Content here is by Michael Still All opinions are my own.
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Tue, 01 Nov 2005

Expect to see some sample documents soon

    A while ago I asked for PDF/A sample documents, and basically didn't get any... In the end I got my hands on one of the two products which appear to support PDF/A at the moment -- Adobe Acrobat 7. The other is Acartus' PDF archival tool if that matters. I've been producing some test documents over the last couple of days in dribs and drabs, and I'll add them to my database of test PDF documents soon. There are some tweakings I want to do to that database first, and I also need to remember how to run all the scripts which manipulate the database.

    Tags for this post: pdf pdf-a sample document

posted at: 21:42 | path: /pdf/pdf-a | permanent link to this entry

Mon, 08 Aug 2005

PDF/A sample documents?

    Interestingly, the PDF/A standard is sufficiently raw that I can't find any samples of valid documents. That makes writing code a little exciting. Is anyone aware of sample documents which comply with PDF/A?

    Tags for this post: pdf pdf-a sample document parse draft standard

posted at: 17:32 | path: /pdf/pdf-a | permanent link to this entry

Sun, 07 Aug 2005


    So what is PDF/A? I was recently assured by someone that the PDF/A format was a competitor to PDF which had been unleashed on the world by a group of people who object to Adobe's ownership of the PDF format. This couldn't be further from the truth. The PDF format is quite open, and certainly complex. The PDF 1.4 specification runs to nearly 1,000 pages -- and people think the TIFF specification is complicated! Therefore, there have been a number of groups who have attempted to come up with simplified subsets of the format for specific purposes.

    The first example of this that I have been aware of is PDF/X. PDF/X is PDF optimised for the pre-press and printing industry. I'll leave the description at that, and refer you to the PDF X FAQ.

    PDF/A is similar, except it is a PDF subset which is optimised for document archival and the associated storage of document metadata. This is core business for my employer, so I am currently boning up on the subject. Similarly to PDF/X, PDF/A is a ISO standard, but this time has a bunch of EDMS / RM / DM / ECM vendors, AIIM, and the US government on board.

    Both PDF/X and PDF/A exist with Adobe's support. You can read more about PDF/A at the AIIM site, which includes a draft of the ISO specification.

    So, it's a standard format, which is a subset of PDF. You can expect to see more on the topic from me as I continue reading up on the topic.

    Tags for this post: pdf pdf-a pdf-x iso standard document management archival format

posted at: 18:55 | path: /pdf/pdf-a | permanent link to this entry