What is PDF/A?

PDF/A is a subset of PDF designed for long-term archiving. In order to make it suitable for long-term archiving certain PDF features, such as JavaScript support, embedding of audio/video content and encryption, were removed. In addition, use of standards-based metadata is mandated and all fonts must be embedded in the document.

The goal behind PDF/A is simple: to help you create a document that will not only be viewable 50 years from now, but also look the same as it does today. With this goal in mind it’s easy to understand why certain elements, that rely on third party technologies, such as video content have been removed.

PDF/A is still in its early days, but with no real alternative on the horizon, it is gaining attention, and adoption, in the right places.

Getting Started with PDF/A

If you’d like to investigate PDF/A further, I recommend reading through these pages:

If PDF/A has its way, there will be many documents stored away from years to come — our goal with Benubird, is to allow you easily retrieve them.

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