Since the early days the the computer, various file formats designed to create documents for offices have been used. While text files were acceptable for sharing information, advanced techniques had to be used to create documents designed to be printed. Many of the early formats used markup language to encode special content, fonts and formatting information. Once graphical user interfaces became common, users had another option: the PDF file format.
Do office products count? Various office word processors are acceptable for intraoffice documents. The ability to change font sizes and use various text-modifying techniques give these word processors advantages over text documents. There are, however, some severe limitation for the documents they create.
Different programs interpret the same file differently, and the suite of formatting tools they provide is insufficient for creating many types of documents. In addition, they generally have some basic formatting problems; in particular, the letter spacing algorithms are far below printing standards.
How are PDF files different? The PDF file format has its roots in formats designed for printing, and PDF maintains this legacy with sophisticated formatting functionality. PDF files replicate the attractive design of traditional, markup-based formats without the need to learn an entire markup language. PDF files can also be edited with software designed to take care of the nuances that make PDF files stand out, and format-based features enable users to easily add graphic elements to their documents.
Can office software modify PDF files? Because of the ubiquity of the PDF format, specially designed software can convert PDF files formats to other formats that the user may be familiar with. It is possible to convert PDF to Word and edit the resulting file with standard office programs; this Word file can also be converted back to the PDF format.
These conversion programs also allow users to edit documents sent from businesses and other agencies that use the PDF format for their documents. Too many who work in business think of PDF files as equivalent to image files when PDF files are actually text-based.
While many consider office documents to be the standard formats used for business communication, the use of PDF files is widespread enough that it may be considered a de facto standard. Further, the advantages of PDF files are being recognized and utilized by businesses to create better documents. With the right tools, businesses can edit PDF files to create attractive, professional documents instead of using standard word processor formats.
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