The pitfalls of relying on decentralized PDF exporters and converters

by Phil Lee, VP Sales

The pitfalls of relying on decentralized PDF exporters and converters

There are literally hundreds of PDF exporters and converters out there. Of course, there’s the downloadable type, such as the Free Foxit PDF Reader. But there are also free online software versions, written by many different developers for the main reason of avoiding paying for the high cost of Adobe Acrobat to create PDF files.

And therein lies the problem.

Anyone with a penchant for open source software knows that one of the drawbacks can be the “Wild West” of compatibility. Which matters when the document you create or convert isn’t compatible with someone else’s version of the same software, or won’t render onscreen.

Also, all of these bits and pieces of software offer different features. For example, one user may want to export the links in PDF documents. Another may need to archive the whole document with graphics. Yet another whole department may be tasked with archiving PDF documents in PDF/A for long term readability and searchability.

Can these situations result in incompatibility issues? Of course. Can they even create situations where the end user is faced with a document that won’t even convert to a PDF? Absolutely.

While all these scenarios are not entirely unavoidable, they do stem from a common problem: standardization.

We recently discussed the benefits of standardizing on a single PDF solution across the enterprise. Not the least of which are your ability to rely on a unified set of underlying standards for how the PDF software solution you use works, what types of features it offers, who supports it and who you can rely upon if you need said support.

If you’re relying on a dizzying array of PDF viewers, editors, exporters and converters, perhaps it’s time your organization considers standardizing on a single solution that can handle all users’ needs across any platform you can throw at it.

12 thoughts on “The pitfalls of relying on decentralized PDF exporters and converters

  1. Woodydol

    I discovered a major problem with using Adobe Acrobat reader. The sticky notes I had included in a very large file, did not display properly on most devices. Some of the text was left out. I tried to advise Adobe for months about this, but no reply. The problem is still the same. Luckily I came across Foxit Reader and to my delight, all of my notes display my text perfectly. Thus I recommend on my website that people use Foxit. Good work.

  2. Tom

    For quite a few years I have had Adobe Acrobat pro (v7) for creating and editing .pdf documents but use Foxit Reader as my default .pdf reader.
    I recently created an online interactive membership form (.pdf) using Acrobat but I found that it actually had better user experience in Foxit Reader even than in Acrobat reader. I also found that people using an Iphone/Ipad were unable to fill and return the form using IOS .pdf reader software. Hence many of our members are unable to use the form. I have yet been unable to overcome the issue but I believe it may stem from some of the reasons you point out in this article. I would welcome any comments.


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