Why people don't like PDFs

Subject: Why people don't like PDFs
From: Jean Weber <jean -at- wrevenge -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 15:48:28 +1000

A lot of people don't like PDFs because PDF files are typically hard to
read on-screen, particularly if you have an older notebook computer with a
small, poorly-lit screen. Yes, I have seen PDFs (including one from Tim
Altorn's company) that display beautifully on older equipment as well as on
big, new monitors, but those files are definitely the exceptions, in my

The PDFs that worked online were _designed_ for online viewing. They
weren't designed for print and then put online unchanged and expected to be
read online.

Ideally, I suppose, one could produce two versions of a doc, one to view
and one to print. I've seen several websites recently that have used that
approach as a solution to the problem of "do readers prefer short, numerous
HTML pages or long scrolling HTML pages?" In those cases, both versions
were in HTML, but one was optimised for printing. The same principle could
be applied to providing a PDF for printing and HTML for online viewing.

Which is, of course, irrelevant if you don't want users printing their own
copies of the material.

Regards, Jean
Jean Hollis Weber
mailto:jean -at- wrevenge -dot- com -dot- au
The Technical Editors' Eyrie http://www.wrevenge.com.au/
Avalook at Australia Travel site: http://www.avalook.com.au/

>----- Original Message -----
>From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
>To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
>Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2000 8:45 PM
>Subject: Re: Disabling Print
>> I'm really curious now. Why did your folks reject PDFs?

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