Difference between PDF/A and PDF
Following table contains the difference between the PDF/A and PDF document format.
Long Term Storage
Short Term Storage
Graphics and Fonts
Embedded within the PDF/A file
No Need to embed within the document.
Doesn’t allow video, audio and other executable content.
Can embed executable content within the document.
Doesn’t allow external links and references in the document.
Allows external links and references.
Doesn’t allow encryption in the documents
Allows encryption in the documents.
Larger file size due to embedded information
Smaller file size due to external referencing.
Downside of PDF/A
A drawback of PDF/A file format as mentioned in the table is that the file size of this document is larger since it doesn’t contain any external referencing and everything has to be embedded within a file so that after longer period of time the information in the file can be correctly retrieved as was once embedded.