The scanned image of the document allows but does not imply long-term storage. But still, in most cases, the image should be stored no less than the paper original, and often much longer, because its significance and importance in the context of the organization-owner are always kept above the zero marks. In addition, the image is taken from a paper document, which means that its change is not implied, although it is possible. In case of the Word to PDF conversion, this is important.
Based on the listed features that a scanned image of a document possesses, we can safely say that both formats are equally suitable since for each specific document the format capabilities that are not supported by the PDF / A standard will not be used. The latter allows both metadata and the text layer on top of the image, and even the signing of the document in order to protect it from modification. And the need to introduce fonts in each document can be neglected: since we are talking about images and there is no text, respectively, there are no fonts, and the additional weight in this regard will be small.
Everyone knows that one of the strengths of the online platform is the export of reports in various formats. It’s nice that the developers do not stand still and constantly add something new. It is recently added a new export to PDF / A format. Many still do not know what this is and why.
The well-known PDF document format or Portable Document Format appeared a long time ago and is deservedly popular. After all, you can create documents and open them on any platform, whether it is Windows, Linux, iOS and others. This advantage contributes to the use of PDFs as document archives. Nevertheless, not all documents are suitable for archives. For example, your document contains links, uses specific fonts that are not added to the document itself, or uses multimedia data. Such a document cannot be called self-sufficient.
The PDF / A standard
Especially for storing documents in archives, the PDF / A standard was developed. It is also certified as a regular PDF standard ISO 19005-1: 2005. What is the difference between PDF and PDF / A? The main requirement for the PDF / A format is the guaranteed ability to reproduce the document after a certain number of years in the same form. First of all, to ensure this requirement allows the self-sufficiency of the document. That is, the document should contain all the necessary data text, raster and vector images, fonts, color data inside itself and not have external links.
A digital document to be defined as intelligent implies knowing how to do something definitely more than being printed or sent. The information it contains, whatever its nature, goes far beyond the primary function of output.
A very widespread practice in companies is to print documents that can be easily read and processed by digital means, and only then can they be re-digitized in tiff or jpeg format for processing. In essence, the pixels are created from the content, going to encrypt a content that can only be readable again via OCR readers. It is a procedure that is not only cumbersome and superfluous but also dangerous since these steps involve a loss of potentially important data.