserve a file’s content.

The initial PDF/A standard, which is still in use today and is also the most limiting, is PDF/A-1. Since PDF/A-1 is based on the out-of-date PDF 1.4 standard, which was released by Adobe Systems in 2001, it is not compatible with layers, attachments, or JPEG 2000.

Transparency is one of many new characteristics added to PDF/A-2 that were not present in PDF 1.4. Layers, better picture compression (JPEG 2000 and JBIG 2), and attachments—providing the attachments are in PDF/A format—are all additions.

PDF/A-3 and PDF/A-2 are nearly interchangeable. The sole distinction is that PDF/A-3 allows any kind of file to be an attachment. However, other than guaranteeing proper extraction, a PDF/A viewer is not necessary to do any additional actions with the attached files.

The next PDF/A standard, known as PDF/A-4, will be released as ISO 19005-4:2020 in November 2020. A-4 brings PDF/A up to date so that it complies with PDF 2.0, the most recent PDF ISO standard. Notably, PDF/A-4 does not employ the distinct compliance levels a, b, and u.

How to turn a PDF into a PDF/A?

There are various PDF to PDF/A converters available on the market but you would want to use just “any kind” of the converter as it is also a matter of your cyber security. Hence, we suggest using the VP Online PDF Converter, it is an excellent convert that allows you to convert your PDF into various formats including PDF/A and it enables quick conversion. On VP Online Editor, you may quickly and conveniently convert PDF to PDF/A.