What’s the purpose of PDF? Why can’t I just send Word or Excel files and why should I bother converting to PDF? These are some of the frequently asked questions about PDF files.
Most people avoid PDF because it is not an easily editable document format as compared to other competing formats like doc or docx, which people usually find easier to edit.
Another reason why people avoid PDF’s is because there are few converters out there that can convert or change a pdf into a word document or reproduce PDF documents from Word or Excel without losing the formatting.
Microsoft Word, which is familiar and used by many allow users to easily edit and author documents. However, if you try to distribute word documents to a large audience you are likely to run into big problems. The documents may reflow on different computers making it appear different and users might not have the right version of Microsoft Word, or not have Word at all.
A PDF presents a perfect final format document that one can distribute to people and get assured that the document would look the same on all devices. There won’t be any issues with people having the right fonts installed on their system (as you can embed fonts in PDF files).
Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of PDFs
- PDF files are compatible across all platforms. They can be opened on any operating system (Windows, Mac etc.). Apart from any OS, they can be opened on any modern mobile phones and smart phones.
- Reading is Free. Most PDF Readers, including Adobe Reader, are free to the public. This ensures that anyone you send the file to will be able to see the full version of your document. Adobe Acrobat Reader is often pre-installed on your computer and it is totally free.
- Integrity of contents. PDF has the means to ensure that the content the user sees is the content the creator created. You can set owner password and user password to protect your PDF document. You can also set permissions to disable printing, disable copying, disable modifying for a PDF document. For an electronic document to be admissible in a court of law, it must be created in a file format that cannot be altered without leaving an electronic footprint.
- PDF files are usually compact and small & supports a variety of image compression algorithms. Therefore they take little space on your hard drive.
- It’s not easy to edit PDF files. There are significant challenges to working with a PDF document because by its nature, a PDF is not an editable document format.
- It can be difficult to read PDFs on smaller devices (eBook readers, mobile)
As you can see a major disadvantage of a PDF document is that it is not easy to edit and most of the PDF editing tools out there are really expensive and few people can afford them.
However, this can be easily worked around by converting the PDF to Word, Excel or other editable file formats.
Overally PDF as a product, is a quite efficient and effective document format as it has large number of advantages and a few disadvantages.
By the way, if you need an Online Document Converter that makes it possible in converting PDF documents into editable Word documents and formatted Excel spreadsheets, then I highly recommend File2convert.