Conformance Level PDF/A


Conformance Level PDF/A


  • Adobe's Portable Document Format, commonly known as PDF, has become the most used format in the world to ensure that documents appear because they should be regardless of which computer you used to create or view it.
  • One of the significant uses of PDF is in digital book publications, where all readers support this format. There is also another type of PDF called PDF/A. PDF/A is a subset of PDF meant to store information. To protect the information in the file and ensure that the content still appears because it must even after a very long storage period, PDF/A sets stricter standards than those used by PDF.
  • The first significant difference between those two: PDF and PDF/A is the limitation of people latters when it comes to certain types of content. You can't embed audio, video, and executable files in a PDF/A because the PDF viewer will not be able to open them on its own and will not indicate whether the software suitable for them is still available in the future. Images are allowed in a PDF/A document claiming that they are embedded, along with the fonts used in displaying the document. This rule makes sure that those resources are always available. In general, PDF/A does not allow the file to refer to any external resource because there is no notification whether the resource is there or not. If we can not find the external resource, it may cause the document not to appear correctly.
  • Finally, PDF/A files cannot be encrypted for the same reasons as stated above. Encryption is a way used by companies to prevent any restricted material from being viewed by anyone without permission. Sadly, encryption can also be an obstacle to viewing an archived document if the person trying to open it has no password or the cipher used. As the PDF standard evolves, there may be new additions to the capabilities and limitations of PDF/A.

In short:

  • PDF/A is a PDF version.
  • PDF/A does not choose in additional audio, video, and word exam while PDF does not.
  • PDF/A in your software and reward images while believing in.
  • PDF/A does not opt ​​for documents in it when PDF is not.
  • PDF/A does not select encoding, while PDF does not.

PDF/A, PDF/UA, PDF/E, PDF/X - Differences between PDF standards

PDF/A (PDF/Archive)

(This standard is clearly distinguished from Acrobat 9.0 - Acrobat 9.0 version always has PDF/A display mode to distinguish it from other standards X, E ...)

  • PDF/A (PDF/Archive) is a subset of PDF format. People specially designed PDF/A for the long-term storage of electronic documents. It was first proposed by the Association of Printers, Publishers and Technology Converters, and the International Association of Information and Image Management. PDF/A, ISO certification is the international standard ISO 19005-1: 2005.
  • PDF/A has two main features. First, each document in this format is completely closed. Therefore, it only uses fonts that are COPYRIGHT for unlimited viewing. Second, PDF/A documents cannot use any external data. And finally, they may not use hyperlinks. Besides, specifications for these formats prohibit the use of audio or video clips, scripts, or invocation commands, encodings, etc.

PDF/UA (PDF/Universal Accessibility)

  • PDF/UA (PDF/Universal Access) format is a subset of PDF designed to store electronic documents so that they are accessible to users of assistive technologies.
  • The PDF/UA specifications primarily target people with disabilities, such as screen readers using blind text-to-speech. The PDF/UA format is developed, supported, and standardized AIIM (Information Management and Image Management).

PDF/E (PDF/Engineering)

  • PDF/E (PDF/Mechanical) is a subset of PDF, whose purpose is to handle technical and document design. The International Standards Organization certified it as ISO 24517-1: 2008. PDF/E 's primary uses are for making and exchanging various techniques and text documents. It is now being developed and supported by AIIM (Information Management and Image Management).
  • The published of the PDF/E format was on March 1, 2004. In the next year 2005, its information was submitted to the International Standards Organization.
  • The PDF/E is based on PDF v1.6. However, it has removed some unused features when creating technical documents. Specific features of PDF/E include mandatory embedded fonts in the generated file, independent hardware colors, and XMP for metadata. Besides, documents in this format can use JavaScript (associated with 3D), coding, digital signatures, layers ...
  • Non-document PDF / E may contain links to external objects, vivid forms (XFA-based), or JavaScript not associated with 3D.

PDF/X (PDF/Exchange)

