The PDF/A Competence Center has announced that the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has released part two of the PDF/A standard, ISO 19005-2. The standard is a PDF extension for the long-term archiving of electronic documents. Among the features it provides are protection against tampering, support for embedding a document's colour information and the ability to ensure that only fonts with unambiguous encoding information are being used. The standard's official document title is "Document management – Electronic document file format for long-term preservation – Part 2: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/A-2)."
The first part of the PDF/A standard is based on PDF 1.4; PDF/A-2, on the other hand, is based on PDF 1.7 – the PDF version which has itself become an ISO standard. PDF 1.7 supports a range of improvements un document technology such as JPEG2000 compression, transparency effects and layers, the embedding of OpenType fonts,and provisions for digital signatures in accordance with the PADeS (PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures) standard. Part two of the standard also offers the possibility to embed PDF/A files into PDF/A-2. This allows groups of documents to be archived coherently as individual documents.
PDF/A-1 will initially remain in effect without limitation, and there is no immediate reason to convert documents that don't require the added functionality of PDF/A-2. The PDF/A-2 standard is available to purchase from ISO for 136 Swiss francs (CHF).
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