I read with interest your analysis piece, ‘The risks of online reporting’ (22 March, page 11) in which Portable Document Format was described as ‘little more than an electronic photocopy’.
Let me say in direct contrast to your view, that the pros more than outweigh the cons. Firstly, as your article rightly identifies, PDF files are more difficult to alter than HTML documents, but this is because they offer a higher level of fidelity to the original document, enabling users to submit information online using one uniform layout.
So it is unfair to say they offer little scope for utilising the technology available. With an increasing number of companies leveraging the web to share, easily and effectively, electronic documents across an extended enterprise, it’s critical to secure confidential documents and retain their visual integrity. Adobe’s Acrobat 5.0, for example, enables users to convert web pages and sites to one PDF file with all links intact, making documents easily accessible and secure.
There are many examples of PDF’s versatility, and these I think contradict the stance taken. ‘Little more than an electronic photocopy’? I beg to differ.
Karen Charlesworth, York.
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