Calling the Tech Industry competitive is probably more than an understatement. The “next big thing” seems to arrive everyday only to be replaced tomorrow, revolving-door-style, by the next innovation. Staying up to date in today’s fast paced world can be a challenge.
One of the most common obstacles in a market inundated with seemingly countless devices, programs and operating systems is compatibility. We all want to ensure that we’re on the same page with those we interact with but that can be difficult given all of the variety that is out there. Most companies do their best to allow for compatibility between products, systems and platforms but it is rare for all of the bases to be covered. When it comes to document sharing, however, the PDF (Portable Document Format) is a users best ally.
Most computers (and now even most smart phones) are sold standard with software that allows PDF viewing so PDF files are as close to universally compatible for a file type as you can find. Given their widespread use, most people have a basic familiarity with PDF files but if your experience doesn’t extend much further than sending and receiving PDFs, here are a few tips to help you more fully utilize this universally compatible file type.
Converting to PDF
Many programs give the option to save your file directly as a PDF so whether you’re working in Word, Excel or any of a number of other programs it is incredibly simple to convert the file into a PDF. And there are a number of advantages to doing this. PDF files can be compressed to provide a smaller file size without reducing image quality, which is especially useful when attaching large documents in emails. Sending documents as PDFs also ensures compatibility because even a single program such as Mircrosoft Word will have multiple versions and compatibility issues could arise if you or your recipient is working with older software. PDF files can also be password protected so if the information you are sharing is sensitive it can provide an extra security measure when sharing online.
Converting from PDF
While converting into a PDF is an option from almost all computers, you will most likely need additional software to convert from a PDF file into other file types. Having the option to convert both ways can be an invaluable benefit so it is certainly worth the affordable price of most of these programs. If you wish to edit a PDF file then being able to convert from PDF will help you avoid the painstaking process of editing the document by re-typing or re-formatting the entire thing manually. Some programs will even offer the ability to select specific parts of the PDF to convert so content recycling becomes a much quicker option.
Once again, this probably can’t be done unless you have additional software but it is another extremely useful tool. The ability to merge PDF files allows you to take information from more than one document or image and combine them into a single PDF file. Having this option is a lifesaver in situations when you need to present a large variety of data/information and you don’t have the time to manually photocopy and collate all of it. Simply merge them into one PDF and print them out at home. If this comes up even once it will be well worth the small price you paid for the software.