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PDF/A Support for Web Applications

Archive documents to ISO standard PDF/A with DocuVieware PDF/A conversion and validation tools.

Add native PDF/A support to your Web applications for the long-term preservation of electronic documents. 100+ document and image file formats can be converted to all PDF/A versions and validated.

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What is PDF/A?

PDF/A is the PDF subset for the long-term preservation of electronic documents. It is an ISO standard since 2005 (PDF/A-1 ISO 19005-1: 2005). Designed for long-term archiving, PDF/A files only contain what is necessary to ensure reliable reproduction of the documents.

The PDF/A standard evolves with each new PDF version.
Since 2005, three PDF/A specifications have been released: PDF/A-2 (ISO 19005-2: 2011), PDF/A-3 (ISO 19005-3: 2012), and PDF/A-4 (ISO 19005-4: 2020).


PDF/A main requirements

  • All fonts required for rendering must be embedded and meet specification requirements.
  • Color information must be given in a platform-independent format using calibrated color profiles.
  • Encryption and password-protected access are forbidden.
  • All metadata streams present in the PDF shall conform to the XMP Specification.
  • Launch, Sound, Movie and certain other actions are forbidden.

PDF/A versions

ISO 19005-1: 2005 - based on PDF 1.4

PDF/A-1 has two levels: PDF/A-1a and PDF/A-1b.
PDF/A-1a (with a for “accessible”) aims to increase the accessibility of the file thanks to a logical document structure and necessary tags and information to help users with assistive technologies.
PDF/A-1b (with b for “basic”) only includes the necessary features needed for reliable reproduction of the document’s visual appearance.

ISO 19005-2: 2011 - based on PDF 1.7

We find three conformance levels in this version: PDF/A-2a, PDF/A-2b, and PDF/A-2u.
Based on PDF 1.7, PDF/A-2 includes all the new features of the PDF specification, such as transparency and optional content (layers).
An additional major feature is the option of embedding PDF/A files to facilitate archiving of sets of documents with a single file.
The new conformance level PDF/A-2u (with u for “Unicode”) requires all text in the document to have Unicode mapping.

ISO 19005-3: 2012 - based on PDF 1.7

Three conformance levels are available: PDF/A-3a, PDF/A-3b, and PDF/A-3u.
PDF/A-3 allows embedding of arbitrary file formats (such as XML, CSV, CAD, word-processing documents, spreadsheet documents, and others) into PDF/A documents.

ISO 19005-4: 2020 - based on PDF 2.0

The conformance levels a, b, and u are dropped and replaced by PDF/A-4f, allowing files in any other format to be embedded.
Also, a new level, PDF/A-4e, replaces the PDF/E-1 ISO 24517-1 standard based on PDF 1.6. PDF/A-4e includes RichMedia annotations for 3D content in U3D or PRC format and embedded files.

Areas of use

Every company or organization that needs to archive documents will benefit from converting or generating PDF/A files. Our customers belong to the following domains:






DocuVieware PDF/A features

PDF/A conversion

  • Converts 100+ formats to PDF/A.
  • Native PDF/A converter.
  • All PDF/A sub-standards are supported.
  • Conversion by direct modification.
  • Conversion by vectorization.
  • Conversion by rasterization.
  • Passes the veraPDF validator.
  • Passes Adobe Acrobat Preflight tool.

PDF/A validation

  • Conformance validation for the following PDF/A versions:
    • PDF/A-1 (ISO 19005-1: 2005)
    • PDF/A-2 (ISO 19005-2: 2011)
    • PDF/A-3 (ISO 19005-3: 2012)
    • PDF/A-4 (ISO 19005-4: 2020)
  • Automatically determines the claimed conformance of the document.
  • Provides both a basic validation result or a detailed machine-readable report (XML).
  • The engine analyses and validates: PDF structure, lexical, syntactic, semantic levels, metadata, fonts, color space, and other properties.

Try our PDF/A engines with our live demo

PDF/A conversion engine

PDF/A validation engine

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Web Scanning

Capture documents from a local TWAIN scanning device and process them in your web application in a few lines of code.


Permanently remove sensitive and personal information from documents.


Annotate, comment, and set permissions in your HTM5 viewer in real-time.


Add advanced signing support with a high level of security to ensure the authenticity and integrity of your PDF documents.

And more

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