Do you encounter tons of documents daily? Do you frequently share files with clients? Did you ever notice why most, if not all of your clients prefer using the portable document format (PDF) over other formats?
With the advent of the internet, the world needed a standard in information exchange. Take the U.S. IRS for example; it transitioned to using the PDF file format in their tax forms distributions. The move allowed them to cut costs on paper, among other things.
As for companies and businesses, they also rode the tide brought about by the PDF revolution of the mid-90s. Today, you will find the PDF format almost everywhere.
But what are the essentials that make the PDF format so special? What are the secrets to its dominance and longevity?
Continue reading below as we look at its strengths and advantages over other format types.
Different Uses of the PDF Format
To further appreciate the PDF file format, let us first touch on the areas where it is very useful. Check out some of its major uses below:
This is perhaps the most popular use of the PDF format. Businesses and individuals often require printing high-quality documents. On top of the image quality, they sometimes need the document to have the precise page layout.
This is where the PDF format trumps other format types. When you print PDF files, you get exactly what you see on the screen. From the colors, the details, and size, the PDF format captures them all with precision.
PDF files are compact. Hence, they are excellent for storing and archiving all sorts of documents. You can also make them searchable. This is crucial especially if you are using very old files for reference purposes.
It also works best for file exchanges. The PDF format can store information and metrics concerning the files’ appearance. This covers the files’ content, fonts, color, and layouts.
In turn, it doesn’t need to rely heavily on the settings of the user’s computer. This means less hassle for the recipient.
Last but not least, you can use the PDF format to publish different kinds of content online. You can take manuals, catalogs, and technical papers and make them available for everyone on the internet. Additionally, you can add some bookmarks, hyperlinks, and a table of contents if you wish.
Key Advantages of Using the PDF File Format
Now that you know some of its key uses, let’s move on to the advantages of the PDF format over other format types.
Since PDF is portable, it is platform-independent. This means a PDF file can work across all operating systems. Whether you are using Mac, Windows, or Unix, you can expect the PDF file to work.
To open a PDF document, all you need to do is to double-click the file. You don’t need to download any document viewers or install any external programs.
Additionally, you can open and create PDF files on your mobile device. If you are an iPhone user, you can use a document scanner app to create PDF files on your device.
This is crucial considering people’s growing dependence on their smartphones and tablets.
Right Amount of Security
When it comes to the security of the files, the PDF format doesn’t fall short. You can protect your files by assigning a password. This is crucial especially for companies that handle sensitive data.
Today, hackers use any sort of opening to steal valuable information. By assigning a password to your important PDF files, you can easily deter hackers. The latter has no way of reverse-engineering your files to bypass your password.
Moreover, you can limit the access of users. You can limit recipients to only view the files. You can bar them from making any changes and alterations on the documents.
PDFs are multi-dimensional. This means they allow you to integrate non-text elements with the files. These elements can be videos, graphics, and images. They also include 3D models and animations.
The great thing about this integration is that there is no risk of ruining your document’s format. It retains the same exact layout. It preserves the integrity of your files.
It can also make your life easier when creating presentations and reports. You don’t need to use different kinds of software to complete the task. Recipients can use links to view the documents on their phones and laptops with ease.
Simplicity and Convenience
Perhaps the biggest advantage of the PDF format lies in its simplicity. It is one of the most convenient formats to create and use.
To create PDF files, you only need to click “Save As” and select “PDF.” It’s that plain simple.
You can open a file in seconds with a couple of clicks. You can view the files and share them with anyone without buying any additional programs.
Additionally, you can inspect its contents. Simply open your Adobe Acrobat and open the PDF document you wish to inspect. Click on “File,” hit “Save As Other,” then “Optimized PDF.”
Complete the process by clicking on “Audit Space Usage.”
Thereafter, you will see a breakdown of the different parts of the file and their respective distributions.
Smaller File Size
PDF files are also small in size compared to other formats. This means you can save a lot of space on your hard drive. Moreover, you can also shrink and compress high-quality files.
But despite the small size, PDF files do not come short in terms of quality. You still get to see the actual images and fonts that came with the documents during their time of creation.
Use the Right Tools to Your Advantage
By understanding the PDF file format, you can appreciate its value. You can also maximize its usefulness. You can streamline your document-related tasks and save more space on your hard drive.
But you shouldn’t stop with PDFs. You need to learn various tools that will help your employees become more productive. You should discover other software that can turn your business processes into more efficient ones.
We invite you to check our different posts on other tools and software. We provide comparisons and reviews to help you make the right decisions.