Often we get asked how users can upload forms, handouts, guides, and other documents to their website so that their visitors can access or download them. The solution is simple using PDF documents that you upload just like a photo. Let’s look at how to create a PDF document, and how to upload it to your site.
Why use a PDF?
PDF stands for Portable Document File, and it’s useful for, you guessed it, documents that you want to move around. Whether you’re emailing a form to a coworker to have them fill out and return, or you want an easy-to-view version of a digital brochure that a visitor can download, PDFs are great because they can be opened on any computer, often right inside the user’s internet browser.
Where do PDFs come from?
If you’re using Microsoft Word or Google Docs, generating a PDF file is easy! The first step for either is to make sure your document looks exactly the way you want it to. From there it depends on what software you’re using.
- Click “File” from the main menu.
- Inside that menu, select “Export”.
- Then choose “Create PDF/XPS Document”
- A window of options will come up. The only thing that matters here is to uncheck the box that says “Document Properties”.
- From there you will save the document like normal.
- Click “File” from the main menu.
- Then choose “Download As”, then “PDF Document (.pdf)”.
- The new PDF file will then be downloaded to your default Downloads folder.
How do I upload a PDF on my site?
Once you have a PDF file to put on your site, getting it there is easy! If you know how to add a photo, the process is the same. While editing a page or post, click the “Add Media” button. The media browser dialog will appear. Click the “Upload” button, and you’ll then be able to drag and drop your PDF right on to the browser window. Once the file is uploaded, you can change the Title and other attributes, and then click “Insert”. A link will be inserted that, when clicked, will allow a visitor to view the document, and then download it if they want. As you can see, PDFs are a great way to share documents that are read-only, that you don’t want a user to edit. Anything the visitor might download, fill out, and bring in is a perfect candidate to be a linked PDF. If you’re a Plexamedia customer, and you have any questions about creating or adding PDFs to your site, feel free to submit a support ticket and we’ll be glad to help!
Why use a PDF?
Sending a PDF (Portable Document Format) version of a document can offer several benefits, ranging from maintaining document integrity and consistency to ensuring universal accessibility and security. Below are some key advantages of sending a PDF version of a document:
- Document Integrity: PDFs are known for preserving the original formatting, layout, and fonts of a document regardless of the device or software used to open them. This ensures that the document’s integrity is maintained, and the intended appearance is preserved when shared with others, regardless of their operating system or software.
- Universal Accessibility: PDFs are widely accessible as they can be opened and viewed on various devices and platforms, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, using free PDF reader software that is readily available. This makes PDFs a convenient format for sharing documents with a wide audience, regardless of their technical expertise or the devices they use.
- Security: PDFs offer built-in security features that can help protect the content of a document. For example, PDFs can be password-protected to restrict access to authorized users only, preventing unauthorized viewing, editing, or printing of the document. PDFs can also be encrypted, adding an additional layer of security to sensitive or confidential documents.
- File Size: PDFs can often be compressed, resulting in smaller file sizes compared to other file formats such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. This makes PDFs ideal for sharing documents over email or other file-sharing platforms, as they can be transmitted quickly and efficiently, without taking up excessive storage space.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: PDFs are designed to be platform-independent, meaning they can be opened and viewed on different operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Linux, and others. This makes PDFs a versatile format for sharing documents with colleagues, clients, or partners who may be using different devices or operating systems.
- Legal Validity: PDFs are widely accepted as legally valid documents in many jurisdictions around the world. PDFs can be digitally signed, allowing for electronic signatures that are legally recognized in many countries, making them a viable option for contracts, agreements, and other legally binding documents.
- Interactive Features: PDFs can include interactive features such as hyperlinks, bookmarks, form fields, and multimedia elements such as images, videos, and audio. These features can enhance the functionality and interactivity of a document, making PDFs suitable for creating interactive presentations, reports, and other types of documents.
- Archival Quality: PDFs are often used for long-term archival of documents due to their ability to preserve the original content and formatting over time. PDFs are also designed to be backward-compatible, meaning that older versions of PDF software can still open newer PDF files, ensuring that archived documents can be accessed and viewed in the future.
- Branding Consistency: PDFs can help maintain consistent branding across documents as they retain the original fonts, colors, and layout of a document. This ensures that the document’s visual elements, such as logos, images, and graphics, are preserved as intended, maintaining a consistent and professional appearance.
- Eco-Friendly: Sending documents in PDF format can be environmentally friendly as it reduces the need for printing and paper usage. PDFs can be easily shared electronically, eliminating the need for physical printing and shipping, contributing to a greener and more sustainable approach to document sharing.
In conclusion, sending a PDF version of a document offers various benefits, including maintaining document integrity, ensuring universal accessibility, enhancing security, reducing file size, enabling cross-platform compatibility, supporting legal validity, providing interactive features, preserving archival quality, maintaining branding consistency, and promoting eco-friendly practices. Considering these advantages, PDFs are a popular and widely used format for sharing and distributing documents in both personal and professional settings.