What is PDF/A-2 and what type of PDF/A-2 documents are there??

The PDF/A-2 standard is a publicized standard from 2011. In contrast to PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2 is entirely based on the guidelines set up by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), and have be recorded in ISO standard ISO-32000.

PDF/A-2 is the best standarised format to archive your digital documents!

Read more about the improvements of PDF/A-2 in comparison to PDF/A-1 in: What are the differences between PDF/A-1 and PDF/A-2

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Different PDF/A-2 types

Their are 3 different PDF/A-2 types: PDF/A-2a, PDF/A-2u and PDF/A-2b.

If a PDF is compliant with PDF/A-2a, it means it automatically also complies with PDF/A-2u and PDF/A-2b requirements.
Similarly, if a PDF is compliant with PDF/A-2u, it's also compliant with PDF/A-2b.

PDF/A-2b (Basic)

PDF/A-2b (Basic) is the set of minimal requirements to comply with the norms of PDF/A-2. If a file has been saved as a PDF/A-2b, it is suitable for long term storage, while the visual aspect of the file is kept.

PDF/A-2u (Unicode)

This format follows all the requirements of PDF/A-2b, but also includes the possibility to convert the PDF text to a different word processor like e.g. Microsoft Word or Notepad. Text in the PDF can be indexed (for optimizing searching in the document).

PDF/A-2a (Accessible)

PDF/A-2a fulfulls the same requirements as PDF/A-2b and PDF/A-2u. On top of that, PDF/A-2u makes use of so called 'tags'. The entire document is build on the structure that was formed by these tags. This way, searching the document and reusing the contents of the document becomes easier. The document also becomes for accessible for people with a visual handicap. PDF/A-2a can only be created if the source of the file also has the information embedded in it, like e.g. a Word document.

Converting files to PDF/A

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