Sunday, September 10, 2006

5 Things I Like About PDF's


I was first introduced to making PDF's on my last year in college. My thesis adviser required us to submit PDF's of our thesis document and technical manuals. During those days, I just thought of it as an additional requirement for us to get out of college.

As I started working on more on training materials for work and financial documents for a job, I came to appreciate the beauty of PDF's. The industry standard of Portable Document Formats, Adobe created numerous tools that allows you to work with them, some of which I just got "introduced" recently. These things made me like PDF's a lot.

1. Security. You can set passwords in all different levels. Passwords for opening the document, passwords for printing it, passwords extracting data, passwords for setting passwords! Not only can you post your PDF files online, but you can have them accessible only through PDF embedded passwords, such as one of my current projects, http://www.bigprojects.org/acnh.

2. Portability. You can literally send the PDF file to any computer and any OS and you could be 99% sure that it can be viewed. The 1% is if the computer has no PDF reader installed and have no access to the free download on Adobe's website. If you find your station sans the program, go online and download various free PDF readers available. Head to http://www.adobe.com/ to get the industry standard in free PDF readers.

3. Perfect Document Layout Everytime. I am the kind of person who is very particular about minute details in document formatting such as margins, text size, picture layout etc. Once laid out in your typical word processors or text layout programs, PDF's preserve the layout without anybody tinkering with your layout preferences. Common users cannot only destroy your precious layout but they can not change information in them. I would stress common users since there would always be ways to alter information on a PDF's.

4. File Size. There are times that you find your PDF's too big of a file. That is because it keeps all document details in the file to preserve your layout, these things range from fonts to pictures. But if you look closely on the software, you have the option to "Reduce File", changing most options to basic options that makes it compatible to previous simpler Adobe PDF versions.

5. Printing options. Not only does PDF preserve your document layout, but it can preserve the layout while changing page sizes. It has various printing options that it even allows you to zoom in to a particular portion and print your "Current View".

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