Usually referred to by its acronym, the Portable Document Format has been around since 1993, and it is already well-established as the industry standard for fixed-layout documents across a multitude of different platforms. Being the most versatile and widely supported document format of all, PDF is used for everything from electronic books on e-reader devices to business presentations and much more.
#1. Run a Paperless Office
A typical office prints tens of thousands of documents every year, making the costs mount up quite significantly. However, the PDF format is ideal for the paperless office environment, since it provides support for forms, digital signatures and almost everything else you need to avoid printing documents all the time. By relying on PDF as much as possible, you can cut office printing costs dramatically.
#2. Facilitate Collaboration
PDF editing products are particularly well-suited to the office environment, since they help to facilitate collaboration. Not only is the format universally supported across a vast range of different devices and operating systems; it also supports annotation capabilities to enhance collaboration. Some editors even provide shared review capabilities, allowing team members to respond to each other’s comments.
#3. Display Rich Media
The PDF format can do more than just display text and images. You can also embed rich media such as video or even Flash animations. However, even though not all devices might not normally be able to display such content, almost any PDF viewer, such as the industry-leading Adobe Acrobat, can render rich media without a problem. As such, PDF is the obvious choice for interactive documents.
#4. Save Storage Space
Modern businesses rely heavily on digital data to such an extent that they need to think carefully about the storage devices and formats they use. The PDF format is particularly effective when it comes to saving space, although it uses lossless compression so there’s no sacrificing the quality of visual content. As such, PDF files are generally much more economical than most other document formats.
#5. Provide Forms
If you’re thinking about running a paperless office, one of your main concerns may be how to handle forms in such an environment. However, the PDF format fully supports interactive documents such as fillable forms, making it the perfect format for capturing important data from clients and colleagues. Best of all, anyone with a PDF viewer can complete PDF forms; they don’t need an actual PDF editor instead.
#6. Consistent Appearance
Thanks to their consistent appearance across all supported devices, PDF is ideal for creating and sharing professional portfolios and presentations, such as whitepapers, case studies and e-books. A PDF file is always rendered in the same way, whether it’s on a large desktop screen or a tiny smartphone screen. There’s no need to worry about your documents being truncated or missing content in other PDF readers.
#7. Improve Security
With businesses around the world facing dozens of attempted cyber-attacks every week, it is imperative to take every possible precaution to safeguard potentially sensitive data. As the wonderfully versatile format that it is, PDF supports high levels of data encryption, making it a perfectly viable format for safely sharing confidential data over normal channels.
There is no document format more versatile than PDF, and this is because of the fact that it encapsulates all related data into a single file. This information includes any custom fonts, images, videos, interactive elements and any other assets belonging to the document. In other words, a PDF file is a single file containing everything that it needs to look and feel the way its author intended.