Electronic Theses and Dissertations

PDF/A Format

PDF/A is an ISO-standardized version of the Portable Document Format (PDF) specialized for the digital preservation of electronic documents. You need to save your dissertation as a PDF/A file and upload it as your official submission. For more information, see the Wikpedia article on the format. 

Some things to keep in mind about PDF/A are:

  • you cannot include audio and video content; still images are fine
  • you cannot include JavaScript or executable files
  • fonts must be imbedded

If you need to include audio, video, or other files, you can submit them as supplementary files. Contact us at dissertations@jhu.edu for more help with PDF/A or supplementary files.

Adobe Acrobat Pro can be used to convert regular PDF files into PDF/A files using its "Preflight" function on the edit menu. Simply choose "Convert to PDF/A-1b". This program is available to all Hopkins students in the Computing Lab at Krieger Hall 160.

Creating PDF/A files from LaTeX can be a bit tricky we have some help for this below

Saving as a PDF/A File in Word for Windows

Saving your MS Word document as a PDF/A file is not difficult, but involves a few steps.

Please note that a regular PDF file is not a PDF/A file.

Below are screen shots of the two ways to save your MS Word document as a PDF/A file in a PC environment.



Creating a PDF/A from Acrobat Pro (Windows or Mac)

If you open a Word file (or other text file) in Adobe Acrobat Pro, it will automatically convert the file to a standard PDF. Take the following steps to save it as a PDF/A. Acrobat Pro is available on the computers in the computing lab at Krieger 160. This lab is open to all JHU students, faculty, and staff.

Creating a PDF/A from Open Office

Open Office is a text processor that works on either PC or Mac. You can either create your document in the software or open an existing Word or other text file and save it as a PDF/A. After opening your document, take the following steps to save it as a PDF/A

Creating PDF/A from Various Software Packages