Before we begin exploring the advantages and disadvantages of Portable Document Format (PDF), let’s first recap what it is PDF. PDF is a file format developed by Adobe systems. The advantage of PDF format provides your document in best format, but they do have some disadvantages. The PDF document format was originally developed by Adobe for the U.S. Federal Government to store its legacy files. In fact, today the U.S. Federal Government is still the largest user of PDF technology. PDF files are created by converting existing electronic or paper documents using the Adobe Acrobat software, essentially producing an uneditable image of the original document based on variant of PostScript; each document contains text, graphics and fonts into a single file. You typically need a program that can open and read PDFs, such as Adobe’s Acrobat Reader or a third-party application.
PDF or Portable Document Format have their advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage of PDF
A huge benefit of PDF files is almost all common types of files can be converted into PDF format, including file types in the Microsoft Office suite. Compression of a Scanned Image into a PDF File is Sizeable. An electronic document converted into a PDF document compresses to approximately 25% of its original size. For example, a 20KB word processing document is compressed to under 5KB. PDF files require only a fraction of the memory space of original files without loss of quality. The smaller file size is advantageous by electronic file transfers. Especially benefits in ebook ages right now. This allows the PDF document to open quickly at the workstation and is ideal for use on a network. PDF format is also practical and economical in that it allows the documents to be stored on a company’s server. As such, it doesn’t add hardware cost to the system and integrates well with any network.
The Software To View PDF Files Is Freeware. Another benefit of PDF files is that they can be retrieved, viewed and printed with freeware called Adobe Acrobat Reader or Foxit Reader in low resource sysytem. It can be installed on every network PC for free and people outside your organization can download it for free from the Internet. This is a major advantage of our document imaging system because it allows you to share documents easily with anyone inside or outside your organization with no added expenses.
The advantage of PDF is good when the file is destined for printing, and the precise printed page layout is important, or when there are images which should be rendered at high resolution on the printed page because the PDF format is designed for printable material. You can easily view your document page-by-page as they appear in their printed form. If you have information that needs to be put on the web and needs to be printed, PDFs are the way to go. PDF files are formatted more like books than web pages.
PDF is beneficial for taking fancy newsletters which are designed for the printed page, and making them available online without much hassle. PDF Security is sometimes viewed by producers as a useful feature for sending important document as PDF documents are not an editable source format and the formatting instructions are gone.
For an imaged electronic document to be admissible in a court of law, it must be kept in a file format that can not be altered without leaving an electronic footprint. To satisfy this requirement, PDF Files Meets the Legal document Requirements. Because a PDF document is a “read only” document that cannot be altered without leaving an electronic footprint, it meets all the legal requirements to stand up in a court of law. The U.S. Federal Courts adopted the PDF File as their electronic document format. Most individuals have encountered the PDF format when downloading electronic tax forms from the IRS. This wide use of the government to archive and share their documents virtually guarantees the PDF file will be around for the long term.
One of the advantages that a PDF file has to offer is the ability of the organization to put password security at document level. This allows you to e-mail documents between people or locations without the fear of an unauthorized person viewing the document. Document security is always an important factor for businesses today that are sharing information over a network, over an Intranet or over the Internet. PDF Files Offer Document Level Security .
A PDF file is a self-contained cross-platform document. In plain language, it is a file that will look the same on the screen and in print, regardless of what kind of computer or printer someone is using and regardless of what software package was originally used to create it. If your system uses multiple platforms it is not a problem when using PDF Files. A PDF document created in one platform such as Windows can be read in another platform such as Macintosh or Unix. This cross platform acceptability makes PDF the document of choice to use over a network, the internet or an intranet.
While PDF can describe very simple one page documents, it may also be used for many pages, complex documents that use a variety of fonts, graphics, colors, and images. If you have the more advanced version of the Adobe editor, you can put links in your PDFs and even auto generate a Table of Contents for your document. So, if you’re trying to produce a document that looks like a book or information that needs to be printed, and if you don’t mind large file sizes, you may consider using PDF format.
The PDF files are designed to be easily exchanged between users, but they do have some disadvantages.
The Disadvantages of PDF
The big disadvantage of PDF is difficult to Read. Files in PDF format can prove difficult to read on a computer screen. The aspect ratio, which is usually not 4:3 and size of the pages in a PDF document is a poor match for a computer screen. PDF files are laid out in standard A4 or A3 format pages, which is great for printing, but most computer screens fall somewhere between a 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio, which means you spend a lot of time scrolling through the pages when viewing them on the screen.
There are two different types of PDF files, native and scanned. A native PDF has been converted directly from an electronic file, such as a Microsoft Word document; a scanned PDF is one that has been created by scanning a physical paper document through a scanner to produce an image of the document. Native PDFs are more flexible in that you can copy information, such as text, and paste it elsewhere, but scanned PDFs have very limited flexibility. there is no way to easily convert it back to an editable form. Difficult to Edit is another disadvantage of PDF. A PDF file is essentially an uneditable image of the original document.
PDF files are not always fully integrated into Web pages. If the user has an Adobe Reader or other PDF reader plug-in installed, PDF files can be viewed within the user’s Internet browser. However, if no plug-in is installed, the user will be prompted to download and view the file in a separate application. PDF information is less accessible than HTML, e.g. for those with vision impairments and larger than a simple HTML version. PDF is designed for printing, not spreading information. When the user does a copy-and-paste of text, it all ends up in one blob with paragraphs, lists, etc. all mashed together into one unformatted paragraph. Words that contain ligatures will often be garbled. Often the entire selection doesn’t show up in the clipboard. Problems with hyphenation and multiple columns, etc. often crop up. Even when you have got the PDF open, it is not always easy to read or to navigate through multiple documents. More and more Web sites are giving you the option to view online manuals and documentation as Web pages instead of as PDFs
There are many factors to consider when selecting a file format for a document imaging system.
We believe the discussion over the disadvantages or advantages above make the PDF file the imaging file format of choice.
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