PDF/A conversion

The PDF/A conversion is carried out by the "Pdfa" web service.


To carry out a PDF/A conversion, transfer the PDF document during the web service call. In the parameters for the web service call, select "convert" in order to enable the conversion and use the "level" option to choose the target format for the PDF/A conversion.


If the conversion is successful according to PDF/A, the web service returns the modified PDF file as the result (in the return value).


If errors occurred during the conversion, then an exception is triggered on the web service call. The exception then contains an error code ("errorCode") and a text message ("message") about the error.


You can activate the XML report for the PDF/A conversion in order to get more details about the conversion, regardless of whether for a successful or a faulty execution. The report provides information about what kind of problems are present in the source document and which ones are still present after a PDF/A conversion has been carried out.


The results of the XML report generation operation can be checked with the following parameters:








Further information about the options can be found in the description of the Web Service Parameters.


A PDF/A conversion consists of three steps:


1.An analysis of the problems in the PDF file (see the “analysis” node in the XML report).

2.Conversion of the file to correct the problems, if this is possible

3.Subsequent analysis (see the “post-analysis” node in the XML report) to check whether all of the problems were corrected.


It is not always possible to correct all of the problems in a PDF file after the fact when a PDF/A conversion has been carried out after the source PDF document has been created. Some of the requirements of the PDF/A standard can only be implemented if they were already considered during the creation of the original PDF document. This applies in particular to conformance level "a" in the PDF/A standard.


Furthermore, it is recommended that the newer PDF/A-2 or PDF/A-3 versions be used instead of the “old" PDF/A-1 standard. These standards are enhancements which have resulted from the practical usage of PDF/A documents. These newer versions of the standard tend to better reflect the practical significance of PDF/A documents. For example, in the current PDF/A-3 standard, it is possible to embed documents with any number of formats, which was not allowed at all in the PDF/A-1 standard.


XML report for conversions in the portal


The "Pdfa" web service is integrated in the PDF portal. If you convert a PDF document there according to PDF/A and the conversion fails, a corresponding XML report will be displayed. This report is available as an appendix to the selected file and can be downloaded in the customary manner.


pdfa error