Managing University Records


What is a PDF/A?

You already know the Portable Document Format (PDF) that is the standard for web-based delivery of electronic documents. In fact, it is an open standard under the auspices of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The PDF/A is the archival version of the PDF, which is meant for long-term preservation. 

What does this mean?

The PDF/A is self-contained: it contains or embeds everything it needs to render the document exactly as the author created it. As such, the PDF/A will always display exactly the same: same fonts, same colors, same profiles, same images. It retains the look and feel of the original no matter what system, platform or device the reader is using. And because the PDF/A is also an open, international standard, future generations worldwide will know how to open and render a PDF/A.

If you would like to learn how to convert documents to PDF/A, please contact You can also learn more about  the PDF/A from the comprehensive guide from the New York State Archives or FAQ from the PDF/A Competence Center from the PDF Association.