Over the years, as advances in technology and software have made it possible for people to work and connect on the internet in more ways than ever before, there has never been a greater need for a file format to facilitate the sharing of ideas and information via simple and available means such as the internet. It’s little wonder then that Adobe PDF—a system-wide universal format—has emerged as the most popular formatting choice on the web. If you’re still unclear as to which document format best suits your needs, here’s a look at the 7 solid advantages PDF’s have over other available formats.
1. Multiple platform compatibility
When it comes to sharing files with others the last thing you want to worry about is whether your file format will be compatible with whatever output devices they are going to be displayed on. When using PDF files this problem is solved, as PDF files can be opened on any platform, including most mobile devices.
2. Universal conversion capability
Imagine being able to convert just about any type of document from any application into a PDF file, without losing any visual elements such as text, graphics or images in the process. Fortunately, PDF technology makes this totally possible. Although you will need an additional tool, known as a PDF Creator—many of which are either free or inexpensive—the quality of the created document when compared to the source document is well worth it
3. The power of compression
The beauty of PDF file compression is that document size no longer matters. From word files to spreadsheets to photos, you name it, when converted to PDF, these files are automatically compacted to optimal size—anywhere from ½ original size to 1/8 original size. This feature is especially valuable when converting graphic heavy files. Once files are compressed, users can easily combine and merge multiple files, which in turn can be opened and viewed on any computer or network.
4. View PDF files with freeware
A major benefit of PDF files over other formats is that you can open, retrieve, review and print PDF files with a number of “Readers” including Adobe’s own proprietary Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded and installed on any computer or operating system including many mobile devices absolutely FREE of charge..
5. Multimedia and interactive function support
The PDF format supports both multimedia and interactive functions. This means that PDF formatted documents can contain hyperlinks, file attachments, plus music and movies. PDFs can also be integrated with interactive forms which can be used to import and export data.
6. Security advantages of PDF files
PDF documents can be password protected. This allows files to be safely transmitted, to be read only by those with the password and clearance required to access the document. An additional safety feature of PDF files is that they are “Read Only”, meaning that they cannot be edited or altered in any way without leaving an electronic footprint. This tamper proof feature makes PDF files the preferred format of the U.S. Federal Courts system (since 2000) and is also of benefit to those who wish to insure the integrity and security of important documents. It should also be noted that PDF files stand a very remote chance of ever being infected by viruses, another great reason to feel confident in sharing PDF files with others. In addition, PDF documents can now be digitally signed, another way of verifying authenticity.
7. A format for the long run
Since first introduced by Adobe in 1993 as a means for the Federal Government to archive legacy files digitally, in a secure and uniform fashion, PDF has experienced unparalleled global acceptance as the go-to tool of Governmental entities, corporate conglomerates, small business and personal users alike. For this reason, along with the many unique advantages attributed to this versatile and valuable tool, Adobe PDF has established itself as the favored format for the past present and future of digital document management. Those who currently use PDF or have yet to use it can rest assured that it will continue to fulfill their document needs reliably, safely and securely, not only for the present, but for decades to come.
Doug Hayes is a freelance writer for Adobe.
Can you think of any more advantages of PDF files?