Making PDF files archivable

For all kinds of reasons, it is sometimes necessary to archive PDF files for a (very) long time. The International Standards Organization (ISO) created the PDF/A standard for such documents. This standard defines what you can and cannot do in documents that need to be archived. It spans several different parts (called PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2…) that are further subdivided into different flavors.

Support for PDF/A is the major feature in the callas pdfaPilot solution but is also featured in the callas pdfToolbox solution that is generally targeted towards print workflows.

Verifying against the standard

callas provides verification against all standard parts and flavors. To that end, preflight (quality control) profiles are provided with the products that allow you to quickly determine whether a PDF file is compatible with PDF/A, and if not, which problems it has. The product can create a user-friendly PDF report to communicate problems back to the supplier of the document, or an XML or JSON report which can be used in automated workflows.

Making PDF files compatible

When building an archive, it is often so that all incoming files must be archived, with the highest amount of quality that can be preserved. While many incoming PDF files can usually easily be converted to proper PDF/A, there is always a percentage for which this is more difficult.

The correction capabilities in the callas solutions can build in fallback mechanisms to deal with difficult PDF documents. They can use techniques such as re-distilling PDF documents, rasterizing certain pages or the complete document, to create a proper PDF/A compliant document.

Not restricted to PDF

While documents are often archived as PDF/A compliant PDF files, the input documents aren’t always PDF files. For that reason, callas solutions also support the conversion of other file formats into PDF. This is supported for Office documents, Open Office documents, various image file formats and emails. After conversion to PDF, the documents can then be further made compliant with the appropriate PDF/A version.

Email to PDF/A

Sometimes emails would want to be saved to simply reference later or for archival purposes for business needs so that it can be retained in the years to come. To best reproduce or search these emails in the long term, system-independent e-mail archiving in PDF/A format is a secure way.