What is a PDF File and What Are Its Advantages and Limitations?
What is a PDF file? Should I be using them in my day-to-day business activities? Read on for the answer to these questions (and more) in our blog.
Did you know that in the US currently, 34% of employed people are working from home? If you are a remote worker, you know the value sharing information quickly and accurately by using PDFs.
PDFs are a fantastic tool, but have you ever asked, “what is a PDF?” or, “how can I get more out of PDF files?”. Why not take a moment to read our in-depth article below and see what your PDF files can do for you.
- PDFs are Flexible and Secure
We often think of PDFs as a fixed document or an electronic print-out of another document, such as a Word doc. However, this is not true. PDFs can be very flexible and are not difficult to edit.
A simple example of this is the add signature functionality in a PDF. You can allow permission to edit a PDF so that a contract can be signed. This one contract can be shared with all signatories. The result is a legal document with a permanent record of all party’s approval.
Other tools allow you to convert the PDF into word. There you can further edit it and then convert it back into PDF when you need to. PDFs are very flexible.
You can incorporate specific security features into PDF files. Many businesses use PDFs because they can password protect them. This means that they can email them from person to person yet safeguard the sensitive information held inside.
You can also limit the activities of those working with password-protected PDFs. You can adjust permissions to allow editing or merely viewing the file.
Sharing documents in a way that others can open can be tricky. A person may not be familiar with Google Docs suite or have a Microsoft Office license. Yet PDFs can be opened on most devices using software already on the device.
The PDF will display in the same way on all PDF readers. Generally, even when sharing documents across countries, fonts and images will display in the same way as the original. This makes PDfs the ideal choice for international businesses.
In 2020, PDFs are much than only text documents in a different format. They can be created from programming languages and pdf .net library sources.
Did you know that different types of media can be included in the same PDF to make your PDF more interactive? These can add incredible dimensions to PDFs you will use for teaching or advertising purposes. Consider What Audio and Video could add to your PDF.
Some information, such as music, is best conveyed in audio format. Or you may want to make your document available for the blind or hard of hearing. In other cases, you may want to give an idea of the cultural information you are sharing in the document. Adding local music can allow your document to impact more than one sense. PDFs allow you to integrate sound files into your report quickly.
If pictures paint a thousand words, it would be difficult to estimate how many words a video can teach. A video could be used as a tutorial for a skill that you are teaching in the document. Or, in other cases, you could imbed a movie trailer that tempts the viewer to purchase to watch the full movie. In any case, the mix of audio and visual arts in the video will add a more significant impact to your PDF.
PDFs take a lot of information and compress it down to what is necessary. This means that generally speaking, PDFs will take up less space on your hard-drive. This is a huge advantage to companies that receive a large amount of media each day. The footprint of these documents will be smaller when it is in PDF format.
However, even though PDFs take up less space, they present information in surprisingly good quality. They will generally not compromise the value of data and images contained within them.
- PDF Forms
One of the critical advantages that PDF forms provide is the ability to create custom forms. A company or government department can create a PDF with all the necessary information included. However, several fields are left for the user to fill in by either free text or from drop-down menus.
These forms can then be processed by computer later. The computer can machine-read the fields and add information to a database, which removes the human element and speeds up the entire process.
This workflow has been adopted by large institutions such as the IRS as a critical way of speeding up the processing of tax and other forms.
PDFs are so adept at storing information that they make for excellent arching tools. Government departments have recognized this. Thanks to the innovation of PDF/A, a standard PDF that stores extra information to ensure the reproduction of the file in the future, documents are being stored permanently as archived PDFs.
PDFs are seen as a permanent way to back-up needed documents. Thanks to the evolution of the file type, they can be physically printed as required. This is with almost perfect fidelity to the original document.
What Is a PDF and Other Questions Answered
if you work in an office environment, knowing how to use your tools is very important. This means asking questions like “what is a pdf?” and also “what can it do for me?”. Knowing the answers can help you to be a more efficient and accurate worker.
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