3-Heights® PDF Validator - PDF and PDF/A ISO standard compliance validation in C# and Java

The 3-Heights® PDF Validator safeguards the quality of PDF documents and the processes that create them. Documents are checked for conformance 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.

Document Verification

Verification of documents with regard to conformance with the PDF and PDF/A standard

Long-term Digital Archiving

Integrate into archiving systems

PDF & PDF/A Quality Control

Ensure conformance and corporate directives


3-Heights® PDF Validator verifies electronic insurance applications

Insurance applications at ARAG are increasingly being submitted via electronic means. In order to ensure that the insurance applications comply with the required PDF/A standard, the documents have to be validated by means of a gatekeeper-software. The decision was made in favor of the 3-Heights™ PDF Validator.

Bayer CropScience relies on the ISO long-term archiving format PDF/A

More than 20,000 documents that are required by public authorities for regulatory reasons are created yearly within Bayer CropScience. The wide product spectrum and the unique functionality convinced Bayer CropScience to select the products from PDF Tools AG.
3-Heights® PDF Validator - Product Image

PDF Validator - Features

  • Validate PDF documents on the basis of various PDF specifications (PDF1.x, PDF 2.0, PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2, PDF/A-3)
  • PDF conformance 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 conformance of document
  • Validate conformance with corporate directives defined in custom profile
  • Read input document from file, memory, or stream
3-Heights® PDF Validator - Functionality


  • Standards:
    • ISO 32000-1 (PDF 1.7)
    • ISO 32000-2 (PDF 2.0)
    • ISO 19005-1 (PDF/A-1)
    • ISO 19005-2 (PDF/A-2)
    • ISO 19005-3 (PDF/A-3)
  • Quality assurance: veraPDF test corpus and Isartor test suite
Powered by 3‑Heights® TechnologyPDF/A compliant

Supported formats

Input formats

  • PDF 1.3 to 1.7
  • PDF 2.0
  • PDF/A-1a, PDF/A-1b
  • PDF/A-2a, PDF/A-2b, PDF/A-2u
  • PDF/A-3a, PDF/A-3b, PDF/A-3u

Areas of use - PDF and PDF/A document validation and quality control

Incoming mail

The Validator checks incoming mail documents for conformance with the minimum requirements, for instance with regard to security, conformance, 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 conformance 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.

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Check if document meets a specific compliance

Select a PDF/A compliance level and check whether the input PDF document it is compliant or not. In case it is not compliant, get a detailed description of the compliance violations.

C# sample:
// Create the validator
using (PdfValidator validator = new PdfValidator())
    // Open input file
    if (!validator.Open(inputPath, "", complianceLevel))
        throw new Exception(String.Format("Input file {0} cannot be opened. " + 
            "{1} (ErrorCode: 0x{2:x}).", inputPath, validator.ErrorMessage, validator.ErrorCode));

    // Validate document
    // If true, the PDF is compliant to the specified compliance level.
    // If false, the validation either aborted or the PDF is not compliant to 
    // the specified compliance level.
    if (!validator.Validate())
        if (validator.ErrorCode == PDFErrorCode.PDF_E_CONFORMANCE)
            Console.WriteLine("Document {0} is not {1} compliant.", inputPath, 

            // Print compliance violations
            PdfError currError = validator.GetFirstError();
            while (currError != null)
                Console.WriteLine("Page: {0}, Object: {1}, {2}", currError.PageNo, 
                    currError.ObjectNo, currError.Message);
                currError = validator.GetNextError();
            throw new Exception(String.Format("Validation of {0} was aborted. {1} " + 
                "(ErrorCode: 0x{2:x}).", inputPath, validator.ErrorMessage, validator.ErrorCode));
        Console.WriteLine("Document {0} is {1} compliant.", inputPath, compliance);

    // Close input file
C# sample:
Can I trust PDF validation software?

Can I trust PDF validation software?

If I use validation software from different manufacturers I sometimes get different results. Why can this happen? Does it mean that I can't trust the software? What can I do about it? I hear these and more questions very often and I can understand the user's concerns...