PDFs: The Cornerstone of the Paperless Office

by Dan

When it comes to software, there are plenty of instances where it would appear that users are presented with only one viable option—in the case of word processors, Microsoft Word, for example, or Excel for spreadsheets. For a long time, Adobe looked like the only plausible way to view and create Portable Document Format (PDF) files, but, as technology and time progressed, other, less expensive options began to emerge.

PDFs and PDF readers have since become widely used in the most successful offices around the world, replacing paper documents and boasting added security and encryption that most word processors and file formats cannot hold a candle to. The rise of the electronic office owes itself in part to the PDF, which begs the question: are you using PDF files in your workplace?

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Getting rid of paper

“The blue form goes on top of the new TPS reports… didn’t you get the memo?”

The protagonist of the hit Mike Judd movie, Office Space, would never have had to hear this oft-repeated phrase if their office didn’t revolve around paper, as so many 90’s era offices did. Time-off forms, new hires, standard operating procedure manuals, internal memos—you name it—all of these facets of office-life existed on physical paper.

Unfortunately, every time one of these copies needs to be dug up, run from one department to another, or gets lost, your office and company are losing time and money.

Coupled with other forms of electronic communication and storage, like the obvious email, as well as the prevailing cloud storage, an office now has the ability to become stream-lined by compressing all of its files, large or small, into PDF formats. No more lost papers. No more shuffling for forms. These are the perks of going electronic.

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Reliable and Secure

Of course, there are the naysayers that will point out that there are problems, even with the electronic office. What happens when you send a Microsoft document that’s not compatible with Mr. Smith’s outdated version of the Word Processing program? Or what happens if Mr. Smith does have a compatible program, but changes the terms of his employment contract with a couple strokes of the backspace key and a few added lines of text?

Don’t worry—there’s a solution for that.

The reason that PDFs are so widely used for interoffice communication is that they’re both reliable and secure. Converting files into PDF format is easy, and, if you’re using pictures or watermarks, compresses the file into a much more manageable size, keeping your computer and servers less weighted down for longer.

As an added measure of precaution, PDF files can be configured with password protection and encryption that will keep nosey noses away from your business. Contracts, time sheets, and vital internal documents can float through cyberspace without the slightest cause for concern—which is even more than physical papers can offer.

Don’t get left behind…

The times are changing, and, as much as many may not like it to be so, offices are changing with them. The cornerstone of many an electronic, paperless office begins with the PDF—so embrace it instead of fighting it! You’ll be much better off for it in the end, when you’re using time more efficiently and making more money.

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