New York State Unified Court System
NYSCEF: Unrepresented Litigants

PDF/A (Portable Document Format)

You can only file PDF/A documents to NYSCEF. So, if you made your court papers in Word, WordPerfect, or anything else, you have to change your papers into a PDF/A first. You can upload a PDF/A document to NYSCEF and it will look exactly the same way to the Court and the other side as it looks on your computer, even if you used a Mac and the Court uses a PC.

How to Change a Document into a PDF/A
Here are the ways to make a PDF/A:
  1. If you typed your court papers on a computer, you may be able to use your word processing program (like Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or Pages for Mac) to "save" the document as a PDF/A. Your computer must have a PDF/A driver to do this. Try using the Help button in the word processing program for information. Important: you can't do this for any court papers that need to be signed and/or notarized. Print the document first and sign and/or notarize as needed, then use a scanner to create the PDF/A file.
  2. Use a scanner to make a paper document into a PDF/A file. You will need to do this for any photocopies that you want to file. Your printer may have a scanner. If not, you will have to find a place that does this for you, like FedEx Office or Staples.
  3. Don't password protect, or encrypt the PDF/A. NYSCEF will not accept it. NYSCEF protects and encrypts documents as soon as it gets them.

How to Open a PDF/A Document
To view a PDF/A document, download Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is a free program that will allow you to view and print PDF/A documents.