PDF use has grown exponentially over the years as it has become one of the most popular file formats on the net, only overshadowed by HTML. By one informal survey, PDFs consistently ranked as the highest looked-for document type via Google “filetype:” search between 2013-2015, beating out Epubs, XMLs and Docx files by huge margins.

But if the PDF’s popularity among Google “filetype:” searches was viewed in isolation, it would distort the picture of how people use different files. Consumers clearly do not see these files as a replacement system; instead, they want to benefit from a range of specialized capabilities that different document solutions provide: XML for spreadsheet functions, Word documents for heavy editing and formatting, PowerPoint for slideshows, and so on. Within this alphabet soup of office file types, where does the PDF fit in?

PDFs VS Other Document Formats

One of the advantages of PDFs over other file formats is that they can store a remarkable array of content — images, text and even video and audio — in a single compact file and retain the formatting of that content across different OS and devices. That means you can e-mail a PDF to a friend and expect it to look exactly the same on his Mac as it does on your PC. This makes this format exceptional for record keeping and content presentation, which explains its prominence on Google “filetype:” searches.

However, PDFs have not transformed into the sole file format that users rely on for a reason. There are capabilities and functions within the various other file types. For example, students may prefer to use Microsoft Word to type out an essay or create a resume, due to the flexibility of the program to correct and add text. But what if you needed to send these files to a professor or a prospective employer? You would want to make sure that the formatting stays the same, regardless of the device that the receiver would view the file from. It would be a shame to spend a few hours formatting an aesthetic resume, only to have the recruiter open the file and find incoherent lines of jumbled letters.

What if you could leverage the PDF to take advantage of all other file types? Where the PDF file format can really come into its own is at the fulcrum of your document ecosystem, with the help of light weight but full-featured PDF solutions!

A PDF solution is a tool that will allow you to exploit the capabilities of many different document file types and then collate the results into one single compact PDF. For example, by using PDFelement’s file conversion tools, you can convert hundreds of file types into a single PDF. Then, you can extract the specific content you need and transform it back into any of the most popular file types. A PDF solution will also allow you to perform many basic editing tasks, such as adding text and images, directly to a PDF.

What does this empower you to do? Well, think laterally: if you can shift content across file types with ease, or assemble that content back into a single secure file for keeping and sharing, you will consolidate both your file architectures and document workflows. In other words, instead of storing all your project information in a zip file full of different folders, a robust PDF solution will allow you to aggregate everything into one place for easy sharing or presentation. You also won’t have to switch between multiple windows when performing simple alterations like redacting images, Bates stamping or signing documents. Instead, PDF solutions allow you to perform all those functions directly to a PDF within a single application.

The Bottom Line

Whether it is in your personal life or workplace, you will come across PDFs. A PDF solution can be your ticket to a clean(er) digital desktop as you streamline your file architecture and document workflow both at the same time. This ensures that you will make fewer errors, do less duplicative work, and free you to focus on more important tasks.

What do you love most about PDFs? Share your thoughts below! 

 

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Posted by Faisal Khan

Faisal connects market and document trends with PDF technology. He leads brand development of PDF solutions and provides marketing insights to drive more effective strategy. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, volunteering, hiking, photography and travel.

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