Desktop GUI Quick Start Guide

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The veraPDF Consortium provides open source PDF/A validation developed with the support of the PDF industry. The veraPDF Conformance Checker uses the veraPDF Java library, which provides the APIs and implementations for PDF/A Validation, Policy Checking, Metadata Repair, and Reporting. The veraPDF Desktop Graphical User Interface (GUI) allows users to run the software on a desktop computer or workstation.

This Quick Start Guide explains some basic concepts relavent to the veraPDF Conformance Checker and helps you to get started with veraPDF Desktop GUI.

The veraPDF Desktop GUI overview

The veraPDF GUI provides the features of veraPDF PDF/A Java Library in a desktop windows GUI. Users can configure their own PDF/A validation and policy checking jobs by selecting:

  • which combination of tasks to perform;
  • PDF Documents to analyse;
  • the PDF/A part and conformance level to test for; and
  • various task specific settings).

The software carries out the configured task and reports the results in both XML and HTML formats. The XML report is intended for consumption by automated processes while the HTML report is designed for human readablilty.

Using veraPDF Desktop GUI

The application installation folder contains the script that shall be executed to launch veraPDF Desktop GUI application. The script name depends on the platform:

  • on Mac OSX and Unix systems: verapdf-gui
  • on Windows systems: verapdf-gui.bat

When the application is started the following screen is displayed:

veraPDF GUI main screen

The interface is fairly simple, we describe the controls in the following sections.

Choose PDF button

This opens the file dialog, allowing the user to select a PDF file for validation or feature reporting. The “Execute” button will not be enabled until a file is selected.

Choose Profile button and Profile dropdown

The Choose Profile button and the dropdown immediately below it determine the validation processing. The Choose Profile button allows a user to load a custom Validation Profile from the file system. For most users the built in profiles packaged with the software will be sufficient. The dropdown below the button is used to control profile selection:

veraPDF GUI profile dropdown

The options are as follows:

Option Description
Auto-detection The veraPDF software will detect the PDF/A flavour when parsing the file and use the appropriate profile.
PDF/A-1a Use the PDF/A-1a validation profile, i.e. assume that the file is a PDF/A-1a.
PDF/A-1b Use the PDF/A-1b validation profile, i.e. assume that the file is a PDF/A-1b.
PDF/A-2a Use the PDF/A-2a validation profile, i.e. assume that the file is a PDF/A-2a.
PDF/A-2b Use the PDF/A-2b validation profile, i.e. assume that the file is a PDF/A-2b.
PDF/A-2u Use the PDF/A-2u validation profile, i.e. assume that the file is a PDF/A-2u.
PDF/A-3a Use the PDF/A-3a validation profile, i.e. assume that the file is a PDF/A-3a.
PDF/A-3b Use the PDF/A-3b validation profile, i.e. assume that the file is a PDF/A-3b.
PDF/A-3u Use the PDF/A-3u validation profile, i.e. assume that the file is a PDF/A-3u.
Custom Profile Enables the Choose Profile button allowing the user to load an external validation profile.

Report Type dropdown, Choose Policy button, and Fix Metadata checkbox

These controls allow the user to select the processing functionality and the information included in the generated report:

veraPDF GUI report dropdown

The available options are:

Option Description
Validation [default] Only perform PDF/A Validation and report the results, feature reporting is disabled.
Features Only carry out feature reporting, don’t try to validate the PDF file.
Validation & Features Both PDF/A Validation and features reporting are carried out and the results reported.
Policy Perform a Policy check alongside validation and feature extraction.

If Policy is selected the “Choose Policy” button is activated, the user can use this to load a policy schematron file.

The Fix Metadata checkbox determines whether the software will attempt to ammend the PDF document metadata to ensure it is compliant whith the PDF/A specification.

Execute button

This button is only enabled when a PDF file has been chosen. If you’ve chosen to use a custom validation profile from the dropdown then you must also select an external profile file. Once enabled and pressed the PDF file will be processed according to the selected options.

View Report buttons

Once processing is complete the reporting buttons will be enabled:

Option Description
Save XML Saves the processing results as a machine parsable XML report.
Save HTML Saves the processing results as a human friendly HTML report.
View XML Opens the machine parsable report in the default XML viewer.
View HTML Opens the human friendly report in the default HTML viewer.

The XML report will contain PDF/A Validation Report and PDF Features Report, depending on the chosen processing options. Currently the HTML report only includes the results PDF/A Validation information.

veraPDF GUI populated screen

Once a PDF File is selected, and possibly a custom profile depending upon the dropdown, the ‘Validate’ button becomes enabled.

The main window allows specifying the basic settings of the validation process: the type of the data included into the resulting Machine-readable Report and if automatic metadata fixing is enabled.

Advanced Settings

The additional ‘Settings’ dialog allows the user to configure the advanced settings:

veraPDF GUI settings

The advanced settings are described in the table below:

Setting Description
Include passed rules If checked the passed validation rules are included into the resulting PDF/A Validation Report in addition to the failed rules. This setting is unchecked by default to reduce the size of the resulting Report
Stop validating after failed checks Specifies the maximum number of failed checks to be performed for all rules in the Validation Profile. Validation is halted once the number of failed checks is reached in order to speed up validation.
Display failed checks for rule Specifies the maximum number of failed checks to be reported for each rule from the Validation Profile. The specified value is used as the limit for the number of failed checks that shall be included into the resulting Report to reduce the size of the Report.
Save fixed files with prefix Specifies the prefix that is added to the name of the original PDF document when saving it after automatic metadata fixing was performed. This setting is used only when ‘Fix metadata’ option is enabled
Save fixed files into the folder Specifies the output folder for saving the PDF Documents after automatic metadata fixing was performed. Again this setting is relevant only when ‘Fix metadata’ option is enabled
Validation profile wiki root Specifies the base URL of the veraPDF validation profiles wiki. This provides contextual information about validation issues.

Processing and Reporting

A Validation Profile describes the tests that shall be performed during the validation. These tests are represented by rules that define a certain restrictions on the PDF Document features. When validation is performed the restrictions from the rules are checked for the relevant objects from PDF Document. A check may either fail or pass. In case of large Documents the number of passed and failed checks may be big so the settings described above allow reducing the number of redundant checks and thus optimizing validation time and the size of resulting Report.

When all the required settings are specified the validation may be started by pressing the ‘Execute’ button. During the processing the progress bar is displayed. After the validation is finished the resulting statement is shown as in the example image below:

veraPDF GUI results

It is possible to save or view the resulting XML or HTML reports by pressing the corresponding button.