Published: Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 Last modified: Monday, Aug 3, 2020

[[!meta title="PDF/A versus HTML” ]]

2016 update: has a good summary why PDF is a bad format

Latest: Leonard Rosenthol has since posted a followup on the discussion.

PDFSAGE wondered what the cons are with PDF/A compared to simple HTML for document archival. The debate generally comes down to what you think a document is. If it’s an A4 page for printing, you probably want PDF. If a document is an arbitrary unit of information, I would suggest HTML.

Lets start why the PROS of PDF/A. You’ll need Flash to view this PDF preview. Actually to do mostly anything with PDF, you need proprietary tools monopolised by Adobe.

You can’t just assume people have a PDF viewer installed. Hence PDFSAGE shared his PDF document assuming I had Flash installed. Another proprietary tool. Great, what a start!

Cons of PDF/A

Pros of HTML

Cons of HTML