What is Adobe PDF/a?
Adobe PDF/A is a file format very similar to PDF, the industry standard file for storing and sending documents. PDF stands for "portable document file". Ever since it was introduced in 1993 it's become a ubiquitous method of presenting electronic documents with both images and text. Adobe PFF/A is different to the ordinary PDF, however, in that it is designed specifically to be stored longterm. Adobe PDF/A documents can be sent just like normal documents but their main purpose is to form part of an electronic archive. They are essentially a replacement for paper documents.
How is Adobe PDF/a Different from an Adobe PDF Text File?
Adobe PDF/A are identical to PDF files except that some of their features have been removed in order that, instead of being easily edited, they are suitable for longterm archiving. They also ensure PDF readers follow certain rules in order that the document can always be reproduced in exactly the same way. Because PDF has been the default storage system for years Adobe PDF/A is highly suited to archiving. Adobe PDF/A files are often bigger than ordinary PDF files but they are not designed to be exported in quite the same way.
What are the Advantages of Adobe PDF/a?
The advantage of Adobe PDF/A is that it gives files a sense of permanence. With digital archives it is difficult to engender the same sense of confidence that people have with physical archives. The creation of Adobe PDF/A was a response to that. The Adobe PDF/A system ensures that files cannot be corrupted or altered without permission and it is highly suited to storing information that needs to be kept for a long period of time, or even forever. This is why they are often used by government, the judicial system, libraries and many businesses.