Re: Editorial Against PDFs

Subject: Re: Editorial Against PDFs
From: Dianna Massey <dmassey -at- CELERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 09:48:58 -0500

I have argued against using PDF and for using PDF, and believe it or not,
the arguments are not contradictory.

So, here goes.

Argument against using PDF:

I cringe whenever I hear someone saying PDF should always be used to
preserve page layout on an intranet or the Internet. To use a common
metaphor, publishing a document in PDF format on the Internet or an
intranet is like videotaping a play and calling it a movie.

Documents that will have long-term value when published electronically
should be designed (or redesigned) for the medium.

Argument for using PDF:

I work in a company that for many reasons, has different platforms. Some
folks work on UNIX, others work on Windows 95. Of those using Windows 95,
not all have the same versions of Word. To further complicate things,
these folks travel and are not always available for a hard copy
distribution. So, trying to distribute electronic drafts of our printed
documentation for review has been a nightmare. Using PDF to send these
documents is our current solution. It does preserve page layout so our
reviewers can see what the book will look like.

Dianna Massey
Documentation Specialist
Celerity Systems, Inc.
1400 Centerpoint Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37932
Switchboard: (423) 539-5300
Fax: (423) 539-5390

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