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Benefits of using PDF files for printing

Posted in Printing Tips and Tricks on 29 October 2012

You may have noticed that although some commercial printers can print Word or Powerpoint documents (including of course Doxdirect), most online printing companies prefer customers to upload a document in a PDF format.  Why is this?  Here are a couple of benefits of using PDF files for printing:

PDF stands for “Portable Document Format” and as it is portable it is very compact.  PDFs that predominately contain text are in fact approximately only 25% of the data size of a document saved in other formats.  When files are saved as PDFs the document is optimised and compressed.  This means that it can be transmitted over the internet at a much faster speed, taking only a quarter of the time to upload than other file types.

A PDF file preserves all visual elements.  This means that all your text, graphics and images which you have created will be printed exactly as you see them on your PDF.  This is not the case with other document formats where problems may arise with text or fonts not being displayed exactly as you originally intended.  Please note that at Doxdirect our software automatically converts your Word or Powerpoint document to a PDF format which eliminates this problem, as long as your documents are saved with the fonts embedded as shown here:

How to embed fonts into a Word document (the same technique applies to Powerpoint documents):

  1. When saving your document, click on the Save As option.
  2. How to embed fonts into a Word documentWhen the dialogue box opens, click on the Tools button (highlighted with the red spot) and a further dialogue box opens.
  3. Tick the box next to the phrase Embed fonts in the file.
  4. Then click on OK
  5. Finally click on Save

How to embed fonts into a Word document screenshotPDFs can be used across platforms, independent of the type of hardware, operating system and application software used to create the document.  A PDF was originally designed to enable documents to be transferred and shared across computer platforms (viewable with Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader software).

For those of you interested in the history of the PDF:

The PDF document format was originally developed by Adobe for the US Federal Government to store their old files.  In fact today the US Government is still the largest user of PDF technology.