  • The use of PDF has become increasingly common in the printing industry, and thus there is a need to define what a PDF file is or a printable PDF file. Organizations such as DDAP (Digital Directions in Applications for Production) and NAA (Newspager Association of Armerica) recognized this problem early on and asked CGATS (Committee for Graphic Arts Technical Standards) to develop a common standard from the In 1990, the result was PDF/X-1 where X has the meaning of "exchange" but the nature is still not outside the Adobe PDF format.
  • For a file to be considered as a PDF/X-1 standard, this standard only defines what is not allowed in the PDF file, for example, PDF/X-1 is not allowed to have attachments or annotations, or contain images in RGB or CIELab color space. On the other hand, PDF/X-1 does not clearly define the required resolution of the picture.
  • PDF/X-1 quickly became the standard in the printing industry and 2001 recognized ISO standard No. 15930-1, but that year the standard was revised and updated after changing its name to PDF/X-1a. Two years later, another update and so to be accurate, we need to know the year of the PDF/X-1a standard, for example, the PDF/X-1a version 2003.
  • It all just started with the PDF/X standards. While PDF/X-1a 's common uses are for exchanging data containing only CMYK images and spot colors, the need for RGB and CIELab image processing or having to work with OPI or DCS files still exist. Two new versions for PDF/X have been drafted, PDF/X-2 accepts DCS files with multiple color channels (Desktop Color Separations, developed by Quark in 1989) and PDF / X-3 accept images RGB and CIELab but without DCS and OPI.
  • Only one of the two accepted standards was PDF/X-3 and converted to ISO number 15930-2 in 2003. PDF/X-3 allowed us to perform tasks at any point in the process, which means that we can convert the RGB color conversion process to CMYK at RIP. To archive this, images in PDF/X-3 must be embedded with the ICC profile, as well as the ICC of the output process. On the other hand, the image resolution is not defined but can work in preflight profiles.
  • PDF/X-2 is not ISO certified and is not widely used. This phenomenon is a bit strange because this standard is ideal for packaging industries with multicolor printing rather than just CMYK. DCS files are an option because of their multicolor capabilities. Of course, the processing of multicolored files in packaging is complicated, so the printing press continues to use specialized formats of Illustrator, InDesign, and QuarkXPress instead of instructing customers how to use PDF/X-2.
  • Acrobat 8.0 has preflight profiles based on the PDF/X-4 draft format for three different printing conditions. Of course, we still have to be content with PDF/X-1 and PDF/X-3 until PDF/X-4 is recognized as ISO standard at the end of 2007.
  • Although PDF/X standards seem to get lost in the jungle, they have logic and ignore PDF/X files, which is worse than digging into them. Ignoring the PDF/X standards means that we omit quality control capabilities and allow us to print any PDF file with unforeseen quality.

Conformance Level PDF/A

  • And now, for the fun part. Let take a quick look at how to interact and work with PDF/A standards as well as integrate this feature right into your application.
  • Our PDF library allows you to create PDF/A document, which is an ISO-standardized version of the Portable Document Format (PDF) specialized for use in the archiving and long-term preservation of electronic documents.
  • Please note: this is a feature of the PDF Component library.
  • It would be flawed if we did not give you the first overview of what PDF Office Component can offer:
  • Create a new document with PDF Office Component: The PdfDocument class allows you to add the ability to create a blank PDF document into your application.
  • With the newly created document, you can completely create a new page with the Pages.Add() method.
  • You can proceed with changing the format, size, and shape of the writing style with classes such as PdfSolidBrush and PdfStandardFont
  • Start drafting your first text documents right now with Graphics.DrawString()
  • Finally, Save() and Close() are also supported for the PdfDocument class.
  • We can then convert the file from RTF format to metafile using the PdfMetafile class. For example:
  • PdfMetafile metafile = (PdfMetafile)PdfImage.FromRtf(text, bounds.Width, PdfImageType.Metafile);
  • Change the format with PdfMetafileLayoutSettings class:
  • PdfMetafileLayoutSettings format = new PdfMetafileLayoutSettings();
  • SplitTextLines and Draw are also supported.
  • We take advantage of those classes with the following code snippet:
  • C# Version:
    // Create a new instance of PdfDocument class.
    PdfDocument doc = new PdfDocument();
    PdfPage page = doc.Pages.Add();
    SizeF bounds = page.GetClientSize();

    //Read the RTF document
    StreamReader reader = new StreamReader(CommonDataPath + "\\EULA.rtf", Encoding.ASCII);
    string text = reader.ReadToEnd();

    //Convert it as a metafile.
    PdfMetafile metafile = (PdfMetafile)PdfImage.FromRtf(text, bounds.Width, PdfImageType.Metafile);
    PdfMetafileLayoutSettings format = new PdfMetafileLayoutSettings();

    //Allow the text to flow multiple pages without any breaks.
    format.SplitTextLines = true;

    //Draw the image.
    metafile.Draw(page, 0, 0, format);

    // Save and close the document.
    var outputPath = Path.Combine(OutputDir, this.GetType().Name + "_" + Guid.NewGuid().ToString() + ".pdf");

    return outputPath;
  • VB Version:
    ' Create a new instance of PdfDocument class.
    Dim doc As New PdfDocument()
    Dim page As PdfPage = doc.Pages.Add()
    Dim bounds As SizeF = page.GetClientSize()

    'Read the RTF document
    Dim reader As New StreamReader(CommonDataPath & "\EULA.rtf", Encoding.ASCII)
    Dim text As String = reader.ReadToEnd()

    'Convert it as metafile.
    Dim metafile As PdfMetafile = CType(PdfImage.FromRtf(text, bounds.Width, PdfImageType.Metafile), PdfMetafile)
    Dim format As New PdfMetafileLayoutSettings()

    'Allow the text to flow multiple pages without any breaks.
    format.SplitTextLines = True

    'Draw the image.
    metafile.Draw(page, 0, 0, format)

    ' Save and close the document.
    Dim outputPath = Path.Combine(OutputDir, Me.GetType().Name & "_" & Guid.NewGuid().ToString() & ".pdf")

    Return outputPath

The full source code of this example is available in our PDF package.

A live demo for Conformance Level PDFA is also available on our site. If you also need PDF functionality, check out our PDF online demos.

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