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Thread: What do you think about PDFs?

  1. #11
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    Re: What do you think about PDFs?

    Love 'em. Cross platform, usually easier to print than an office document. My usual output for LaTeX documents. Etcetera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellipsis View Post
    But the content that is released as a PDF online is just so poorly suited for it. I have seen school newspapers release their online edition as a PDF document, news releases, government budgets, single IMAGES!... and each of these places does have a website which can serve this content directly. Instead they use the website as a platform to download the darn PDF.
    Jakob Neilsen would be spinning in his grave! You know, if he were dead and all... here's what he wrote about them nearly a decade ago:

    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030714.html

    Shame that some people are still misusing them.

  2. #12
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    Re: What do you think about PDFs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightstar View Post
    I hate pdf because of work, we're always suck filling huge forms that are CAN'T BE SAVED.
    You can, but that requires, I think, Acrobat Pro (and not Reader). At work just about everybody has Acrobat Pro so we haven't had to worry about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellipsis View Post
    I have recently been getting frustrated with just how many things are released as PDFs. I am okay with the format itself.But the content that is released as a PDF online is just so poorly suited for it. I have seen school newspapers release their online edition as a PDF document, news releases, government budgets, single IMAGES!... and each of these places does have a website which can serve this content directly. Instead they use the website as a platform to download the darn PDF.

    Beyond the obvious portability of PDF is there any redeeming quality to it?
    For design and layout, the advantage of a PDF is that once it is set it will look the same on anybody's system regardless of screen size, resolution, program or operating system. This is especially helpful when distributing to parties where you have no idea what they are running it on.

    Plus for some items by storing everything as images it means those people with PDF editors cannot change anything. I have a Role-Playing Game rulebook I wish was not an image so I could select text and copy it elsewhere. This may be exactly WHY they did it this way. And the resolution is too low to try running OCR software on it too (I've tried).

    Otherwise the next most popular format I find people asking for things in is Word or Excel. So are you going to support PDFs where all platforms have some sort of reader, or Office where Microsoft makes money off each user?
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  3. #13
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    Re: What do you think about PDFs?

    Any technology can be misused. For what they're intended to accomplish, PDFs are pretty great.

    PDF is an open, ISO standard. You do not need Acrobat Pro to create a PDF, unless perhaps there's some proprietary extension to the standard you want to use.

    If I wanted to email someone a rich-text document with graphics, what better way to do it?

    If I wanted to prepare a form letter, legal document, or publication to be printed by someone else, what better way to ensure it would render correctly on their end?

  4. #14
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    Re: What do you think about PDFs?

    PDFs are good at what they do. To move documents from a printed medium to digital medium and vice versa. They are unmatched as a form to share documents that you would normally print but the other person just wants to read them first.Since PDFs generated by Linux apps can be opened just the same anywhere keeping the layout and so. I would have not survived academically without them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightstar View Post
    I hate pdf because of work, we're always suck filling huge forms that are CAN'T BE SAVED. Man, it's such a hassle re-filling it everytime! It kills me! D:

    I also love pdf because of its cross-platformity. I save my resume in .pdf so noone can edit it (though I doubt anyone would) and a few other things like that.
    Any document format would have been terrible in that case. What your work needs is an information system, not keeping forms in document format.
    Last edited by vexorian; September 26th, 2012 at 03:36 PM.
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  5. #15
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    Re: What do you think about PDFs?

    I believe .pdf's should die and .epub's and .mobi's take over. These formats can be handled far better by e-readers and e-readers are "the future".

  6. #16
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    Re: What do you think about PDFs?

    I love .pdf. The absolute cross-platform support without formatting glitches and text reflow mean that I can actually use LO and print the resulting document on a Windows machine, that I can flip through the same documents on my tablet in the same form, and so on, and I'll often convert document files to .pdf just for easier reading; it's a bit nuts to open a word processor when I'm not processing anything.

    And on my desktop, it means I can have multiple documents up in tabs, which is often a necessity. I actually really wish Android had a tabbed .pdf viewer.

  7. #17
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    Re: What do you think about PDFs?

    I actually like pdf's as they can be viewed on different devices and without an Internet connection for many things. It is ideal for static information like documents that would otherwise be printed.

    Also Okular on KDE is very nice for viewing and annotating PDF's.

    I also distribute my content in PDF format as a replacement for odt/doc/docx as not everyone can read these formats on their devices and even if they can there is a formatting mess up.

  8. #18
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    Re: What do you think about PDFs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Porcini M. View Post
    That has made me wonder if they'll ever do away with the "page" paradigm in document editors like MS Word or LibreOffice. Since the screen scrolls smoothly, we don't need to partition documents into discreet pages. The only exception is when the document is printed, but that is becoming more the exception rather than the rule.
    In Libre Office you can choose to view a document in "Page Layout" or "Web Layout". MS Office and other wordprocessors offer analogous options.

  9. #19
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    Re: What do you think about PDFs?

    Quote Originally Posted by rewyllys View Post
    In Libre Office you can choose to view a document in "Page Layout" or "Web Layout". MS Office and other wordprocessors offer analogous options.
    Ah, thanks I didn't know that.

  10. #20
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    Wink Re: What do you think about PDFs?

    Quote Originally Posted by HermanAB View Post
    You can use Xournal to scribble all over a PDF and then either save the markup as a separate file, or export it to a new PDF. Xournal together with PDFShuffler are indispensable in an office.
    Thanks for the tips!
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