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File Creation

What file formats are accepted by the library?

Not every file format is suitable for online publication and long-term archiving. Below you will find information about which file formats the ULB accepts for publication and achiving on the publication server miami and how you can create files e.g. in PDF/A format.

Text Files

In the context of publishing digital documents, the University and State Library of Münster adopts the PDF/A file format.

For hybrid publications published in the series Scientific Publications of the University of Münster, i.e. printed and digital, other requirements apply. Details can be found in the Service Point for Publications.

  • PDF/A Format

    Since September 2005, PDF/A has been a stable, internationally accepted ISO standard for long-term archiving. An archivable PDF/A-compliant document must be able to reproduce the content visually in the same way on different computers with different operating systems and under different printing environments. Therefore, for example, all fonts and colour profile information must be embedded in the file. A PDF/A-compliant document fulfils criteria for layout-faithful screen and print representation as well as the conditions necessary for saving and preserving information. PDF/A documents can also no longer be modified.

    Files in PDF/A format should also be accessible. The requirement to provide accessible documents on the publication server is about the possibility of unrestricted use of the information offer for people with disabilities.

    PDF/A standards
    © ULB

    University and State Library of Münster expects PDF files that conform at least to the PDF/A-1.x (ISO 19005-1:2005) archive format. The PDF/A-1b (basic) standard is sufficient, but the PDF/A-1a (advanced) standard is recommended. Free and commercial tools are available for generation, processing and validation.

    The file names of PDF/A documents must not contain umlauts, special characters or spaces. PDF/A files must not have any security settings (e.g. password protection). It should also be noted that all fonts used are embedded in the PDF document.

  • Creation of a PDF/A File

    PDF/A-compliant files can be created using the Adobe Acrobat Professional software or the free PDFCreator, for example. Also, many typesetting programs already offer direct export to these formats, e.g. OpenOffice.org (from version 3.0), LibreOffice.org, Adobe InDesign (from CS 2), Corel Draw Graphics Suite from X4 (provided free of charge to students of the University of Münster by WWU IT) or Microsoft Office 2007 (from Service Pack 2). Find out about the options of your software (e.g. consult the help or printing options of the program).

    Below you will find brief instructions for PDF/A creation [in German!] from common text typesetting programs and detailed instructions for MacOS X or Windows in combination with Adobe Acrobat Professional.

    Quick guide to PDF/A creation from popular text typesetting programs

    How to create a PDF/A file with Adobe Acrobat

    You can find further detailed documentations (for example also for LaTeX) as PDF file here [German only]:

    Instructions for creating and correcting PDF documents (Sabine Henneberger, Humboldt Universität Berlin)

    Instructions for creating the PDF/A or PDF/X file (Universitätsverlag of TU Berlin)

    Creating powerful PDF documents with LaTeX (Sascha Beuermann, Universität Hannover)

    If you do not have access to the necessary software, you can use the Microsoft Office package and Adobe Acrobat Professional DC to convert your documents to PDF/A files in the University and State Library of Münster's DigiLab [de].

Multi-Media Files

Multimedia objects can be brought in common formats suitable for long-term archiving:

  • Grafics: : JPG or JPEG (uncompressed) or TIFF_6
  • Videos: MPEG-4_FF_2, AVI or Quicktime (Mac OS)
  • Audio files: MP3_FF or WAVE

If you use other file formats, feel free to contact us for consultation. More information and support for conversion questions is available from the Service Point for Publications.


In terms of long-term archiving, file formats that require specific versions of a particular (proprietary) software should be avoided. For documents with tabular structures, e.g. Excel tables, saving in CSV format is recommended.

CSV files are text files in which the individual text fields or values are usually separated by commas. Unlike Excel documents, which may contain multiple worksheets in a workbook, the CSV format supports only one table per file. Therefore, when exporting from Excel, each spreadsheet must be saved individually as a CSV file. You can send us multiple CSV documents in one ZIP file.

If required, both format variants (CSV and Excel) are published on the publication server miami. For more information, please contact the Service Point for Publications.