PDF Documents – Why Convert When You Can Create?

Whenever you need to convert a computer file from one file type to another there can be problems. Many times, the issues you encounter when converting a document created by some type of word processing software into a PDF file are easily fixed.

Proper formatting, ensuring that settings are correct and following best practices when it comes to accessibility and document standards will take care of a number of the common issues. Other issues, however, are a bit more difficult. These instances may require you to use a PDF software application to create the file the proper way.

Using the PDF Post Conversion

These days, document creation is not always done as a solo act from start to finish. Most modern businesses encourage collaboration when creating documents; and at the very least other people will edit and change contents of the file before your company releases the document.

When you use the Print to PDF feature that is included in many word processors to turn your file into a PDF file, many of the editing, collaboration and commenting capabilities that make PDF software applications so powerful are lost.

Printing or converting the file from within the word processing application should be your option only for final documents that no one will be—or should be—able to change.


When a document created in a tool such as Microsoft Word, you have the option to include areas where users enter information and data as they would when they fill out a form on the Web.

The trouble is, those same users have the ability to change the questions, delete or add content and make any other edits to the form before returning it. Printing to PDF, or using a conversion technique, will often cost the document its ability to collect form data.

If you create the document using your PDF software from the very beginning, you not only present anyone reading the document with the ability to fill out your forms using their computer, but the PDF file also presents them a variety of other options that many people find quite helpful, such as:

  • Ability to export the collected data
  • Ability to autofill information in the form
  • Ability to use JavaScript to connect forms to databases using Open Data Base Connectivity (ODBC)
  • Multiple input types, such as radio buttons, checklists and drop downs
  • Barcode generation

One typical workflow in a number of businesses is to have the document authors, reviewers, and editors work on the document using some type of word processing software. Once it’s complete and approved, one member of the team is chosen to use PDF software to create the final PDF file. They may have to go into the file and touch up a few things, but the issues and loss of features that printing or converting to PDF creates are eliminated.

If each team member has access to their own copy of a PDF software solution, however, you can streamline the entire process by enabling everyone to pass the PDF file through for comments, edits, changes, even signatures, thereby reducing the time and number of steps.

Because PDF software, such as PhantomPDF from Foxit, is relatively inexpensive when you compare it to word processing software applications, and it provides a wealth of features that help make teams collaborate and create much more efficiently, it’s worth it to consider it an affordable investment in document creation and collaborative efficiency.

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