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pdfaPilot: Conversion of documents and emails into robust, searchable PDF or PDF/A files
License:Commercially licensed product
Platforms:Windows, Linux, IBM AIX, Sun Solaris and Mac
Input Formats:PDF, PDF/A
Output Formats:PDF, PDF/A, EPUB
Function:File Format Migration,Metadata Extraction,Validation
Content type:Document


Convert documents and emails into PDF or PDF/A files to make them last a lifetime.

Quoted from the callas homepage:


Make your documents and emails last a lifetime[edit]

In many environments, there are regulatory requirements that all communication regarding specific topics has to be archived for a certain period of time. How long that is can differ widely – from a few years to multiple tens of years.

The format of choice for archiving is defined in the ISO standard PDF/A (PDF for Archiving). This ISO standard defines three different PDF/A versions and callas pdfaPilot can automatically convert all of your documents and emails into the PDF/A flavor required for your purposes. Additional job information (metadata) is fully supported and the solution is configurable enough to let it adapt to your workflow instead of the other way around.

Archiving documents is a critical operation of modern workflows; for that reason callas pdfaPilot has been extensively tested and complies with the ISO standards as verified with for example the veraPDF test corpus or the Isartor test suite. The fact that the very same technology is used in the de facto standard, Adobe Acrobat, is testament to its quality.

Archiving typical office documents[edit]

The best way to have good PDF/A files is to properly create them to begin with. For this, callas pdfaPilot can automatically convert Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher and Visio files into quality PDF files for you. Simply drag them on the document window of callas pdfaPilot Desktop and the conversion takes place in the best possible way.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice documents are fully supported too and on Mac OS X Pages and Keynote of course work as well. Using the integrated Adobe engine, callas pdfaPilot even does quality conversion of EPS and PostScript files for you, without requiring Adobe Acrobat Distiller to be installed.

Email archiving[edit]

These days, emails are an essential part of business communication in most organizations. Many countries have laws and regulations around the archival of such communication, either to be used in potential future litigation or as part of sound accounting practices.

Because emails are usually handled by email servers with limited storage capacities, there are no guarantees that an email you receive today will still be on the server ten years from now. When you download the email from your server it is converted into the proprietary format of the email client, and there is no guarantee that you will have such a client in the future. In addition, there are attachments to the emails that require a proper viewer for all file formats that may occur here. Luckily callas pdfaPilot lets you store these emails including all attachments in a PDF/A format that will be available and readable many years from now.

But even in environments where such regulatory guidelines don’t apply, there are good reasons to archive emails. In our modern society an amazing amount of business intelligence is captured in emails. Being able to maintain that information in a structured way and in the same format that is used for other documents and being able to efficiently search all of those documents including emails and their attachments efficiently will only become more important.

Handle EPUB and PDF/UA[edit]

Thanks to its unique checking feature for tagging structure in a PDF file callas pdfaPilot also offers optimized exporting to PDF/UA, the standard for accessibility. More and more legislation requires documents to be universally accessible for everyone, including people with physical disabilities. As a result, checking against the PDF/UA standard has gained importance for service providers, governments and enterprise customers alike.

But pdfaPilot lets you take advantage of PDF tagging in a very different area as well: The tagging structure can be used in order to automatically create EPUB files from PDF. This PDF to EPUB feature converts PDFs into eBook files that can immediately be used on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

System requirements[edit]

  • Mac (Intel): macOS, version 10.7 or newer, 64-bit-compliant
  • Windows:
    • Windows 7 or newer
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer
  • Linux: Distributions are supported if the version of the glibc is at least v2.10. Minimum versions for frequently used distributions:
    • Debian 7 (and derivates like Ubuntu 12.x )
    • RedHat RHEL6 (and derivates like CentOS6)
    • SuSE SLES11 (and derivates like OpenSuSE11)
  • AIX: AIX 5.3 (oslevel 5300-07) or newer
  • Solaris (Sparc and Intel): Solaris 10 (v5.10) or newer

Key features[edit]

  • Checks PDFs for compliance to the PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2 and PDF/A-3 standard (ISO 19005-1, 19005-2 and 19005-3)
  • Converts PDF files to PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2 or PDF/A-3 and implements all necessary corrections
  • Converts emails into PDF/A
  • Converts PDF files to EPUB and HTML
  • Supports all PDF/A conformance levels (from PDF/A-1b to PDF/A-3u)
  • Support of PDF/A-3 standard
  • Improves PDFs to facilitate the creation of PDF/UA files
  • Embeds and/or substitutes missing fonts and handles missing glyphs
  • Optimizes all color data for compliance with the PDF/A standard
  • Adjusts comments and form fields to the defaults required by the PDF/A-1 standard
  • Removes unwanted attributes such as layers or interactive content like movies
  • Makes image compression compliant with the PDF/A standard
  • Creates PDF/A documents that are web optimized for easier access and viewing
  • Brings document metadata in line with PDF/A requirements
  • Saves newer PDF versions as PDF 1.4 as specified by PDF/A-1
  • Implements adjustments and corrections without loss of information
  • Delivers clear reports to document all test and correction procedures
  • Improves overall accessibility of PDF/A
  • Is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese language versions
  • PDF/A-3 collections may contain not just only other PDF/A files but arbitrary file formats like Word- or Excel-files or XML structures.
  • Guaranteed PDF/A conversion; this automatically tries different conversion methods to create the best PDF/A file possible.
  • Improved conversion of form fields and annotations, object level metadata in PDF/A-2 and the possibility to remove incompatible signatures when converting to PDF/A-2.
  • Creating, checking or processing ZUGFeRD invoices

Get the most out of metadata[edit]

  • Provides convenient browsing of document metadata as well as object-level metadata for images embedded inside the document
  • Support for all relevant industry metadata standards including Dublin Core, IPTC, PRISM, GWG AdTicket/AdsML, PLUS, EXIF and Camera Raw
  • Facilitates metadata based researching in Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon, Google and AskMetaFilter
  • Supports GPS data for use with Google Maps, OpenStreetMap and Google Earth
  • XML export of all document and object level metadata for tracking image use and licenses
  • Define extension schemas for your custom metadata fields as required by PDF/A-1... standard with the new Metadata Extension Editor
  • Automatically embeds company specific metadata schemas for reliable preservation of metadata inside your PDF/A files


Product variants[edit]

Desktop, Server, CLI or SDK

User Experiences[edit]

  • Used by KOST-Val as a validation tool for PDF/A files.
  • Used in many products such as Adobe Acrobat Professional or Foxit Phantom for PDF/A conversion and validation (OEM)

Development Activity[edit]

All development activity is visible in the Release notes.