PDF/A format was developed as a way of preserving documents for the long-term, addressing the fundamental challenges that ever-changing technology presents. It’s now used in a variety of different industries to store information securely and without risk of obsolescence over time. The self-containment of document metadata within the file means that it can be opened on any device, which proves to be invaluable time and time again.
In this article, we’ll answer the question ‘what is PDF/A format?’ and more. Read on to find out where the PDF/A file format is most commonly used, and how to use UPDF to convert your document from PDF to PDF/A.
What is PDF/A?
PDF/A stands for Portable Document Format / Archival. This type of document is similar to the more commonly used PDF format, but with a few key differences. A PDF/A file type doesn’t allow features that aren’t suitable for archiving long-term, and contains inside it all the information needed to open the file on any device. This information includes the fonts, colors, document metadata and other content.
The PDF/A format is often considered to be a ‘future-proofed’ format (an updated version of the PDF format) for documents and is a great option if you want the formatting to stay exactly the same in the document in the long term. This file type ensures that the content within it presents the same way across any device, because the necessary elements to load it are kept within it. The primary reason for this is to protect the contents of the document in the event that software and technology evolves over time and a standard PDF format becomes unusable.
What are the benefits of a PDF/A format?
There are many reasons to choose www.sodapdf.com/pdf-to-word/. Here are just a few examples:
· Document preservation
The PDF/A format is intentionally designed to preserve documents in the long term. This means that, even as software and technology evolve over time, documents in this format will remain readable and usable, and across all devices. This preservation is especially useful for information archives, such as the ones in banks and libraries.
· Device compatibility
Due to the self-contained nature of PDF/A files, the risk of broken links and missing resources is greatly reduced. They can be opened and used on any device type because they contain all the necessary content and metadata within them, for example the fonts, colors and document metadata needed to load the document in its entirety.
· Metadata and searchability
Information integral to the PDF document, such as the author of the document, its title, and its creation date, is embedded when it is saved as a PDF/A file. This means that it’s much easier to catalog and archive the document, because this metadata is automatically archived with it. Users can use PDF editing software like UPDF to search for key terms and words within the document when in PDF/A format.
What’s the difference between a PDF and a PDF/A file?
While PDF and PDF/A formats share many similarities, there are some key differences between them:
PDF documents are often designed for flexibility, and don’t have long-term use built into them as a priority. On the other hand, PDF/A files are designed for archiving and so are more appropriate for long-term use.
PDF files often rely on other software and sources to load the content correctly. In contrast, PDF/A files are self-contained; they have the fonts, colors, content, and other metadata built into them, so they don’t have as many external dependencies.
What are the main uses of PDF/A?
There are a wide range of uses for the PDF/A file format. Almost every industry and every organization has a use for long-term file storage, but here are some of the most common:
Archives and libraries
Perhaps the most obvious use for PDF/A documents is in archives and libraries. Here, the goal is to preserve important books, research, manuscripts, and other written material over time. For this, the PDF/A file format is perfect. It ensures that, even with ever-changing and ever-evolving technology, these documents will still be readable and usable in years to come.
Government and public records
Governments across the world have a need to store information for the long-term, and a PDF/A format is a great way to do this. Important reports, records, and other documents can be safely and securely stored and accessed when required.
Law firms and police departments also need to be able to store a large quantity of documents for the long-term: written evidence, case files, police reports, and legal contracts can all be stored easily and efficiently with the use of the PDF/A format, ensuring compliance with regulations.
Similarly, hospitals and healthcare providers can use PDF/A file formats to store patient records. A vast amount of data must be collected and kept safe over the long term to ensure that patient information and medical histories can be accessed and his held in a compliant fashion.
How to save a PDF in PDF/A format with the best PDF editor – UPDF
It’s easy to save your PDF document as a PDF/A with UPDF, a PDF editing software. In addition to saving your file as a PDF/A format, you can also annotate, edit, and summarize PDFs, and make use of the cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) and optical character recognition (OCR) technology with the help of UPDF.
Follow these steps to use the best PDF to PDF/A converter – UPDF:
- Download UPDF for free and open your PDF document.
- From the toolbar on the right-hand side, select the ‘Save as Other‘ icon.
- Choose ‘Save as PDF/A‘ from the drop-down options.
After you’ve saved your PDF as a PDF/A, you can open it with UPDF and search for any words within the PDF by following these steps:
- From the toolbar on the left-hand side, select the ‘Search‘ icon in the top corner.
- Enter the word or phrase that you want to search for in the search bar, then press ‘Enter’ on your keyboard. This feature will display the number of the word or phrase occurs within the document, and where they occur.
- You can also use the Filter feature, which helps you filter the results by “Case Sensitive” or “Whole Words Only”.
So, what’s the answer to the question ‘what is PDF/A format’? Well, it’s a similar format to the better-known PDF format, but is designed with longevity in mind. You can convert your PDF document to PDF/A format using UPDF. You can use it to turn scanned PDF into editable PDF documents, in addition to a whole host of other great features. Download UPDF on a free trial today to experience the benefits for yourself.