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Convert everything to PDF/A? Including PDF files?

Convert everything to PDF/A? Including PDF files?

Frederik Rosseel,Principal Consultant & CEO

April

18

Monday

18 April 2016

4:03PM

In recent years, as the need for Long Term Archiving and Long Term Preservation of "Digital Born" information has increased, so has the call for a universal archiving format been increasing. The idea behind this is to have a file format that allows you to permanently store and read information without any loss of information. If possible, even the “graphical” information, in case e.g. text color or the font used would convey any information. Enter PDF/A, the solution to it all. Or not? The two most important words in my first sentence are: "Digital Born". What, it’s not the solution to all our archiving needs? You might ask. I'll try to explain.

For starters, there are a lot of misconceptions or myths with regard to the format:

  • We can convert everything to PDF/A
  • We should convert every file that we need to archive to PDF/A
  • PDF/A will help us to prove that the file has not been modified during the retention period

Nowhere have I found any information or article to contradict these misconceptions. 

Should you convert every file to PDF/A?

The question is not whether you should convert the original file to a PDF/A, but whether you should convert it to an archiving format. If the retention period that applies to the file, does not create a risk with regard to legibility of the file (“Will I still be able to open or read ...Read More.

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