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I can't do many things with PDF/A format files that I could do with regular PDF files such as 'cropping' the document etc.

How can I convert PDF/A to normal PDF document?

I installed PitStop pro but couldn't find it.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You don't tell us, but I assume it: you are using Adobe Acrobat in order to 'crop' your PDF/A? Which exact version is it?

Anyway, in the Preferences > Document settings, you can switch off a Display PDF/A in PDF/A-mode.

Once you've done that the blue horizontal band informing you about the PDF/A property of the file at the top of each page will disappear, and it will be possible to manipulate the file. (You may need to re-open the PDF).

Once manipulated (and saved), the PDF/A property will be lost anyway.

Viewing PDF/A files in PDF/A-mode prevents Acrobat from changing the file (since PDF/A is for *a*rchiving).

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Thank you very much !! It works !!! (I used Adobe Acrobat Pro X) –  user67275 Jul 15 '12 at 16:25
@user67275: It is common on this Web-Platform to NOT say 'thank you', but to instead upvote good answers. How to upvote? Simply click on the ^ icon to the left of the answer.... –  Kurt Pfeifle Jul 15 '12 at 19:03

If you use Acrobat you can save the file as JPEG. This creates a bunch of numbered jpegs which you can then select in windows explorer, right click and choose to combine them in a pdf.

Note: In the Save As dialog box you can click the settings button to specify the quality of the jpegs.

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If you just wish to convert the PDF/A to a normal PDF, and save it for later editing, you can use Adobe Acrobat as suggested by user Mrtymccarter on Jun 26 '12. This is a follow-up on the comment made by Canadian Luke on Sep 25 '13, to include essential parts of the answer.

Instructions (Adobe Acrobat XI)

  1. Open the Tools side bar and choose Action Wizard.
  2. Choose Create New Action...
  3. Choose Document Processing -> Preflight and add it to the action steps on the right side.
  4. Choose Specify Settings. (Recommended: uncheck Prompt user)
  5. Below Run Preflight check using, select Remove PDF/A information and click Save.
  6. (Optionally add other features, such as asking to save the PDF after running the action)
  7. Save and name the action, e.g. 'Remove PDF/A'.

Remove PDF/A information in Adobe Acrobat XI

The newly created action should be available below Action Wizard -> Actions.

Click it to remove PDF/A information.

(As described in the previously posted Adobe blog post)

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PDF/A document is considered an archive that should not be changed. If you have Adobe Acrobat, you can remove PDF/A.

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. –  Canadian Luke Sep 25 '13 at 2:41
  1. Click Edit and select Preferences.
  2. In the Preferences dialog box, click on the View documents in PDF/A Mode dropdown and select Never.
  3. Click OK.
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