Workflow:PDF/A validation and metadata extraction

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PDF/A validation and metadata extraction
  • UKWA search interface
  • Property "Tools" (as page type) with input value "UKWA search interfaceGNU_WgetveraPDFXMLstarletExcel" contains invalid characters or is incomplete and therefore can cause unexpected results during a query or annotation process.
Input:Corpus of PDF/A files
Output:CSV with validationresult and metadata
Organisation:Digital Preservation Coalition

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 (for example see this). The result is a list of URLs. These are fetched with Wget to create a large test corpus of predominantly PDF/A files. VeraPDF is then used to validate and extract metadata for each file. XMLstarlet is applied to extract fields of interest from the resulting XML creating a CSV. The CSV is then imported to Excel for analysis.

List of Tools


Digital Preservation Coalition

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)