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There are several discussions on the web on how to generate PDF/A-1b compliant documents.

One approach can be found on http://support.river-valley.com/wiki/index.php?title=Generating_PDF/A_compliant_PDFs_from_pdftex which is implemented as far as I can see in the pdfx package.

I created a minimal test.tex file:

Hello, world! 

From what I understand, I need to place metadata in a separate file called test.xmpdata:

\Author{Ada Lovelace}
\Org{TeX University}

I compile test.tex using pdfTeX 3.1415926-1.40.10-2.2 (TeX Live 2009/Debian).

For validation of PDF/A-1b compliancy, I use jhove and a PDF export from LibreOffice as a positive control.

jhove -m pdf-hul test.pdf

However, jhove laments

ErrorMessage: Lexical error
  Offset: 16530

So my test.pdf file does not seem to be PDF/A compliant. Could you please give me hints on additional diagnostics to run in order to pin down the problem?

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Interestingly, Adobe's Acrobat Reader shows a hint that the generated document would be PDF/A compliant. So maybe this is just a jhove problem. Could maybe someone who possesses Adobe's Acrobat Professional use the Preflight functionality to validate this? But at least pdfinfo test.pdf isn't showing the correct metadata either. –  Penguin Nurse Nov 1 '12 at 10:57
See also How to create tagged PDF? and LaTeX accessibility –  Martin Schröder Nov 1 '12 at 11:46
Thanks a lot for your comments so far, but they didn't help me to solve the problem. The thread on width information for rendered glyphs might become important for me if I start using math fonts. –  Penguin Nurse Nov 1 '12 at 19:28
@PenguinNurse According to Acrobat X Pro's Preflight, small2e.pdf is not a valid PDF/A-1b. You can find a summary here. –  sebschub Nov 14 '12 at 9:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Generating PDFA-1b compliant documents is not possible with the default pdftex. There is a minor bug in pdftex resulting in non-compliant EOL markers. There is a bug report from 2011 about this problem which successfully resolves the issue. You can find it here:


There is also a file attached to this report: http://sarovar.org/tracker/download.php/106/493/4341/10821/verify_this_sample.zip

It contains instructions on how to patch pdftex to generate PDFA-1b compatible files. The package also contains a patched version of pdfx. Unfortunately, these changes did not made it into the code base yet.

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This is fixed in the latest Tex Live source! See svn repo and mailing list. –  Florian Bw Dec 17 '13 at 16:43

I had to validate a document through jhove, and I managed to do it using pdftk on the PDF that was produced by pdflatex. I simply used the command

pdftk MyDocument.pdf output ValidatedDocument.pdf

I hope it can help you!

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Well, it would of course nice to create a compliant document directly from TeX or LaTeX. But the good thing about your solution is that it doesn't require proprietary software. –  Penguin Nurse Jan 6 '13 at 14:52
I totally agree (on both points!). –  Bruno Jan 6 '13 at 18:06

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