Microsoft Word offers an add-in to save a document as a PDF/A file. Good to hear, I thought. I ran the output through the PDF Validator for a standards conformance check. No complaints. That's great, isn't it. So, I shed an eye on the visual quality. Oops! To my surprise some content is depicted as a black rectangle instead of showing a nice drawing.
Further investigation revealed that some content, especially if transparency is involved, is not mapped to the PDF document in a way that produces acceptable visual appearance. Furthermore, in some cases the conformance is broken as well, especially if it comes to nested items in the document outline tree.
To work around this problem we propose to save the document as an ordinary tagged PDF file using the Microsoft Word add-in and then convert it to a PDF/A-2a document using our PDF to PDF/A Converter. This two-phase conversion process is automated in our Document Converter product.
Please, post a comment if you have found an easier way to create a PDF/A-2a from a Microsoft Word document. I would be glad to hear from you.