PDF/A is an augmented version of the Portable Document Format (PDF). It was developed by the Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies (NPES) and the Association for Information and Image Management for use in the archiving and long-term preservation of electronic documents. It has been given its own ISO standard, guaranteeing that future software generations will know how to open and render PDF/A files.

PDF/A was developed because of the increasing need to electronically archive documents in a way that ensures preservation of their contents for a long time to come, and ensures that those documents are retrievable and rendered with a consistent and predictable result in the future.

PDF/A prohibits the features of basic PDFs that are unsuitable for long-term archiving, such as font linking, dynamic content and encryption. PDF/A files include everything that is required to render the document the exact same way, every time: fonts, color profiles, images and a user interface for reading embedded annotations.

PDF/As are ideal for legal entities, libraries, newspapers, and other regulated industries that require information to be archived and accessible.

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