RE: Printed vs PDF documents

Subject: RE: Printed vs PDF documents
From: "Jones, Donna" <DJones -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 12:32:52 -0500

We started putting our user guides on CDs in PDF format last year (the customer gets a CD in the box with the printer now instead of hard copies), and the PDFs are always available through our web site. Hard copies were made available through print-on-demand. In the last year, I don't think there have been more than a handful of orders for the hard copies--if that many--across multiple printer lines. Based on that, we realized that it's probably less expensive and less hassle to just print a copy ourselves and ship it to anyone who really wants a hard copy from us. Our coworkers in California don't even bother with the print-on-demand copies any more, and we're no longer providing them with any short-lived products.

Judging based on the lack of calls to tech support, our customers don't seem to care if the documentation is electronic or paper-based, as long as the information that they're looking for is there and is easily accessible. People appear to be content to print out a few pages if they need them rather than having a full copy that's provided with the printer.


Donna L. Jones
Technical Writer II
Zebra Technologies Corp.
Vernon Hills, IL
djones -at- zebra -dot- com

-----Original Message-----
I am soliciting opinions/experiences with transitioning from printed to
PDF documents. I am hoping to save on our considerable printing costs.

How were PDF documents received by your customers? Yes, I have polled
our customers, I just want as much information as possible from fellow
professionals before I make a case for or against to present to our
product managers.


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