Create PDF/A files with MS Office
In our December 2010 email newsletter, the MS Word tip of the month was how to add "Save to PDF" capability to MS Office 2007 (it is built-into MS Office 2010) even if you don't have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer. One of our readers asked if the "Save to PDF" function in Word could be used to create the stripped-down PDF/A files that will soon be required by federal courts when efiling documents. The answer is yes. The PDF conversion tool in MS Office 2007 and 2010 can save to PDF/A format. When you select Save as PDF, the dialog box that opens will have an Options button. Click on that button and you will see near the bottom of the next dialog box the choice to pick PDF/A. It is that simple. I wouldn't recommend using PDF/A for general law office use. It strips out many of the useful features of PDF files for the sake of future compatibility, such as hyperlinks. When a document needs to be efiled in federal court, it can be saved to PDF/A at that time.