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Frequently Asked Questions

How to save converted PDF/A files in a given folder?

By default, PDF/A Manager stores converted files in the current working folder. To specify another output location, use the '-o' (or --output) parameter. For example:

pdfa --o "c:\My Output" --convert 1.pdf 2.pdf 3.pdf

Note: If the specified path does not exist, PDF/A Manager will attempt to create the necessary folders.

How can I control the output name for converted PDF/A files?

By default, PDF/A Manager will create a single output PDF/A document based on every input PDF file. The output filename is constructed by appending a suffix to the name of the input PDF file. For example, 'my.pdf' will be saved as 'my_pdfa.pdf'. It is possible to change the suffix using --suffix option. For example:

pdfa -o OUT --convert --suffix "converted" "c:\mypdfdir"

How do I run PDF/A Manager in validation mode?

To run PDF/A Manager in validation mode simply omit '-c' or '--convert' from the command line. For example,

pdfa --noxml my.pdf

How do I convert/validate a password protected PDF?

PDF/A Manager will, without user intervention, decrypt and convert documents secured with a master/owner password. If the document is secured using a user (or 'file open') password, PDF/A Manager will prompt you to enter the password.

For unattended conversion, the password can also be specified directly on the command-line using the '-p' (or --password) option. For example:

pdfa -p secret -c secured.pdf

The above command line will convert PDF to PDF/A and will use the provided password ('secret') to open the secured document (i.e. 'secured.pdf').

Note: PDF/A Manager supports all standard security options available in PDF, including 40 and 128 bit RC4 encryption, Crypt filters, and 128 AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption.

How do I process PDF files in a batch?

PDF/A Manager supports batch conversion and validation of many PDF files in a single pass. To convert all PDF files in a given folder(s) you can use the following syntax:

pdfa myfolder1 myfolder2 ...

The '--subfolders' option can be used to recursively process all subfolders. For example, the following line will convert all documents in 'myfolder1' and 'myfolder2' as well as all subfolders:

pdfa --subfolders myfolder1 myfolder2

By default, PDF/A Manager will convert all files with the extension '.pdf'. To select different files based on the extension use the '--extension' parameter. For example, to convert all PDF documents with a custom extension '.blob', you could use the following line:

pdfa --extension .blob --subfolders myfolder1

Wildcard characters can also be used to process multiple input files.

For example, if a directory contains the following PDF documents:

C:\test1 >dir
 Directory of C:\test1
 01/04/2009 03:35 PM <DIR> .
 01/04/2009 03:35 PM <DIR> ..
 05/21/2009 02:27 PM A1.pdf
 05/03/2009 09:38 AM A2.pdf
 05/20/2009 08:46 AM B1.pdf
 05/15/2009 12:50 PM B2.pdf

To process all PDF documents in this folder, you could specify:

c:\>pdfa --noxml c:/test1/*.pdf

To process all PDF documents starting with 'A', you could specify:

pdfa --noxml c:/test1/A*.pdf

Or to process all PDF documents ending with '1', you could specify:

pdfa --noxml c:/test1/*1.pdf

You can use either of the two standard wildcards --- the question mark (?) and the asterisk (*) --- to specify filename and path arguments on the command line.

The wildcards are expanded in the same manner as operating system commands. (Please refer to your operating system user's guide if you are unfamiliar with wildcards). Enclosing an argument in double quotation marks (" ") suppresses the wildcard expansion. Within quoted arguments, you can represent quotation marks literally by preceding the double-quotation-mark character with a backslash (\). If no matches are found for the wildcard argument, the argument is passed literally.

Does PDF/A Manager have any dependencies on third party components/software?

PDF/A Manager is a completely stand alone application and does not include any dependencies on third-party components or software.

How do I web-optimize PDF/A files for fast web or network access?

PDF/A Manager can linearize output PDF documents for fast web or network access. This can greatly improve document loading time if you plan to share documents on the web or local network. To linearize (i.e web-optimize) all output documents add -l or --linearize option in the command-line.

What is the difference between PDF/A-1b and PDF/A-1a?

PDF/A-1b is a subset of PDF/A-1a specification. As a result every PDF/A-1a file is also a valid PDF/A-1b document. The main difference is that PDF/A-1a additionally requires that PDF specifies logical structure as well as Unicode mapping for all text in the document.

The primary purpose of logical structure is to offer accessibility features for visually impaired people (similar to 'Alt' tags in HTML).

Compared to PDF/A-1b there is no well defined process to validate or convert PDF/A-1a (besides a handful of simple checks). Because the semantic information may be missing from input document and because there is no universally agreed way to reconstruct or to represent this information the usefulness of PDF/A-1a is open to debate.

By default PDF/A Manager will preserve tags, logical structure, and color information in input PDF files.

Can I integrate PDF/A Manager with my client/server application?

PDF/A Manager can be easily integrated into third-party client and server-based applications.

Besides command-line utility PDF/A Manager is part of PDF SDK and can be accessed from any programming language (including C#, VB.NET, C/C++, Java, VB6, Perl, Python, Ruby, Delphi, etc).

I didn't find the answer to my question in the user manual. Are there any other helpful resources?

You may want to search the PDFTron Knowledge Base forum or to simply forward your question to PDFTron's technical support team via

Get the answers you need: Support


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