Friday, February 11, 2011

PDF/A Sofware and Workflows Article

PDF/A Sofware and Workflows Article: "

The current issue of DLib Magazine contains an excellent overview and evaluation of methods to convert documents into PDF/A, by Dan Noonan, Amy McCrory and Elizabeth Black, looking mainly at conversion tools in Acrobat and Word 2007.  Key findings:

  • In an environmental scan completed before the project, “[v]ery few institutions were even experimenting with the PDF/A format, let alone having adopted it as tool. Early adopters were predominantly in Europe. Towards the end of our project, we conducted a somewhat broader, yet informal environmental scan via an on-line survey. We received fifty-four responses of which seventeen, or 31.5%, noted that their institution had adopted the use of PDF/A as a preservation tool.”

  • “After spending over a year experimenting with various conversion tools and file types, we settled upon conducting implementation testing with existing tools that we had already licensed, Adobe® Acrobat® Pro and Microsoft Word. The tests revealed a number of issues that may impede achieving compliance with PDF/A-1a.”

  • “The working group concluded from our tests that PDF/A is most appropriate for files that are primarily text documents, and that it is significantly easier to get files into PDF/A form if those files are born digital or when one has control over making them digital. Surprisingly, the easiest to make fully PDF/A-1a compliant were those we scanned to PDF/A.”


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