Thursday, 6 September 2007

Please, please, PLEASE use pdfs

Here's a tip for everyone who has to electronically distribute newsletters, flyers, announcements etc. and wants to do it in a pretty format that email alone won't cover.


In particular, do not use brand new Word that spits out a .docx which is a zipped xml collection that older Word (which is most people, particularly in the cash-strapped non-government service sector) can't open without going to Microsoft and downloading a plugin, after first downloading all the available other fixes, and who's got the time for that? I had to email one newsletter to myself so that when I got home I could try and open it in OpenOffice, and that only complained about the format being incorrect and the file not being valid.

Acrobat may be expensive, but PrimoPDF is free and so is OpenOffice, which comes with its own PDF exporter. I use PrimoPDF because it's faster than Acrobat, and so far it's worked flawlessly. The saving on network traffic alone will make sysadmins like you, and the ease of use for your recipients will stop them from having such a low opinion of your competence at your job that you'll have sabotaged yourself for the next year.

Thank you for your consideration.

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