A PDF is one of the most popular file formats around because it is easy to share with others. But to create a PDF, you need to have PDF printers and converters. To read a PDF, you need a PDF reader. All these different types of apps are available for free and for fees. However, the way they work varies substantially.
There are several reasons why people use PDF printers and converters. In most situations, they are used for professional or educational purposes. They are also used when people need to share documents with other users or when they need to share documents with clients and customers. The most common industries that require PDF printers and converters are publishing, legal/law, and all forms of government.
PDFs and Security
PDF files provide security. When you convert a file into a PDF, you immediately add a level of security. The term, “PDF printer,” is rather misleading. A PDF printer app does not actually print a document onto a piece of paper. It only converts the type of file. And a PDF converter changes a PDF into a different type of file, such as a Word doc. The names are confusing. But know that a PDF file is secure and can be password protected.
Adding to the password protection, a PDF file cannot be altered without creating an electronic footprint. To alter a PDF, the document needs to be changed into a different format, like Word or RTF. This requires the use of a PDF converter. When you create a PDF, the software that you use encrypts the document, so that no one can use it other than those who have rights to read it. It is also possible to redact information that is in the PDF, but this must be done through the PDF printer. It is an advanced feature, so not all PDF printers offer this type of option.
PDFs and Universality
Another reason people use PDF printers is because of the ubiquity of the PDF file. They can be opened by any device. The PDF file has its original fonts because they are not contingent on the type of operating system and software. You do not need to worry about the document being reformatted before an end user gets to it. It looks the way it did when you sent it through the PDF printer. That printer gets the document formatted into a PDF format, but based on the way that it looked when you were finished with it.
People who create owner’s manuals and other documents that need to be read by many users use PDF files because their work stays the same from user to user. The documents can be downloaded onto any computer and can be read with any PDF reader. This a major reason so many people like this format.
Another reason PDF files are so popular is because they can be searched. It is possible to search for specific words or phrases. It is also possible to search in graphs and charts. Use the “Find” tool or set up the search tool in the document when you send it to the PDF printer. This is why so many large documents, like owner’s manuals and legal documents, are set up as PDF files.
When you create a PDF file with a printer, you can make the document interactive. While you are not able to edit or annotate on it, you can access the links and images that are placed within the file. With a good PDF printer app, you can add video and audio files, too. However, if you are using a free printer, you might not be able to do anything more than add text and possibly an image or two. Many eBooks use PDF formats because there are so many ways you can add interest to a text. Other formats do not offer as much flexibility. There is even the opportunity to let users fill in blanks electronically, which saves the time of having to print, write, and return forms.
Once you begin to use PDF files and all the apps that they require, you quickly recognize the many reasons why so many people love to use them. They allow for plenty of flexibility and security, as well as personality. Do you use PDF apps? If yes, how do you utilize them?