Skip to main content

Archive PDF/A-3 workflow

The Archive PDF/A-3 workflow is engineered specifically for preparing documents for archiving. The features and processing steps are identical to the (Archive PDF/A 2).

However, the PDF/A-3 format allows additional features regarding embedded files. In particular, attachments that are not conforming to PDF/A. The unconverted original files are embedded as Source in the converted PDF. This allows for more flexibility, preserving the original file while still ensuring the document is archive-ready.

The Archive PDF/A-3 workflow supports these features:

  • Conversion to PDF/A-3 format (PDF/A-3b, PDF/A-3u, and PDF/A-3a)
  • Optimization of PDF/A structure (optional)
  • Office conversion (optional)
  • Optical character recognition (optional)
  • Digital signatures (optional)
Conformance levels

The Conversion Service supports Basic (PDF/A-3b), Unicode (PDF/A-3u), and accessibility (PDF/A-3a) conformance levels. All conformance levels are incremental; the subsequent conformance level includes the requirements of the previous level and other additional requirements. For example, all level U (Unicode) PDF/A-3 documents are also valid level B (Basic) documents.

The Archive PDF/A-3 workflow automatically tries to converts to the highest conformance level for PDF/A-3 (usually, PDF/A-3a). If the input document is PDF/A-3b or a PDF without structure information, it tries to converts the document to PDF/A-3u. If it is unable to convert to this level, it converts to PDF/A-3b or ends in failure.

Supported file formats for Archive PDF/A-3 workflow

The workflow supports these file formats:

Extension / Type
Document formatsPDF 1.x, PDF 2.0, PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2, PDF/A-3
EmailEML, MSG (without encryption)
WordDOC, DOT, DOCX, DOCM, DOTX, DOTM, RFT, XML (WordprocessingML 2003)
ExcelXLS, XLT, XLSX, XLSM, XLTX, XLTM, XML (SpreadsheetML 2003)
OpenOfficeODT, ODS, ODP
OtherCSV, HTML, HTM (prepared for archiving), TXT, XML, ZIP (without password protection)
Note on OpenOffice formats

PDF conversion of OpenDocument Format depends on the rendering in Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint. In particular, visual differences may occur with tables and tabs. The visual differences caused by the rendering of shapes are usually not acceptable.

Note on HTML format

HTML documents need to be self-contained (layout information and images are either inline or available on the web) and suited for portrait page layout. JavaScript content is disabled during processing.

Note on XML format

Layout information and images need to be available on the web.

The conversion of most file formats is enabled by default in the Convert mode.

Configuring the workflow

The workflow's profile offers a fine-grained configuration of how files are converted.

Convert mode configuration for child documents (Attachments)

This extends the Convert mode of the PDF/A-2 workflow with PDF/A-3 features. Specifically, the PDF/A-3 standard allows to embed child documents As Is, i.e. without converting them to PDF/A. For example, by default Office files are converted to PDF/A-3, images are used as-is, and executables are removed.

Collect mode configuration

This is the same as the Collect mode of the PDF/A-2 workflow. However, in the PDF/A-3 workflow, it is common to choose the As Is Convert mode for some child document types. Therefore, the use of the Merge collect mode is strongly discouraged, because it is limited to PDF documents (see Collect modes). Instead, the Collection or Single Document and Attach collect modes are recommended. Please refer to the documentation panel of the Conversion Service Configurator for a detailed description of the available collect modes.

Attach Source Document

The source document (original document) can be attached. The configuration allows for each file type to decide if the source document should be attached or not. By default, the source documents for Office files are attached. Note that this may increase the file size of the result substantially.

Attach Conversion Report

All events of a conversion can be written to a report file and attached to the result document.