Sunday, October 25

Advantages and Disadvantages of PDF

PDF or Portable Document Format is arguably one of the most used tools for creating and distributing content nowadays. It was originally developed by Adobe in 1992 for converting the existing electronic or paper documents into an uneditable image. The PDF file format provides users with the ability to share content with users across a diverse array of operating systems and viewing platforms without having to worry about formatting and other presentation issues. We can convert almost all types of files in PDF format. They are popular amongst professionals, university students, and even avid novel readers who prefer reading on their tablets or phones. Though PDF is easy to read and has other added advantages too, it comes with some shortcomings. Before taking any concrete decision, read this article to know about the pros and cons of the pdf file format. 

PDF

 

Advantages of PDF

Security

This file format is increasingly becoming popular among businessmen and other professionals in the corporate sector as it can be secured with a password. Thus, there are fewer chances of any confidential information getting leaked. Sometimes, there is sensitive and important data that needs to be kept secure from hackers and unauthorized personnel, and PDF files give you the option to do so. 

Same Format

The format of a pdf never changes. No matter who you share the file with and on which device, the format remains the same. Also, there is no change to the components of the document and it doesn’t get distorted after being shared on several different platforms. 

Multi-Dimensional

PDFs allow you to integrate different kinds of content i.e. images, videos, graphics, animations, 3D models, etc. without ruining the format of the document. In addition, you can make other things like presentations, reposts, and portfolios in this. This means that you won’t have to shift to different software for different tasks. 

Compact

Generally, we face problems while sharing files of massive sizes. This can be solved by using pdfs as they compress unlimited information into a file size that is easy to share or receive without compromising on the quality. Thus, they take less space on your hard drive or mobile. They can be shared easily and quickly among your peers and colleagues. 

Self-Contained

The Portable Document Format is known to be self-contained. This means that the files are not dependent on the hardware, software, or operating system on which it is developed. Also, unlike word documents, the look and the feel of the pdf document will remain intact even after circulating it in different computers and devices.

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Disadvantages of PDF

Difficult to Read

Files stored in PDF format can be difficult to read on a computer screen. Originally, PDF files will lay out in standard A4 or A3 format pages. This is great for printing but the computer screens. However, computer screens have different aspect ratios. Most of the computer screens fall somewhere between a 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio. This means you spend a lot of time scrolling through the pages when viewing them on the screen.

Different Types

The Portable Document format can be majorly classified into two types namely native and scanned. A native PDF file is the one that is directly converted from an electronic file or pages such as a Microsoft Word Document. While scanned PDF file is the one that the users created by scanning a physical paper document through a scanner to produce an image of the document. Though native PDFs are flexible and allow us to copy the content, the same cannot be said about the scanned PDFs as they offer very limited flexibility and features. 

Difficult to Edit

A PDF file is essentially an uneditable image of the original document. Though this a great feature in terms of security and originality of the document, it can’t be used while doing collaborative projects and they can’t be edited by any other person. If your PDF file is native, it is possible to use software to extract the information into a usable form. However, if you have a scanned PDF document, there is no way to easily convert it back to an editable form.

Website Compatibility

PDF files are not always fully integrated into Web pages. If the user has an Adobe Reader or other PDF reader plug-in installed, PDF files can be viewed within the user’s Internet browser. However, if no plug-in is installed, the user will be prompted to download and view the file in an application.

At last, we can conclude that the Portable Document Format is a great way of sharing information or graphics without any security threat or change in the components of the document. However, at the same time, it has its own disadvantages as there can be issues in reading or compatibility. All being said, it boils down to the purpose of your document. As you are now aware of all the merits and demerits of PDF, make a decision judiciously regarding the use of this format for your needs. 

PROS CONS

Security

Difficult to Read

Same Format

Different Types

Multi-Dimensional

Difficult to Edit

Compact

Website Compatibility

Self-Contained