RE: Survey: how do you use PDFs

Subject: RE: Survey: how do you use PDFs
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 14:41:38 -0400


I review all my work online in PDF format.

Sometimes, I will print a PDF out, but that is rare. I like the linear
format for reviewing my software documentation because it helps me see what
I've missed. I could review a non-linear format, such as the online help
that I create, but I would have a harder time catching my errors that way.

My clients, for the most part, want the formatting that PDF preserves and
that HTML prevents. My clients, for the most part, want to be able to print
page ranges. Thus, my PDFs maintain a paper-based layout. However, my PDFs
use hypertext quite liberally and not just in the TOC and Index, but also in
graphics, and cross-references, and the like.

My PDFs are backed up by HTML-based online help that provides non-linear
information. My online help content does differ, slightly, from my PDF
content. The online help is not printable beyond the current topic. I try to
chunk the online help to provide relevant snippets of information, with the
lofty goal of eliminating the need to scroll.

Why don't you find out how your readers use your doc sets?


sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Becca Price [SMTP:becca_price -at- yahoo -dot- com]
> When you get a document in PDF form, how do you use it? that is,
> do you:
> * read it online
> * print it out
> * read it online and print out only sections of the document
> This has become a *big* issue for us. The question was raised
> by our HF specialist. She doesn't like PDF format, because,
> basically, she's used to the web paradigm, and keeps expecting
> Acrobat Reader to act like WebHelp or WinHelp.


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