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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