The PDF format is widely used for document sharing, but most users are unaware of PDF's usefulness for digital document archival. The best way to archive PDF files is to convert them to PDF/A files, which are like standard PDF files except that they have more information encoded to guarantee their accurate representation in the future. The PDF/A format is really a subset of the PDF format designed for archiving documents. Even now, most archivists use microfiche or microfilm for the long-term preservation of documents, but with PDF/A you can archive PDF documents safely, securely, and conveniently. PDF/A offers the convenience of digital storage and access, as well as the security of microfiche.
How to Archive PDF Files Using PDF/A
The biggest problem with digital archival is that computer technology changes so rapidly that it is hard to know if files saved in a given format will be able to be opened in the future. Clearly, this poses a problem for archivists: stored documents are useless if they cannot be viewed. PDF/A was developed with this problem in mind. A PDF/A file has the integrity of representation of a regular PDF file, but also contains all information needed to open it, guaranteeing that all that will be needed to view it in the future is a PDF/A reader. Therefore, if you wish to archive PDF files, the safest thing to do is convert them to PDF/A files. In addition, if you have physical documents that you wish to archive digitally, you can scan them and convert them to PDF/A. PDF/A files can also be made searchable with OCR technology, which makes access considerably easier.
CVISION's PDF/A Software: DocArchiver
CVISION Technologies' DocArchiver was designed with people who want to archive PDF files in mind. DocArchiver can quickly convert PDF and other image file types to PDF/A for secure storage. DocArchiver also verifies PDF/A documents to make sure that they remain PDF/A compliant. If they are not, DocArchiver will automatically repair them. You can download a free trial version of DocArchiver by clicking the download button at the top of this page.