PCL to PDF/A Digital Document Archiving Standard

Question: Do any of your product convert PCL to PDF/A format?


Tyler, thanks for your post, PCLTool SDK, PCLWorks, IMGCVT.exe, IMG2PDF.exe & PCLReader can produce PCL to PDF/A output.   By default, we support PDF/A-1b because we feel confident that we can generate this level of PDF/A format from virtually any PCL file.  However, you can switch to PDF/A-1a in order to see if we can achieve this level of compliance with your PCL.  PDF/A-1a compliance is more dependent on the structure and composition of the document.

Select PCL to PDF/A Settings via PDF Preferences

Select PCL to PDF/A Settings via PDF Preferences

Consequently, you may have PCL that we are unable to convert into PDF/A-1a format at this time.  We always want to see PCL that produces PDF/A files that do not comply with the ISO standard so please use our support form  to submit any files that you think we should review.

We always encourage customers to download the PCLTool SDK Live Eval and select the PCL to PDF/A setting via the PDF Preferences dialog and test your PCL.

PCL to PDF/A Digital Document Archiving Standard

PDF/A is an approved set of standards from the International Standards Organization (ISO).  The new ISO 19005-1 standard defines PDF/A format as the digital document standard for the long-term preservation of required tax, legal, historical, transactional and other important documents.

Archiving in PDF/A format to satisfy your corporate, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley or other legal requirements, is the best way to ensure that you will be able to search, retrieve, view and print your documents in the future with the full, legal fidelity of the original.  PDF/A format will remain compatible as PDF technology evolves.

This is why ISO, in conjunction with the US Courts, Library of Congress, ARMA, AIIM, NARA and many more corporations, governments, and other major institutions around the world have approved this standard for long-term archiving of documents.  This new standard defines a subset of PDF 1.4 format and composition rules that will withstand the test of time.

PDF/A is designed to be:

  • Device and software independent
  • Self-contained: Includes all the resources needed to render each page (embedded fonts)
  • Self-documented: Capable of including sufficient XMP metadata for auto-classification and indexing
  • A framework for representing the logical document structure (PDF/A-1a)

Having rules like this in place inhibit the development of PDF functionality that could cause problems in future releases.  If you generate PDF documents from a product that complies with this new PDF/A standard, your files will be safe and viable for the years to come.

The best way to generate PDF/A documents is directly from Adobe Acrobat V7.08 or above. For those who have applications that cannot generate PDF/A directly, but can only generate HP PCL print streams (and, do not want to print, scan, convert to PDF/A and then OCR for indexing and text search-ability), you need one of PageTech’s product options to convert your PCL into PDF/A format.

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