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.

7 Answers 7


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 archiving).

  • 1
    Thank you very much !! It works !!! (I used Adobe Acrobat Pro X)
    – user67275
    Jul 15, 2012 at 16:25
  • 2
    @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.... Jul 15, 2012 at 19:03

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)

  • With Acrobat X, Preflight is under Create New Action -> More Tools Jul 22, 2016 at 12:38
  • looks like action wizard is only available in the paid version of adobe (or a trial of the paid version)
    – dinosaur
    Apr 19, 2022 at 18:42

You can also remove it in Foxit PhantomPDF - it is much better then Acrobat: fast, less weight, it remembers last opened page for any pdf (Acrobat doesn't remember it for any pdf file, only some)

How to remove PDF "A" infomation in "Foxit PhantomPDF":

  1. open file in PhantomPDF
  2. click on "convert"
  3. click on "industry standart"
  4. check "PDF/A comliance"
  5. double click "remove PDF/A inforamtion"
  6. save new file
  • This does not answer the question which was tagged with the adobe-acrobat tag. If user67275 already has Adobe Acrobat then there is no reason to spend $89.00 for a license for Foxit PhantomPDF Standard.
    – karel
    Nov 16, 2015 at 6:53
  • @karel you can't be sure that author has license for Acrobat
    – user25
    Nov 16, 2015 at 7:18
  • Do you have an alternate explanation to explain how the adobe-acrobat tag got typed underneath the question?
    – karel
    Nov 16, 2015 at 7:23
  • 1
    @karel I just didn't noticed the tag firstly. I just answered because if you googles you can find only how to remove PDF A info only in Abcrobat
    – user25
    Nov 16, 2015 at 7:27

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.

  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.

PDF/A document is considered an archive that should not be changed. If you have Adobe Acrobat, you can remove PDF/A. http://blogs.adobe.com/acrolaw/2011/05/how-to-remove-pdfa-information-from-a-file/

  • 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. Sep 25, 2013 at 2:41

You can easily do this from Preflight in Adobe Acrobat X.

  1. Open Preflight. To do this, either press Ctrl-Shift-X, Cmd+Shift+X or click Tools -> Print Production -> Preflight (you may have to add the "Print Production" menu to the tools menu, do this by clicking the small panel button in the top right corner of the tools pane).
  2. In Preflight, expand the PDF/A menu.
  3. Click the "Remove PDF/A information" fix.
  4. Click the "Analyze and fix" button in the corner.
  5. Pick a place to save it to. Done!

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