Diagramming with PDF Software

Just about every organization relies on diagramming software to create organizational charts, flow charts, workflows, data, flows, network diagrams and other visual representations of information. Diagrams are so important that there are software applications specifically designed for drawing them, and one of the most important features of these software applications is the ability to export a document into the PDF format.

Yet what most people don’t know is that commercial pdf software applications also give you the ability to create diagrams as well. Unlike applications that people use to create diagrams, however, PDF software comes with additional features that will enhance your ability to create diagrams.

Drawing boxes, lines and arrows in PDF software

Shapes are an integral part of any diagram and PDF software offers the ability for document authors to create boxes, polygons and ovals all connected by lines and arrows. You can move and resize shapes as well as annotate different elements of the diagram to call attention to it or explain concepts. Since the software’s main focus is document creation, it’s easy to add narrative text to explain the elements of your diagram as well as providing a simple way to adjust the layout of the document.

Simplifying collaboration and sharing

Most diagramming applications save files in proprietary formats so only those with a copy of the software have the ability to edit or even view the finished product. If these documents require a team review or collaboration, everyone must have access to the application that you created the original file in. That’s why so often documents created in diagramming software are exported to PDF in order to share them. This is another reason to consider creating your diagram directly in PDF software such as Foxit PhantomPDF in order to simplify steps.

Security and signatures

Some diagrams require signatures for approval—for example, product specs, architectural layouts, and even legal visuals. While this feature is not available in diagramming applications, PDF software touts the ability to include digital signatures as one of its most important features.

Other security features that you can take advantage of include:

  • Encrypting files to protect their confidentiality
  • Including watermarks to guarantee authenticity
  • Digital certification
  • Ability to redact sensitive or confidential information

Many enterprise level PDF software applications also provide a document sanitation feature that will scan text for sensitive information and remove it from the file, preventing it from being exposed to unauthorized people. For example, Foxit PhantomPDF Business enables you to remove metadata, comments, hidden data from previous saves, hidden layers, overlapping objects, and more.

PDF software was not built with the sole purpose of creating diagrams and charts. Yet this doesn’t mean that the capabilities included in applications such as PhantomPDF don’t allow you to create visual representations that rival those created by some of the more expensive applications made specifically for the purpose of drawing diagrams. Include the ability to import graphics and images into your file and there’s no limit to the types of documents you’re able to create, share and protect.


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