Overcoming External Hyperlink and Bookmark Restrictions in the ISO PDF/A Standard for Archived Documents
[On May 14, 2010, the following edits were made to this post, originally published on March 24, 2009]
Many organizations need to preserve documents for a long period of time, for example, decades or more. The challenge with this need is that hardware and software technologies continually evolve and may become incompatible with the documents preserved or archived. Fortunately, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defined a standard a number of years ago, for long term document archival based on the PDF format called PDF/A or PDF/A-1 (ISO 19005-1:2005). The ISO worked with representatives from government, industry, academia and Adobe to define this PDF/A standard.
Adlib Express now includes the following capabilities:
- Conversion of any supported file typeto PDF/A-1b
- Conversion of existing PDF files to PDF/A-1b
- Verification of PDF/A-1b compliancy
One approach to meeting the standard is to remove all external hyperlinks and bookmarks from the documents. This, in my opinion, would not be viable in most cases since it may remove important content. An alternative is to directly embed all referenced documents within the main document. This is the approach taken by Adlib Express, it can automatically merge documents and converts the external hyperlinks and bookmarks to internal links since they can now be references within the same document. This approach achieves ISO’s “100% self-contained” requirement, enabling the resulting PDF/A to be compliant. Check out this link for more details on how Express can help support your document archival processes.
I invite you to comment on PDF/A as well as on what I proposed above. Let’s talk.