When you should use a PDF?

16 / 11 / 2020

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Digital documents online and offline are continually evolving. New formats are available now more than in the past years but PDF remains a constant go-to format for all businessmen, students, and local organizations. If you are one of those people who are looking for a format that will help you distribute data securely, then PDF is the answer for you.

man holding paper and converting to digital files

Why use PDF?

In a gist, PDFs are easy to use, portable, secure, and can be tamper-proof, non-proprietary, and flexible. Sounds confusing if you find all those words in one type of file right? But it is possible to be all those. Let us explain further.

PDF is EASY to use because unlike any other format, it doesn’t need any special programs to create or read. PDF files can be made using common applications that can print – may it be MS Word, PPT, Excel, scanned, images, or Photoshop. Most still formats can be converted into PDF and if it is multimedia, it can be inserted in a PDF. Best of all, printing to PDF and viewing it is absolutely free.

Another feature of why PDF is so popular is its PORTABILITY. It can be transferred from one computer to another without any trouble with compatibility. If you are looking for a format that will help you retain your exact specification on the layout and design, then PDF is what you need.

SECURITY is also a big issue for most users as transferring data can now easily be passed on from one user to another. Who knows how many unwanted eyes have already wandered in your document? But with PDF’s security feature, you can now limit the distribution using password protection, authorization or certification methods.  Digital signatures can be implemented to spot edits and certificates only allow authenticated individuals. With these features on hand, you can worry less and become more productive than ever.

Since PDF is a NON-PROPRIETARY technology, no one needs to pay any royalty to Adobe (its creator) just so people can create this type of file. PDF was turned over to ISO and is now free without any strings attached to Adobe Systems.

Lastly, PDFs are FLEXIBLE because anyone can print to PDF, save as PDF, create a PDF, or edit one (with PDF software). You can insert bookmarks, outlines, multimedia, images, form elements, metadata, signatures, annotations, and security. You can even scan a document and automatically get a digital file in PDF format. No matter what the source application, any file can be converted to PDF and can work with other PDF files.

Additionally, one bonus feature for PDF is to add ACCESSIBILITY for the visually impaired and disabled. With its semantics, assistive technology is possible to be used in order for it to read and navigate for the user. Having an accessible PDF file also means having semantic information that heightens SEO, content interactivity, and text-extraction.

digital CAD and photoshop on PDF

When should it be used?

Perhaps the question shouldn’t be about “should or shouldn’t” be using, as it seems like PDFs are limited to be used but perhaps the question should be what are the possibilities? With PDF, it's endless! You can use it to create your own EBOOK containing illustrations, infographics, guides, data, and information. PDFs are great for such material as you can design your own cover art, add headers, footers, bookmarks for navigation and edit the layout as you wish. 

PDFs are more often used as OFFLINE CONTENT or an offline document. It can easily be downloaded by readers and can be used for blogs, letters, documents, forms, distributed information, memos, and the like. As an offline content, you can preserve written content digitally and securely.

PRINTING and specification documents are also the reason why PDF was born. PDF is an ideal format to use when you need a specification stay as it was made. Such a requirement is usually in printing and publications.

PDFs are also considered helpful as ONLINE MATERIAL, which can help website owners to increase traffic. It can be a form, complementary information, distribution of data, reports, presentations, multimedia, and many more. Basically, you can do anything with a PDF and the possibilities are endless!




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