Since Adobe Systems introduced the PDF format in 1993, it has rapidly become the number one universal document format on the internet. Not without any reasons, as there is a growing demand for such a universal format to allow people to share their ideas and work digitally on the internet.
The number of different software programs keeps on growing and growing, from fantastic organisers, spreadsheet programs, to photo editing software: they all tend to make our lives easier, but often forget one major point: the ability to allow the user to share his/her work! The so-called web 2.0 is already a fact, and the internet is becoming a place of creating and sharing your own ideas and work.
The popular PDF format solved this problem by introducing itself as a system-wide universal format: almost anyone on any computer system is able to open a PDF file these days. People have clearly discovered some advantages of PDF files, but yet only a few are actively creating PDF files themselves. So why should you consider creating your own PDF documents? I present you the top 10 advantages of this widely popular format:
1. Compatible Across platforms
From Windows, Mac, Linux, to even modern mobile phones and PDA’s: PDF files can be opened on basically any system! You don’t have to worry about your co-workers, students, family, or whomever you’re sharing your work with, not being able to open your files.
2. Compact & Small
When you convert an existing document to a PDF file, it will automatically be highly optimised, making it much smaller in size without losing any quality. Note that you can often also combine and merge multiple documents into one single PDF: spreadsheets, word documents, photos, etc..: you can join them all together into a single PDF File!
3. Can be created from any source document/application
The powerful technology behind the PDF format allows you to convert almost any document, from any application to a PDF file. With a decent PDF Creator, your PDF file will just look like you printed your file on high-quality paper.
4. Securable, avoid people from modifying & redistributing your work
Protect your PDF File, and prevent users from printing, duplicating or even opening your work. The encrypted protection makes it possible to share your work without having to worry about various doom scenarios.
5. Secure, almost no chance of getting infected with viruses.
There’s almost no chance of a PDF file getting infected with something like a virus or trojan, which makes it a safe and trusted way of sharing your work.
6. Easy and quick to create when using the right software
You’ll find a ton of different pdf conversion programs on the internet, one looking, even more, fancier than the other, with prices varying from $30 to $4000. Most of them are pretty easy to use, though, and you’ll usually be able to convert your documents to PDF in a few simple clicks. Choosing a good software solution is another story, but you can find some advice at my other PDF Creator article.
7. Software to view PDF Files is completely free
Software like Acrobat Reader to open PDF Files can be downloaded for free and is already installed on most computers. Often it will be installed in combinations with other software you bought on CD-Rom. (A lot of companies deliver their documentation as PDF files.)
8. Viewable within most web-browsers
Nowadays, most modern browsers allow viewing PDF files within the browser itself. You can simply click a link whenever someone links to a PDF file on a website, and the file will be opened automatically. You can even open local PDF files with the web browser, eliminating the need of a dedicated PDF software such as Adobe Reader or Foxit PDF Reader.
9. PDF Files meet legal document requirements.
A document must be kept in a format that can’t be changed or altered without leaving any footprints if you want it to be admissible in a court of law. A created PDF file can’t be altered, and usually meets these legal requirements. (Contact a legal advisor for more info.)
10. Compatible with modern portable reader systems
This is a whole new but powerful phenomenon: various companies like Sony are working on digitally paper pads. These flat panels, not much larger than a regular book, allow you to upload your PDF files to the device, so you can read through the information like a normal book. Sounds like science fiction, but you can already buy these devices for +- $299. Prices are guaranteed to drop the coming years, and it’s a great way to save heaps of paper literally!