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Why PDF Files Are Popular With Businesses

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Should PDF files be your business go-to for securing and sharing documents? The simple reply is – yes.

PDF (Portable Document Format) files are among the most popular types of files used today.

When sharing documents or printable forms on the internet, most organisations still prefer PDF files.

There are many reasons for its preference. However, the one mentioned the most is that it is easy to preserve the formatting of content and images in a PDF file compared to other types of files, which include:

  • HTML
  • XML
  • XPS
  • PostScript

PDF files have the extension .pdf, and it is a technology that’s decades-old, i.e. created by Adobe in 1993.

The PDF was made for viewing-only and become so you can save your work as a pdf file and retain the stylesheet, contents and format when you want to share it.

Growth and development in tech including IoT, Big Data, 5G, AI and so on haven’t dampened the popularity of PDFs. Becoming an open standard in 2008 has enabled PDF to remain relevant and software developers and SaaS providers to improve it further. For example, PDF Simpli, which allows you to convert, edit, keep the formatting of your files and add images to a PDF.

Pros of PDF Files

Format

Sometimes, it can get difficult to share a document in a format that everyone can easily open.

For instance, a person might be familiar with Microsoft Office but lack the license, meaning that they cannot open such files. However, PDF files have simplified this since they can be accessed on any device without any difficulties. It also preserves the original format that it was sent in.

Adding Media Files

Sometimes, you might be in a situation where you need to prepare a document with different media files such as video and audio files. These documents are popular with people looking for innovative business solutions or to create awareness about something. However, it is not easy to get another file format, apart from PDF, that allows one to do so and send the files with their format intact.

PDF Forms

Forms are fundamental when companies and government institutions are collecting information. For example, some of the types of forms include:

  • dropdown boxes
  • text fields
  • checkboxes

Microsoft Word or Google Docs word is ideal for paragraphs of text. However, collecting information in a dropdown or checkbox would be very difficult without interfering with the form format. Whereas PDF files can collect the data in a checkbox or another form and retain the formatting.

Signatures

Did you know PDF format is the format for electronic signature solutions? E-signatures are now commonplace, and businesses trust PDFs, so it’s a win-win for digital legal contracts and identity checks.

Cons of PDF Files

There are a few challenges with PDF usability, including mobile display, working with text and editing.

Editing

A PDF file is made primarily for viewing purposes. If you create a file in PDF and send it to someone, and the file has errors, the recipient cannot edit the document for free. You will have to create the file again to eliminate the errors.

Working with Text

PDF files are seen as pictures. This means that you can only view their content. It, therefore, makes it difficult to work with text not unless you are using specialized programs.

Mobile display

PDFs are not mobile-ready. You need an app to open and view and what you see is the original format that’s perfect for the desktop. You will need to expand your view to read and move the document from left to right to read each line.

Summary

PDF files are still relevant today with businesses. While it’s decades old, it is a trusted format for sharing and viewing documents in much the same way email is preferred for sending and receiving files.

The open standard will see continuous improvements to the format by Adobe and other PDF service providers.

Expect PDFs to be the sharing format of choice for the foreseeable future.

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