This article sets out to explain the purpose of PDF/A, how it addresses archival and records management concerns, how PDF/A was designed to have “desirable properties of a long‐term preservation format”, and the future of PDF/A.
The contents of this article are based on the author's knowledge and experience of the subject.
It is emphasized that PDF/A must be implemented in conjunction with policies and procedures, including quality assurance procedures to ensure acceptable replication of source material.
This article will be of interest to anyone working with PDF files. Work has already begun on PDF/A Part 2 which will be based on PDF 1.6. Application notes and a listing of frequently asked questions will be made publicly available to assist developers of PDF/A applications to better understand the requirements of the file format and provide implementation guidance.
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