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Information About PDF/A

Introduction

In the future, the Judiciary will require that all electronically filed documents uploaded in CM/ECF be in the PDF/A format.  Currently, CM/ECF accepts both PDF and PDF/A documents.  This move to a PDF/A standard is viewed as a necessary step to enhance CM/ECF security and to improve the archiving and preservation of case-related documents.

What is PDF/A?

PDF/A is an International Standards Organization (ISO) standard document format.

PDF/A documents are self-contained and do not rely on or access information outside of the document itself to display the information contained within the document.  Accordingly, the PDF document appears, and will continue to appear, identical to the document from which it was created, no matter where or when it is accessed.  As a result, most PDF/A documents will have a slightly larger file size.

How are PDF/A documents created?

More than ninety commercial products can create PDF/A documents (many are listed at Create PDF/A and Convert PDF to PDF/A). The District Court does not recommend any particular products.

What is the effective date of this change?

Although the Judiciary has not yet set a deadline for requiring all electronic files to be uploaded in a PDF/A format, all users are encouraged to begin to transition their filings to this new standard as soon as possible.

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