7 Helpful Articles about PDF/A-3

You may have heard our exciting news…. we now have PDF/A-3 in production environments for DocOrigin, Business Communications Center and Dynamic Business Documents. To read more about that, click here.

That being said, we’ve spent some time recently reading up on PDF/A-3 and have come across some pretty helpful articles. We lay the top 7 out here for you. Please let us know of any others we should add.

  1. PDF/A-3 Overview at PDF-TOOLS.COM

Pdf-tools gives a brief explanation of the formats within PDF/A and their functions.

  1. PDF/A-3 v. PDF at PDFA.ORG

The authorities on PDF, the PDF Association, lay out a great explanation of PDF/A-3, but even better they make an argument for the benefits of using it.

3. PDF/A-3, PDF for Long-term Preservation, Use of ISO 32000-1, With Embedded Files at LOC.GOV

This is the Library of Congress Collections’ planning for the sustainability of digital formats. They provide some resources and history behind the format. They also include their notes on the PDF/A-3 and other formats.


This is a 23-page document by the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, a consortium of institutions that are committed to the long-term preservation of digital information. They provide in depth background on the format along with U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Scenarios and U.S. House Office of the Legislative Counsel Scenarios.

  1. PDF/A-3 Enables ANY Format to be Embedded in PDF at FOXITSOFTWARE.COM

Foxit provides a summary of the format, even including drawbacks but also points out the benefit in organizing digital archives and states that, “Pragmatists in companies from various segments, such as the pharmaceutical industry or the banking and financial sector, however, applaud the concept of being able to embed other formats in PDF files, because they have real-world needs to store original file formats alongside their PDF/A file counterparts.”

  1. PDF/A-3 – embed files into a PDF document

Here Foxit explains the build-up to the development of PDF/A-3 and the 3 types and explanations of files PDF/A-3 can embed: Source, Supplement and Alternative.

  1. The PDF/A file format at outlines the rules and restrictions that PDF/A-3 must meet.

We thought these may be helpful in getting a better grasp of PDF/A-3: it’s history, the need for it, benefits of using it and rules and restrictions involved. Happy Reading!