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17 Facts and Myths of PDF

Despite how convenient the PDF (Portable Document Format) format is, many people still do not actively use it. Collabio Spaces team is here to allay all concerns and share the benefits of working with the PDF format.

After reading this article, we are sure you’ll be saving more files in this format — and with a lot more knowledge than before.

Let’s go!

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Facts About PDF

Ready for a short journey in a time machine?

1. This format was developed by Adobe in 1993. In its first years, it was possible to read such files only with special Adobe products. Of course, they were quite expensive and were predominantly used by companies.

2. In those distant times, PDF didn’t support external links, making it almost useless on the Internet.

3. PDF documents were too large and people often preferred using lightweight text files. Remember the modems of the 1990s? Transmitting a megabyte took a very long time! Yes, 1 megabyte was ‘mega’.

4. Computers weren’t as powerful those days, so opening PDF files was also a slow process. Sure, people were used to waiting, compared to modern technology users — however, it was much slower than opening a text document.

5. Adobe’s PDF reader only became free at the time of its 2.0 version, in 2017. This boosted its popularity despite the many other readers, annotators and editors on the market.

6. Initially, it was only possible to add text and images to PDF; now users can add videos and music, and even 3D models there.

7. Phil Ydens, Adobe’s VP Engineering for Document Cloud, thinks that up to 2.5 trillion PDF documents exist in the world to date, and this number is growing every day!

Are you one of the users who create PDF files? Not yet? Perhaps that has something to do with the myths still floating about.

10 Myths About PDF Format

  1. PDFs are inconvenient
    In the 21st century, people still believe that documents saved in this format take more space and can’t be fully used for work. This is a myth that Collabio is trying to bust. Just try our built-in PDF annotator and see how convenient this format can be!
    In the app, you can:
    - Highlight content.
    - Underline text.
    - Strikethrough text contents.
    - Draw anything with your finger.
    - Use a marker for hand-drawn highlighting content.
    - Erase the changes.
    - Leave comments.
    - Add signatures.

2. PDFs are fully uneditable
Nowadays, you can edit such documents with specific software or convert them to DOCX files and work with them in a regular text editor.
If you don’t need to make changes to the document content, annotations will be enough.

3. PDFs can’t be signed
You can add your signature to both text documents and PDFs, so it’s not necessary to convert files to another format. Not all pieces of software allow that, but we at Collabio Spaces for iOS do! Just draw your signature with a finger and place it where you need.

4. PDFs can’t be converted to other formats
Previously, when PDFs were not so popular, formatting could be broken after converting them to other formats. Now it’s not a problem for your computer and even a mobile phone. Remember, a tiny modern iPhone is more powerful than the machine that sent the man to the Moon!

5. PDFs are larger than DOC and other files
It was true for the 90s but not today. PDFs can be large if your goal is to preserve the highest quality of graphics. If that’s not the case, compress it without dramatic losses. The document will be lightweight but still bright and attractive. For example, Collabio Spaces’ media kit weighs only 5 MB and has 8 picture-rich slides.

6. PDFs can be viewed and edited only via Adobe software
Some time ago it was the reality; Adobe developed this format unsure of how popular it would become. However, years passed by and people started using PDFs more often. It became more convenience as new apps appeared and now there is plenty of them.

7. PDF software is expensive or not efficient
Another myth. When there was a ‘PDF-monopoly’, it was costly to use this format for personal needs, especially as the app was quite expensive. There were weaker alternatives that weren’t causing a stir due to their inefficiency. The situation has changed as more people found great uses for the format. New developers jumped into the game and created a great variety of options.

8. PDF is completely safe and prevents copying
Earlier, it was impossible to copy contents from PDF and changing them was difficult. Files could be protected with a password, which caused people to think that such documents are 100% safe. But it’s a myth: There are decoders that can remove passwords and converters that make text contents editable.

9. PDFs save formatting and are viewed the same on all machines
Since PDFs can’t be edited in common office suite programs, many still believe that formatting is saved like on a picture. However, PDFs are not images, and they also use fonts, which can be absent on some machines. That’s why formatting can be viewed differently on several devices.

10. PDFs are unsafe to use in business
When users found out that PDF is not fully secured and can be edited, some of them refused to use such documents for business purposes. Nevertheless, this does not make them unsafe. This format is as convenient and safe as other office formats. We simply recommend not sharing private data with unauthorized users or keeping them in the cloud.

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