Imagine your organization functioning with seamless efficiency. An office busily humming along without the frustration of an expensive copier that constantly needs maintenance, new ink or more paper. Imagine a workplace that is free and open, without bulky filing cabinets where administrators spend hours sifting through paperwork.
As organizations make the transition to more efficient digital workflows, documents play a critical role. How do you manage the vast amounts of content that your organization relies on every day in a digital environment?
Three letters: P-D-F. PDF is the secure, standardized, editable, shareable file format that supports successful digital document workflows.
First made available in 1993, PDF was a proprietary format controlled by Adobe Systems for 15 years. In 2008, the format was released as an open standard, not only giving other companies the chance to develop PDF applications, but also freeing users to work within applications other than Acrobat. The shift to open standard has spawned thousands of PDF-based solutions, plug-ins, and tools, giving users more choice and efficiency in a growing industry. Today, end-users can read and edit a PDF with any compatible software, regardless of the application used to create it.
PDF files offer unique advantages over other file formats, transforming business workflows into seamless, secure processes where progress can be closely tracked.
The bottom line: make PDF your document standard, and improve the way you do business.
The unique advantages of PDF
Create and share files, simply
PDF files are easy to create right from a document’s native application and in any free PDF creator. You can also combine different file types including PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, images, and videos into one larger, media-rich PDF.
Sharing files in PDF format ensures all viewers see the document as intended, regardless of the native application, viewer, operating system or device used.
Complete control and visibility
To this day, PDF documents are the sole read-only file format that can’t be altered without leaving a footprint. Because of this, teams can effectively track every change in their respective documents to provide clarity and maintain version control when collaborating.
PDF is the one and only file format that can facilitate e-signing – a process that is as legally binding as hand-writing a signature on a document. The e-signature enables faster paperwork turnaround and higher business close rates by over 80%, leading to accelerated time to revenue.
For added security, many PDF readers and editors also include digital signature functionality – an encryption technology that is applied to an e-signature as a layer of supplementary authentication, ensuring that the name on the dotted line is authentic and unaltered.
PDF documents are not editable by nature. However, any simple PDF editor will allow users to apply changes directly to a PDF file, eliminating unnecessary steps such as retyping and manually searching for particular words in a document.
Some of the most powerful PDF editors also include Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality, which allows a scanned or image-based document to be made searchable and editable by identifying the text characters in the document.
Compact file size
Users have the ability to reduce PDF file size up to 25% without removing any content or altering its appearance. In fact, many choose to convert various file types to PDF solely because of they’re smaller. For example, saving a 1.25 MB PowerPoint presentation as a PDF file reduces the size down to 352 KB, which is substantially more manageable.
Security breaches can come from anywhere, and ensuring the integrity of your documents is critical. That’s why nearly every business and government agency around the world rely on PDF as their format of choice to protect and distribute sensitive, classified and clearance-level documentation.
A crash course on PDF security tools
Encryption: When you use encryption, it will be persistently integrated in the file, and not enveloped. This means that anywhere the file goes, independent of storage and transport, it stays protected. There are three ways to encrypt a PDF document:
- Password Encryption – includes one password to encrypt and decrypt
- Public Key Infrastructure – utilize digital certificates
- Rights Management – authentication tied to your organization’s database
Set secure passwords to control user permissions and easily prevent others from editing and copying information, or fine-tune file permissions to limit activities like printing, commenting, and form filling.
Redaction is the process of permanently removing sensitive information from a PDF so the file can be distributed to various parties.
Include fields for custom information including date, time, and stamper’s information to show when the document was approved and by whom.
Digital certificates act as electronic ID cards and contain personal information to keep documents safe from unauthorized users. You can use digital certificates to protect, decrypt, and legally sign files, ensuring that the document’s viewers and editors are in fact who they claim to be.