PDF software is an amazing tool. Combining the elements of a desktop publishing application with the ease of a word processor makes it useful in the workplace. The collaboration and security features software applications boast make them essential for many job functions.
Yet despite how easy and powerfulis to use, people do make mistakes when creating documents with it. These user errors may be attributed to a number of things, however, they’re all preventable—and they’re best to avoid because each one not only diminishes the professionalism of the document, but makes it harder on your audience as well.
Here are some common PDF software issues and how to avoid them.
Text is unreadable
When setting up a document, content may run too long and throw off the page layout. A common fix for this is to make the font size smaller so things fit perfectly. When working within your PDF software, you have the ability to magnify the document so the text is easy to read on screen. If you know that people might be printing the document to read away from their computer or device, this may pose a problem. Using non-traditional script fonts only makes this worse.
Best practices recommend that you use a font size between 9 and 12 points for all body text and 18 point for headings. Plain fonts such as Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman are also better choices than decorative fonts unless the typography calls for something specific.
Also, there’s the problem of using lightly colored text on a light background or darker text colors on a dark background. Make sure that your document provides enough contrast between the two so your words are easy to read.
Images are not sharp
File size is a concern for any type of document and may make it difficult to share. To reduce file size, some opt to use lower resolution images. This practice can greatly reduce the size of a document, however, it may cause images to look fuzzy especially when the document is printed.
To test the clarity of an image in your file, zoom in to 300 percent. If it still looks sharp, then it should be acceptable when the document is printed.
When creating images for use in PDF files, a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi) is acceptable for documents that users will read on their screen but if you expect people will print the file then increase the resolution to 300 dpi.
Elements are missing
What makes documents created with PDF software so important is the fact that people can open them in any computing environment. To accomplish this, however, you need to embed the following elements into the file:
- Fonts to ensure that the typography is correct; a change in the font type may lessen the effect of the content and alter the page layout.
- Color profiles so that a printed document looks the same on paper as it does on the screen.
- Multimedia files that you’ve added to enhance the content.
Fixing these mistakes is easy to do during the editing stage, however, making one slight change may have an unwanted effect on another aspect of your document. Learning to use your PDF editor software, understanding the best practices of creating PDF files and checking your document throughout the creation process will help you catch these issues before they become problems.