PDF/A-3 Standard published

PDF/A-3 Standard published

Since the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published the first portable document format/archive (PDF/A) standard in 2005, PDF/A has been heralded by recorded information management professionals and archivists as a mechanism for the secure, long-term preservation of electronic documents.  PDF/A, a subset of the ubiquitous PDF format, doesn’t depend on external programs or information to be displayed.  All information in a PDF/A file is entirely self-contained with the elimination of standard PDF features such as font linking which are not conducive to long-term archiving.

In the continued development of the standard, the ISO recently published ISO 19005-3:2012 Document management — Electronic document file format for long-term preservation — Part 3: Use of ISO 32000-1 with support for embedded files (PDF/A-3).  The standard is available for purchase from the ISO.

According to the ISO, PDF/A-3 “specifies the use of the Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.7, as formalized in ISO 32000-1, for preserving the static visual representation of page-based electronic documents over time in addition to allowing any type of other content to be included as an embedded file or attachment.”

What this means is that a complete archived object in PDF/A may now include embedded files or attachments in formats such as XML, CAD, wordprocessing documents, imaging, etc.  This is a major change from PDF/A-2 which allows embedded files, but only of the PDF/A variety.

To find out more about PDF/A-3, check out the recent webinar, “PDF/A-3: All Change for Document-based Processes” from LuraTech.

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    Sheila Taylor
  • Sheila Taylor is a well known consultant, educator, speaker and writer with more than 25 years of experience in the information management (IM) field.

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