If you are a big fan of PDF document format, then you must be wondering if I am out of my mind for choosing to write an article about the disadvantages of PDF. I understand your concern, but you will have to hear me out too. In fact, read through this article in its entirety and if you still aren’t convinced, I will let you be. PDF is a file format that was originally developed by Adobe in the early 1990s. There are several ways of creating PDF documents, but in all the cases, they are created from other types of documents. For instance, you can convert scanned documents, word documents, and JPEG images just to name a few into PDF documents. You can also convert PDF to word documents the same way that you can convert word documents to PDF files. PDF documents are designed to be easy to share between users. Even though PDF file format has become very popular, it has a few disadvantages that are worth pointing out.
Limited OS support
PDF files are usually supported under the Mac and Windows operating systems only and not other kinds of Operating System. For instance, it is not possible to create PDF documents on Unix and Linux operating systems and that often limits people a lot. Even if it possible to create PDF documents on Unix and Linux operating systems, the process is long and tedious because of the very nature of these operating systems. Other alternative file formats such as RTF and HTML offer a better option because they can be used across all types of operating systems with relative ease.
Difficult to read and to edit
PDF files are usually laid out in standard A3 and A4 format pages, something that makes them very difficult to read on computer screens in some cases. Standard A3 and A4 format pages are great for printing documents, but are not optimized for most computer screens. Many of the computer screens you see around fall within the range of 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio. What this means is that you will have to spend a lot of time scrolling down and up PDF pages on a computer screen.
Also, unless you know how to use PDF documents well, it is not easy to edit PDF documents because they do not lend themselves to editing easily. You will need to understand the exact commands you need to edit the document. Also, you will also need to have full access to the software you are using to open the PDF document in order to be able to edit. This is because some PDF readers prevent users who don’t have full access from doing certain activities such editing PDF documents.
PDF documents can be classified into scanned and native documents. Native PDF documents are created from electronic documents such as word documents while scanned documents are created from scanned paper documents. Native PDF documents offer a higher level of flexibility because they allow users to copy and pasted text elsewhere while scanned PDF documents don’t.