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Archivability of PDF Documents

Not every document in the Portable Document Format (PDF) is suited for online publication and long-term archiving.

University Press accepts PDF files which conform to the archiving format PDF/A (ISO 19005-1:2005) or the printing standard format PDF/X-3 or PDF/X-4. PDF/A has been a stable, internationally accepted ISO standard for long-term preservation since September 2005. A document conforming to PDF/A must reproduce its content on different computers with different operating systems and in different printing environments in a visually identical way. Therefore, all fonts and any information on the colour profile have to be embedded in the document. Free and proprietary tools are available for the creation, processing and validation of PDF/A documents. The same applies to PDF/X standards for the printing industry.

Files conforming to PDF/A and PDF/X can be created with e.g. Adobe Acrobat Professional or the free PDFCreator. Many typesetting programs also provide a direct export into these formats, e. g. (from version 3.0), Adobe Indesign CS 3, Corel Draw Graphics Suite X4 or Microsoft Office 2007 (from Service Pack 2). Please learn about the possibilities of your software (e. g. by consulting the help pages or printing options of your program).

Please find instructions on PDF creation from the most common word processing programs in our tutorial.

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