PDF seen gaining on paper as storage medium

The PDF file format is gaining on paper and microfilm as a long-term document storage medium, according to a new study by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM).

The study found that 90 percent of organizations are already using the PDF file format for long-term storage of scanned documents, and 89 percent are converting Microsoft Office files to PDF for distribution and archiving. According to the report – “Content Creation and Delivery-The On-Ramps and Off-Ramps of ECM” – 43 percent of organizations still use microfilm or microfiche for archiving documents. However, that is projected to drop to 28 percent in five years.

According to Betsy Fanning, director of standards at AIIM, one reason for the rapid acceptance of the PDF standard is the development of PDF/A as a dedicated archive format. Documents in PDF/A files must be entirely self-contained, with no links to external fonts or hyperlinks.

The AIIM report is available for free; download here.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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