How to Remove PDF/A Information from a file

NOTE: This older article only pertains to Acrobat X (10).

In Acrobat XI, it is simple to remove PDF/A information by simply clicking:

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As I mentioned in earlier articles, a PDF/A document is considered an archive that should not be changed.

Normally, Acrobat’s PDF/A View mode appears when you open a PDF/A document and making edits to the document is not possible:

PDF/A View mode screen shot

Sometimes, however, you may need to revise a document before filing. For example, you might create a PDF/A document from Microsoft Word then insert some scanned pages.

In this case, it makes sense to remove the PDF/A information, make your edits, then conform the file using Save As.

In this article you’ll learn how to:

Removing PDF/A Information

The best way to remove PDF/A information is to use Preflight in Acrobat Pro. Here’s how:

  1. Open a PDF document
  2. In Acrobat 9 Pro:
    Choose Advanced> Print Production> PreflightIn Acrobat X Pro:
    A) Click the Options button to show the Print Production panel if it is not already open
    B) Open the Print Production panel and click Preflight
  3. Finding Preflight in Acrobat's Print Production panel
  4. The Preflight window appears.
    A) Twirl open the PDF/A compliance section
    B) Select Remove PDF/A Information from the list
    C) Click Analyze and Fix
  5. Seting the options in the Preflight panel to remove PDF/A information

Using an an Acrobat X Action to Remove PDF/A Information

Acrobat X Actions can automate many tasks such as removing PDF/A information from a document.

Just about all of the Preflight functions are available via Actions including the profiles associates with PDF/A.

I’ve created the “Remove PDFa Informaiton” Action for you. Dowload it below . . .

Remove PDFa Information Action (106K PDF)

The PDF contains the Action itself along with installation instructions.

Running the Remove PDFa Information Action

Once you install the Action, it will appear at the top of your Action Wizard panel. Just click on the action name to run it.
Actions Wizard panel showing the newly imported Action

If you have a document open, the Action will prompt you for a file location and to name the file.

If you do not have a file open, the Action will allow you to select files or a folder of files and run the Action on all of the files.