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*Details: File format summary



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Name Acrobat PDF/A - Portable Document Format
Version 2a
Other names  
Identifiers MIME:  application/pdf
PUID:  fmt/476
Classification Page Description
Description The Portable Document Format/Archive is a format designed for long term preservation by Adobe Systems. PDF/A is an ISO standardised version of PDF, with all of the features from PDF that would impede long term preservation removed. A major principle of PDF/A is that it is self contained and not reliant on externalities thus all font and colour information is encoded into the file. PDF/A files are larger than other types of PDF files due to the need for embedded information. PDF/A2 supports three levels of compliance: PDF/A-2a (Accessible), PDF/A-2b (Basic). and PDF/A-2u (Unicode). The PDF/A-2 standard is a constrained subset of ISO 32000-1 (PDF 1.7), which includes PDF 1.0-1.7 and is defined by ISO 19005-2:2011, which has the formal name 'Document management – Electronic document file format for long-term preservation – Part 2: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/A-2)'.
Byte order  
Related file formats Has priority over Acrobat PDF 1.0 - Portable Document Format (1.0)
Has priority over Acrobat PDF 1.1 - Portable Document Format (1.1)
Has priority over Acrobat PDF 1.2 - Portable Document Format (1.2)
Has priority over Acrobat PDF 1.3 - Portable Document Format (1.3)
Has priority over Acrobat PDF 1.4 - Portable Document Format (1.4)
Has priority over Acrobat PDF 1.5 - Portable Document Format (1.5)
Has priority over Acrobat PDF 1.6 - Portable Document Format (1.6)
Has priority over TrueType Font  
Has priority over Acrobat PDF 1.7 - Portable Document Format (1.7)
Is subtype of Acrobat PDF 1.7 - Portable Document Format (1.7)
Technical Environment  
Supported until  
Format Risk  
Developed by None.
Supported by None.
Source Digital Preservation Department / The National Archives
Source date 25 Oct 2012
Source description  
Last updated 25 Oct 2012
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