3-Heights™ PDF Validator – PDF and PDF/A standard conformance validation

The 3-Heights™ PDF Validator safeguards the quality of PDF documents and the processes that create them. Documents are checked for compliance with the ISO standards for PDF and PDF/A documents.

PDF is a widespread format; it is therefore important that interoperability is ensured. Documents containing information of relevance to business or intended for archiving, in particular, need to be validated with regard to their correctness and long-term legibility. This is precisely what the Validator does, whether for a single document or an entire batch.

Incoming validation includes:

  • Verification of documents with regard to compliance with the PDF and PDF/A standard
  • Creation of validation reports
  • Classification of compliant and non-compliant documents
  • Ensure compliance with corporate directives (Corporate Identity, restrictions to PDF software with regard to creation and processing, etc.)
Product illustration 3-Heights™ PDF Validator

Properties and benefits

Comprehensive checks and a high throughput performance characterize the 3‑Heights™ PDF Validator. As an active member of the ISO organization, PDF Tools AG aims to support future PDF/A and PDF versions. The PDF Validator can validate individual documents and complete archives.

The 3-Heights™ PDF Validator validates documents not only against a selected standard but also against every specification referenced directly or indirectly by the standard. With regard to the validation of PDF/A this means that documents are validated not only against ISO standard 19005‑1, 19005‑2 and 19005‑3 but also against PDF Reference 1.4, ISO 32000 (PDF 1.7), TrueType Specification, Type1 Specification, XMP Specification and many more.

Performance characteristics

  • Exact verification of the PDF standard used
  • Robustness
  • High throughput
  • Scalability
  • Ease of integration
  • Flexible adaptation options
  • Platform independent
Functionality graphic 3-Heights™ PDF Validator
  • Validate PDF documents on the basis of various PDF specifications (PDF1.x, PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2, PDF/A-3)
  • PDF compliance dependent lexical, syntactic, and semantic checks
  • Detailed or summarized reporting (log file)
  • Detailed error description (number, type, description, PDF object, page number)
  • Classification by error, warning and information
  • Optional cancellation of validation on occurrence of the first error
  • Read encrypted PDF files
  • Determine claimed compliance of document
  • Validate compliance with corporate directives defined in custom profile
  • Read input document from file, memory, or stream

Incoming mail

The Validator checks incoming mail documents for conformance with the minimum requirements, for instance with regard to security, compliance, reproducibility or standardization (PDF/A and PDF). Inadequate documents are rejected.


The component also performs the role of an archive gatekeeper, rejecting documents that do not comply with the standard. The Validator can also be used to validate the quality of existing archives and as a quality assurance tool during the conversion of TIFF archives to PDF/A.

Outgoing Mail

The quality of outgoing PDF documents can be checked prior to dispatch. The tool can take guidelines issued by the recipient into account.

Quality management

The Validator can be used in quality management. It is able to monitor compliance with guidelines (CI) across the company or conformity in general, for instance after conversion from another format.

Software manufacturers/OEM

The Validator serves to validate incoming and outgoing documents in applications such as workflow systems and DMS systems as well as – “you sign what you see” – in signature application software.

Input formats

  • PDF
  • PDF/A


  • Standards:
    • ISO 19005‑1 (PDF/A‑1)
    • ISO 19005‑2 (PDF/A‑2)
    • ISO 19005‑3 (PDF/A‑3)
    • ISO 32000 (PDF 1.7)
  • Istartor Testsuite
  • ZUGFeRD-compliant

Operating Systems

  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 - 32 & 64 bit
  • Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016 – 32 & 64 bit
  • HP‑UX 11i incl. ia64 (Itanium) - 64 bit
  • IBM AIX 6.1 - 64 bit
  • macOS 10.4 - 32 & 64 bit
  • Linux 2.4 & 2.6 - 32 & 64 bit
  • Oracle Solaris 10, SPARC & Intel
  • HP-UX 11, PA-RISC2.0 - 32 bit


  • API: C, Java, .NET, COM

Programming languages

All program libraries are written in efficient and thread-safe C++. API offers a selection of the following connections to programming languages:

  • C and C++ via native C
  • C#, VB .NET, J# via .NET
  • Java via JNI
  • MS Visual Basic, Borland Delphi, MS Office products such as Access and C++ via COM

Product Variants

  • Shell tool (command line)
  • API (programming interface)

References 3-Heights™ PDF Validator