PDF: 7 benefits of the Portable Document Format for your Business Documents

PDF, or Portable Document Format, is a part of everyone’s (I really do mean everyone) life. In business, PDF is also a predominant format as it enables users to view a static file without any risks of changes related to the type of system used to open it. Even though Sales Collateral is often created in other formats such as PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign, or Word, there will most likely be exported to PDF format before being transferred to the client or prospective customer.

In this article, we will start by quickly looking into the origins of PDF before listing the 7 benefits of this all-time favorite format.

What is PDF?

PDF (Portable Document Format) is used to view documents in an electronic format independent of the hardware, software, or operating system used to open them. Initially, PDF was developed by Adobe Systems to convey a universally compatible file format based on the PostScript format. However, it has become a worldwide known standard format for exchanging documents and information, in business as well as in day-to-day life.

In 2008, Adobe decided to give up the PDF format and development control to the ISO, otherwise known as the Organization for Standardization. From then, PDF became an “open standard”. The specifications regarding the current PDF version (or 2.0 version) are documented under ISO 32000-2. ISO is also in charge of developing and updating future versions of PDF.

7 benefits of the PDF format for your business documents

As mentioned before, PDFs are extremely useful for many organizations in the business world. Whether you are sharing statistical reports, invoicing customers, delivering contracts, or sales presentations, you can be certain with PDFs that the user viewing the document will see it as it was intended to be.

Regardless, here are our 7 benefits that make PDF a vital format for your business operations.

1. Universal format

Nowadays, PDF has been widely adopted all around the world. Indeed, this format fulfills its task to perfection: it is easy to view and share with anyone. So whether you are using it in a personal context or a professional one, to be opened in your country or across the world, PDF is a safe format choice.

2. Graphic Integrity

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to sharing documents that were created in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint is that when you share a file from one computer to another, the formatting can come out completely different from what it was initially set out to be. This may not only confuse but also look kind of unprofessional to your colleague or clients. With PDF, you can ensure that all graphic and layout elements are preserved and that your document will be seen exactly the way you created it. In addition, this is also ideal if the document is intended to be printed out.

3. Adaptable to any system

PDF format works on all the major operating systems that currently exist. Therefore, there is no need to worry about the receiver of the document being on Mac, PC, or Linux. Moreover, PDF is also supported on more recent mobile operating systems such as Android or iOS. In other words, the viewer can use any type of device and still open your document.

4. Security

Another great asset of PDF files is that they can be protected by password. If PDF is used in a business context some documents likely contain sensitive information such as client information or Research and Development insights for example. In this context, PDF files can be password protected, therefore ensuring that nobody that should not see the document does, even if they have the file in their possession.

5. Seamless integration of non-text elements

PDF format enables you to keep all non-text elements intact, regardless of the document’s original format. This includes images, layout designs, and hyperlinks for example. A PDF document will look the same and hold the same information regardless of the system used to open it. It is a safe and easy way to preserve complex graphic elements!

6. Reduced file size

One of the biggest advantages of the PDF format is how small the file size tends to be in comparison to other formats. Indeed, it can compress high-quality files to relatively small files. On one hand, this is ideal not only for saving space in your hard drive if you are working with limited resources. On the other hand, it is great for file transferring via email without exceeding the authorized size.

7. Durability

One last advantage of PDF is that the format is not likely to go away anytime soon. Technologies evolve and shift quickly, but PDF is in it for the long run. The format is widely spread across the world that it would take a major shift in computing as we know it for everyone to adopt a new standard.

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