PDFs for Presentation Decks

Since it came to market in 1990, Microsoft PowerPoint has been the go-to software for presentations. It’s used by so many people that we often say we’re going to create a “PowerPoint presentation” instead of just a presentation, slideshow or deck.

Over time, other presentation software applications have made their way to the market. Yet one tool that gets very little attention for its ability to create stunning, shareable presentations is the PDF software application.

When people think of PDF software, they often associate it with creating documentation or forms. After all those are two areas where this type of application shines. The same features that make PDF the de facto format for these use cases, however, also carry over to the slideshow presentation arena.

The problem with presentation software

Presentation software does what its developers built it to do: make it easy for the user to create dynamic, media rich presentations. The main selling point for this type of application, however, is exactly what causes problems with what it produces.

When PowerPoint was in its infancy, using slide transitions and animations, where text and images fly in from all over the screen, was impressive to an audience.

Fast-forward to today and using these gimmicks is best done sparingly. Otherwise, your presentation is in danger of being considered amateurish. The problem is, people still rely on distractions because presentation software makes it so easy to insert them into the deck.

Another feature that makes the presentation software an attractive option is the ease in which the user adds video and audio files. Multimedia is great way to captivate and demonstrate, but it also inflates the file size to the point that it becomes difficult to share presentations via email or even certain file sharing applications.

PDF software to the rescue

Commercial PDF software doesn’t provide users with the capability to bog down the finished product with useless animations and transitions so the urge to use these in a presentation is completely removed from the equation. Using the PDF file format also helps reduce file size making it easier to share presentations; just ask the presentation training experts from Ethos3 who suggest, “simply export the file as a .pdf” if you need to make it smaller.

However, these aren’t the only two reasons why PDF software makes sense for creating a presentation deck. Consider the other features that an option such as a PDF Editor like PhantomPDF from Foxit offers:

  • Page customization for visually stunning slides
  • Built in object editing and text formatting tools
  • Support for embedding video and audio files
  • Rich drawing tools to call attention to different areas of a presentation
  • Commenting, editing and collaboration tools built into the software
  • Integration with third-party tools such as Evernote and SharePoint
  • Security through encryption options to protect content from those who shouldn’t see it
  • 508 compliance checks to ensure accessibility

While the choice to use PDF software to create a presentation deck may at first feel unorthodox, consider what the purpose of any presentation is: to get information to the right people. If a tool provides you with all of the capabilities to create lively slides and makes sharing the content both easy and secure, doesn’t it make sense to consider this option the next time you need to present?

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