Most of us have viewed PDF (Portable Document Format) files online at some point, but there are many reasons you might want to create PDF files for yourself.
Here are some of the advantages of the PDF file format:
• PDF files can be viewed by anyone with an internet connection. Unlike Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect, Adobe Reader is a free download. Once Reader is installed, PDF files will open on PCs or Macs, in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, or Safari.
• PDF files look the same on every computer. Saving a document as a PDF freezes the format exactly as it appears on your screen. Fonts, spacing, colors, etc. will be retained regardless of the computer being used to view the document.
• PDF files print as they appear on the screen. Unlike web pages and
some other file formats, PDF files will print without any extraneous text or changes in formatting.
• PDF files can be password-protected. PDF files offer several security features that prevent others from viewing, searching, and copying the contents of the file if they do not have the proper password.
• PDF files support limited editable regions. Authors can create forms that allow users to fill in blanks and print the resulting documents.
• PDF files take up less space than some alternative formats. Depending on your settings for such options as resolution and color, PDF files can take up a fraction of the storage space of a scanned image or postscript document.
The benefits and versatility of PDF files make them appropriate for a number of applications, such as: posting important documents that rely on consistent formatting (CVs, reports, etc.) online in a format that will be viewable and printable from a distance; posting material online in a format that cannot be simply copy-and-pasted; password-protecting and distributing sensitive information.
This guest blog post was prepared by Lee Houston, BSN RN.
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