Workflow:PDF/A validation and metadata extraction

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Workflow description

  • UKWA search interface (create URL list of PDF/A files in UKWA) ->
  • GNU_Wget (download files from IA, to create the test corpus) ->
  • veraPDF (validates and extracts metadata from test corpus) ->
  • XMLstarlet (process XML, extract useful fields into a CSV) ->
  • Excel (view and analyse results in spreadsheet form)

The workflow begins with creation of a corpus of test files which is constructed using the UK Web Archive search interface. The result is a list of URLs. These are fetched with Wget. VeraPDF is then used to validate and extract metadata for each file in the test corpus. XMLstarlet is then applied to extract fields of interest from the resulting XML creating a CSV. The CSV is then imported to Excel for analysis.

Purpose, context and content

This is a basic workflow for ad-hoc investigation of a set of PDF/A files. This is a very simple, manual, workflow that was used for testing purposes as part of the development of veraPDF, and is described further in this blog post:


The workflow was useful in that it helped to identify a number of bugs in veraPDF that have since been fixed. The workflow as is provides a very basic method of investigating PDF files, perhaps where some troubleshooting is required.

Prwheatley (talk) 11:51, 8 February 2017 (UTC)