Subject: Re: HTML v. PDF
From: Lee Hunter <leeghunter -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 11:36:46 -0500

mrbassman -dot- 1136710 -at- bloglines -dot- com <mrbassman -dot- 1136710 -at- bloglines -dot- com> wrote:

> I've seen people use his opinions as proof that no one should use PDF
> files to distribute documents over the Web, but his stance is very
> over-simplified, much too broad, and easily countered. PDF files can most
> definitely be designed for effective use over the Web. See some of the
> responses from PDF experts:

The responses from the PDF experts sound much like the responses from
Flash experts whenever Neilsen dumps on Flash (i.e. blaming inexpert
creators for the bad rap). But this doesn't change the fact that a
significant number of users have developed a genuine distaste for PDF
(and Flash). Given the choice of an HTML and PDF version of a file I
will always choose HTML. if for no other reason than I feel I know
what I'm going to get with HTML (i.e. it won't be a honking big file
that lacks browsing format and features). You might have done all the
right things with the PDF but given the choice, I'd still click the
HTML file. If PDF is the only option, I sometimes won't bother opening

Obviously, Neilsen's interest is more in how a technology is commonly
used and perceived rather than its potential in the hands of an

Here's another view from PlanetPDF which takes more of a middle ground


Lee Hunter - Technical Editor & Information Architect

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