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PDF/A-3 Production

Now you can embed Word, Excel, HTML, XML
files into your PDF documents

PDF/A-3 the format of the future

PDF/A-3 adds a single and highly significant feature to its predecessor PDF/A-2 (ISO 19005-2)—it enables you to embed any other format within a PDF/A file – a single file or multiple files, such as Excel, Word, HTML, CAD or XML files, for the first time.

In banking, insurance, manufacturing and other industries with complex multi-document transactions, PDF/A-3 provides relevant and important content to all parties involved in a single PDF attachment. Since PDF/A-3 is a superset of PDF/A, the global standard for archived documents, you can be assured the document is being presented exactly as the original files were produced. This is important because it means that PDF/A-3 files can be used as a container and file system for digital objects and still viewable1 via a PDF reader such as Adobe or Foxit Reader.


Three PDF/A formats

The PDF/A-3 format comes in three different grades, which need to be differentiated.

  • PDF/A-3a covers accessibility
  • PDF/A-3b is about visual integrity, i.e. ensuring that the document displays consistently
  • PDF/A-3u covers searchable text and copying Unicode text for PDF documents that are created digitally and those that are created by scanning using optical character recognition (OCR).

The standard only ensures the representation of PDF/A documents viewed via a compliant PDF reader. Presentation of non-compliant embedded documents is handled via a separate action using the tools that support those other document formats.


DocOrigin allows generating PDF/A-3 in batch and on-demand moods

DocOrigin Enterprise software now allows companies to design, present, generate and deliver mission-critical, dynamic, real-time interactive and batch documents and forms in PDF/A-3 format. PDF/A-3 is the workhorse of all PDFs, it incorporates PDF/A, which is the global standard for archiving and adds the ability to transport other document formats inside the PDF/A-3 file.

This means that DocOrigin and it’s modules (Business Communications Center and Dynamic Business Documents, Enterprise Document Center) can produce PDF/A-3 in production environments. The PDF/A-3 acts as a wrapper to contain all the documents and supporting files that make up the packet. For instance, in production, if your ERP, MRP, HRP, CRM software is producing invoices, the invoice produced by DocOrigin in PDF/A-3 can contain the matching PO and any other files that are relevant to that invoice. This would prevent the company receiving the document from having to search for the relevant information or documents, which may delay the payment of the invoice.

“Serving our existing customers like AT&T, Eaton, Exictos, GE Healthcare, Guidewire, McKesson Medical-Surgical, Tyler Technologies and many others, requires non-stop updates and upgrades to our software to meet the most demanding document and form presentation and delivery methods,” said Steve Luke, CEO of Eclipse Corporation and Product owner of DocOrigin.” DocOrigin provides robust presentation and delivery methods to meet the needs of customers from the Silent Generation to the Post Millennial Generation. Our Integration Without Modification™ methodology guarantees our customers that DocOrigin can handle their most demanding requirements without custom changes to their existing business software.

PDF/A-3 is a great addition to the PDF standards. For the PDF purest, DocOrigin will continue to support PDF/A and PDF/UA (for people with visual disabilities).


This Article was prepared in cooperation with our partner Eclipse Corporation. Ecodocx became Eclipse Corporation’s original equipment manufacturing partner to better serve the needs of companies in customer communications, document generation, and output management. For more information please visit our Partner Page.

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