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PDF to PDF/A command-line conversion

PDF/A Manager is a PDF/A (ISO 19005-1) validation and conversion software. It is available as a command-line tool.

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The conversion option analyses the content of existing PDF files and performs a sequence of modifications in order to produce a PDF/A compliant document. Features that are not suitable for long-term archiving (such as encryption, obsolete compression schemes, missing fonts, or device-dependent color) are replaced with their PDF/A compliant equivalents. Because the conversion process applies only necessary changes to the source file, the information loss is minimal. Also, because the converter provides a detailed report for each change, it is simple to inspect changes and to determine whether the conversion loss is acceptable.

The validation option in PDF/A Manager can be used to quickly determine whether a PDF file fully complies with the PDF/A specification according to the international standard ISO 19005-1. For files that are not compliant, the validation option can be used to produce a detailed report of compliance violations as well as a list of relevant error objects.

Like other PDFTron products, PDF/A Manager does not rely on other third-party software. PDF/A Manager can be used in server environments or as a batch conversion process.

PDF/A Manager Command-Line utility is based on PDF SDK core technology which is available for integration in third party solutions and applications. For more information, please vist ( or contact a PDFTron representative.

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linkWhy PDF/A Manager?

  • PDF/A Manager is an indispensable tool for anyone working with PDF/A.
  • Supports all versions of the PDF format (PDF 1.0 to ISO32000).
  • Includes an option to create linearized (web-optimized) PDF/A documents.
  • Fast, reliable and suitable for server use.

linkKey Functions

  • Checks if a PDF file is compliant with PDF/A (ISO 19005-1) specification.
  • Converts any PDF to a PDF/A compliant document.
  • Support for all versions of PDF/A.
  • Produces a detailed report of compliance violations and associated PDF objects.
  • Keeps the required changes a minimum, preserving the consistency of the original.
  • Tracks all changes to allow for automatic assessment of data loss.
  • Allows user to customize compliance checks or omit specific changes during PDF/A conversion.
  • Preserves tags, logical structure, and color information in existing PDF documents.
  • Offers automatic font substitution, embedding, and subsetting options.
  • Supports automation and batch operation. PDF/A Manager is designed to be used in unattended mode in high throughput server or batch environments.

linkCommon Use Case Scenarios

  • Libraries, newspaper agencies, and government institutions can use PDF/A Manager to automate PDF archiving in high-throughput web applications of server based environments.
  • Maintainers or large collections of existing PDF documents can use PDF/A Manager in batch mode to ensure that all files are suitable for long-term archiving.
  • Software developers can use PDF/A Manager SDK or PDF SDK API to add the PDF/A Export option to their existing PDF export filter.

linkOperating Systems Supported

  • Windows, Linux and Mac.

linkSystem Requirements

  • At least 20 MB of free disk space.
  • Memory requirement is heavily dependent on the nature of the document(s) being processed.


echo "Example 1) Test a PDF file for PDF/A compliance:"
./pdfa --noxml "PDFTron PDFA Manager User Manual.pdf"
echo "Example 2) Test PDF files for PDF/A compliance and generate an XML error report:"
./pdfa -o OUT1 --level B --subfolders *.pdf
echo "Example 3) An example of PDF/A Conversion:"
./pdfa -c -z -o OUT2 *.pdf
echo "Example 4) An example of PDF/A Conversion:"
./pdfa -c --noxml -o OUT3 --subfolders "PDFTron PDFA Manager User Manual.pdf" OUT2

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