PDF/A is an ISO standard that was introduced in order to ensure long-term reproducibility of PDF files. ISO 19005-1 defines PDF/A as “a file format based on PDF, known as PDF/A, which provides a mechanism for representing electronic documents in a manner that preserves their visual appearance over time, independent of the tools and systems used for creating, storing or rending the files.” (From ISO 19005-1).

Some of the criteria for a PDF/A compliant document include:

  1. No audio or video content is allowed
  2. All the fonts should be embedded including the Base 14 fonts, which are
  3. Linking to JavaScript or other executable files is not allowed
  4. The document should not be encrypted

There are different levels of compliance associated with PDF/A. The minimum compliance is PDF/A-1b which ensures that the document can be reproduced long-term.

The Graduate School strongly recommends that authors submit their ETDs as one PDF/A-1b compliant document.

Use the links below for tutorials to create a PDF/A-1b compliant document.

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