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Archive for June, 2010

PDF/A is a format for long-term preservation

Monday, June 7th, 2010

PDF/A is a electronic document file format for long-term preservation. Standards to address the growing need to maintain information in electronic documents over archival time spans. The feature-rich nature of PDF can create difficulties in preserving information over the long-term, and some useful features of the PDF file format are incompatible with the demands of long-term preservation. For example, PDF documents are not necessarily self-contained, drawing on system fonts and other content stored external to the original file. As time passes, and especially as technology changes, these external connections can be broken, and the dependencies cause information to be lost.
The PDF/A-1 standard is based on Adobe’s PDF Reference 1.4, and specifies how to use a subset of PDF components to develop software that creates, renders and otherwise process a flavor of PDF that is more suitable for archival preservation than traditional PDF. PDF/A-1 aims to preserve the static visual appearance of electronic documents over time and also aims to support future access and future migration needs by providing frameworks for: 1) embedding metadata about electronic documents, and 2) defining the logical structure and semantic properties of electronic documents. The result is a file format, based on PDF 1.4 that is more suitable for long term preservation.
PDF/A-1 files must include:

* Embedded fonts
* Device-independent color
* XMP metadata

The PDF Creator Pilot has property gets or sets the value indicating whether to produce a PDF/A compatible output file. There is ProducePDFA. Setting ProducePDFA to VARIANT_TRUE means that the output PDF file will be built compatible to the PDF/A standard. You should set this property before any text or graphics output.
If you need long-term preservation documents, use the PDF/A docs. With PDF Creator Pilot you can create such documents easy.

Artem Golubnichenko


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