Alfresco PDF/A Converter (Convert Document to PDF-A)

Need a more compatible file format for sharing? Don’t want to spend time or money on separate software? Now you have instant PDF conversions at your fingertips.

The PDF Converter addon by Skytizens integrates the power of a PDF Converter directly into the same system that organizes the files. Users can convert any file in the Alfresco Document Library directly into PDF format without complications and without having to move anything around. Users just select PDF Converter, choose a destination, and the job is done. Users have the power to convert single files to PDF, multiple files in one click, and even setup a folder to auto-convert.

The universal PDF format is perfect for sharing files across networks and even across operating systems. Never get slowed down again by a file that can’t be opened—share your important files in PDF format today.

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What is Alfresco PDF/A Converter?

Alfresco PDF/A Converter is an addon developed by Skytizens to enable users to convert files in Alfresco to PDF/A on the go. In just a few clicks, users can convert various supported files such as MS Excel, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, GIF, and more into the special PDF format created for archival purposes—that’s where the A comes in.

Why is Alfresco PDF/A Converter so important?

  • PDF/As are standard – an ISO-standardized version of Adobe’s Portable Document Format used especially for archiving
  • PDF/As are versatile – a huge amount of rare file formats can be converted to PDF/A and then viewed, printed, and shared by virtually everybody
  • Trusted – legal professionals including the federal courts in the U.S. require PDF/A formatting so that documents can be read, processed, and trusted as unaltered for years into the future
  • Integrated – no need to install separate software, we’ve built the converter into our system

The Benefits of Alfresco PDF/A Converter

The Alfresco PDF/A Converter eliminates concern about long-term preservation of electronic documents. There is no need to worry about changing technology or applications that fall out of use as time goes by. The PDF/A format will remain readable by a multitude of proprietary and generic Mac- and PC-based applications into the foreseeable future. Having the ability to convert to PDF/A format within your company’s Document Management System (DMS) means you can preserve the original appearance of business-critical documents, retain their searchability in your system, and yet maintain their device independence at the same time. Decades from now these PDF/A files will still be accessible, even if your hardware, software, and computer systems have changed.

How Does It Work?

Since it’s built into the Document Library, Convert to PDF/A is an option in the action menu of all files in Alfresco. Users can choose to convert a file to PDF/A directly from the action menu, in batch mode, or automatically using Folder Rules. The user is given a choice of destination for the newly created file. The PDF/A version of the file will be created with the same filename as the original and appear in the destination folder. It’s that easy.

If multiple PDF/A files are created from converting the same original file, the new files will be named sequentially with numbers as a suffix. To avoid accidental data loss, the files will not delete or replace previous PDFs that have been created.

Main Features

PDF/A Converter – Convert any individual file to PDF from within Alfresco. The option is available in the Document Library and in the file Preview Mode. Users must choose the destination for the newly created file.

Convert to PDF/A in Batch Mode – Users can convert multiple files to PDF/A in a single action by using the Selection tool in the Alfresco Document Library and then choosing Convert to PDF/A in the Skytizens Items menu. Skytizens allows the client to filter by document and deselect individual files in the folder. This feature saves your company countless staff hours on large batch file conversions.

Automatic Conversion to PDF/A (by Folder Rule) – Use Alfresco’s folder command options to convert PDF/As in a systematic way. With a rich set of parameters, you can set Folder Rules to dictate what happens to files within a folder. Use this capability in conjunction with the PDF/A Converter by designating a folder that will automatically convert newly uploaded files and files that get moved into this folder.

Metadata Embedding – Upon conversion to PDF/A, this module embeds Alfresco properties associated with the file. These properties can include anything from general metadata to CMM properties assigned from within Alfresco.

The data embedded by this module is permanent and cannot be edited or removed once the PDF/A has been created. This ensures the integrity and consistency of files.

Conformance – This converter module has two possible outcomes:

  1. Standard: PDF/A-1B
  2. Status: verification failed

Warning Messages – If Alfresco detects that your document may experience difficulty undergoing the PDF/A conversion process, a warning message will appear to the user with an explanation.

  1. Source document contains elements incompatible with the PDF/A-1 format
  2. Invalid Graphic transparency, Soft Mask must be null or None
  3. Invalid Font definition, The CID Set entry is missing for the Composite Subset
  4. Invalid Font definition, FontFile entry is missing from FontDescriptor for BitstreamVeraSans-Roman

Users can still continue with a conversion; however it does not create file that is PDF/A-1 compliant. After a warning, the user has the option to Cancel Conversion.

 Document Indicator – Each PDF/A file in the Document Library is marked with a color-coded indicator of its status after the conversion is complete. Indicator shows success/failure for compliance with file properties and errors of PDF/A conversion (if any).  

  1. Green Tick or Check-Mark – Document claims compliance with PDF/A standards.
  2. Red X – This file complies with the PDF/A standard but failed the verification process.

 Document Preview Indicator – In Preview Mode, documents that have undergone PDF/A conversion will display a color-coded banner alongside the Document Indicator mentioned above.

  1. Green Field – This file claims compliance with the PDF/A standard
  2. Red Field – This file claims compliance with the PDF/A standard but has failed the verification process.

 Verification Message – The module provides details about the verification status of the converted document. The comments match those above under Warning Messages.

Validation Log – A list of categories is included as a property of the converted file.

Categories of Validation – The module categorizes the PDF/A validations as a result of conversion. For a successful conversion, all of the below issues are listed with “Success” as the outcome. For a file that has failed one or more validations, the file will have detailed information following the unsuccessful category below. Users can view the categories of validation on any converted file (successful or unsuccessful) by navigating to “Validate PDF/A” in the file’s action menu.

  1. Syntax Error
  2. Graphic Error
  3. Font Error
  4. Transparency Error
  5. Annotation Error
  6. Action Error
  7. Metadata Error

PDF/A Standard – ISO 19005-1 and ISO 19005-2 compliance verified. PDF/A versions 1A and 1B have been developed for the module thus far.

Language Support – Since fonts are embedded in the PDF/A file, the format supports all languages and scripts including Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and more.

Permissions Control – Access to the feature is managed by Group and Role.

  1. Group Access – Permission to use the feature is given by the client’s administrator by designating members of a group.
  2. Role Access–Permission to use this feature on certain files is given by file managers based on role access in the Alfresco system.


Alfresco PDF/A Converter keeps your documentation for all time! Don’t let advancing computer systems leave your company documents in the past. Get a Alfresco PDF/A converter and store them in a safe format.

The basic problem of obsolete technology has been solved when it comes to electronic document handling. Compliance with government requirements for data protection is now built-in to your Alfresco system. Though times will change and programs will advance, documents saved in the archival PDF/A format will remain accessible for dozens of years.

The addon was developed by Skytizens to give companies the power to archive their documents safely and save their data independent of their storage system.  This module puts the power of a Alfresco PDF/A Converter directly into the same system that organizes your files. The universality of archival PDFs is now at your fingertips.


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