RE: Survey: how do you use PDFs

Subject: RE: Survey: how do you use PDFs
From: Dannette Thompson <dthomps -at- foundationsoft -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 14:48:13 -0400

As a user, I hate PDFs! It strains my eyes way too much to read the
information on the screen, especially considering most PDFs are in 8x11
format, and I need to zoom in closely to see clearly, and then scroll a lot.
I will typically print out the entire thing and become more and more annoyed
as I have to fill the printer with paper, fix a jam or just wait forever.

On the other hand, as a TW, I see the value in PDFs and do offer them to our
clients. However, I also fought to make sure that we offer every client one
free printed copy of the manual, and we have a separate, context-sensitive
help system.


Dannette Thompson
Technical Writer
Foundation Software, Inc.
The #1 Accounting Software for Labor-Intensive Contractors
The opinions expressed in this message do not necessarily reflect the
opinions or policies of my employer or coworkers.

-----Original Message-----
From: Becca Price [mailto:becca_price -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2001 2:17 PM
Subject: Survey: how do you use PDFs

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.

She does have a point, however: maybe we should revisit the
decision to use PDF format, if most of our users only read our
docs online or only print out small sections rather than the
whole document. Or, if we stay with PDF, maybe we should format
the documents more appropriately for online use than for hard

So: if you use PDFs, how do you format them? maintaining the
paper doc metaphor or more for online use?




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