Teams located in the same building as well as those spread out across multiple time zones find that problems associated with document collaboration exist no matter where they are. The process of sharing access to a single document so other members of the team have the ability to review and edit it simultaneously requires the right tools for storing and sharing documents as well as the right tools for working with the documents in question.
Software, such as a word processor or a PDF editor, provides the means for creating, reviewing and making changes to the documents while more robust solutions handle document storage and management. When it comes to best practices for document collaboration these two components form the foundation—and when you put the right tools into place, the process moves along rather smoothly.
In order for successful collaboration, your organization needs to use document-sharing software. Email has become one way for teams to share collaborative works, however, this is usually not the best option. It often leads to version control issues as people don’t know which version of a document is the most recent. Also, two or more people can make changes to a file without others knowing about it. And comments made in the body of the email are easily lost.
Instead, your company should turn to a solution that allows users to upload files to a central storage area that better organizes files, maintains version control, and offers the ability to check files in and out to prevent team members from overwriting each another’s edits. Many of these solutions integrate with the PDF software and word processors users rely on to work on documents, so having this feature in your management solution is an added bonus.
Getting down to business
When reviewing, commenting on and editing documents, many consider the simple word processor a viable solution. Most users have them installed on their computers already. And most commercial products allow for commenting and tracking edits. However, like email, the go-to tool has drawbacks.
Not all departments work from the same software application or the same version of word processing software. This often creates compatibility errors, especially when someone using legacy versions of the application cannot access a document. There is also the issue of users working on different operating systems. This too leads to compatibility issues that can bring the collaborative process to a halt.
To alleviate these concerns, many organizations turn tosoftware—not only converting documents they create into PDF but also using as the document creation tool it’s become.
PDF software to the collaborators’ rescue
Most people don’t think of PDF software as a solution for creating documents because they assume it doesn’t have robust editing tools. But those days are long over.
A Foxit PhantomPDF offers users a full feature set of tools for collaborating and editing documents.like
For collaborating with peers, features like SharePoint® integration and commenting tools such as a comment summary, make it easy to share documents and follow suggestions throughout the work. The stamp feature can also highlight certain elements of the document that are important or need review.
PhantomPDF also has a robust set of editing tools not found in most PDF software applications. Users can:
- Edit entire paragraphs
- Move and resize text blocks
- Modify and format text
- Edit objects
- Rearrange elements within the document
- Customize pages
- Edit images
Using the right PDF software can make collaboration across the organization much more efficient. You no longer need to create and edit a document in one, or more, applications and then convert it to a PDF file. Using a tool like PhantomPDF allows you to manage the entire process, from draft to publication, using just one tool, which ensures that collaborators are all able to view, edit, comment on, sign and certify the documents they create.
Take a look at some of the features built into PDF software like Foxit PhantomPDF to see how rich of a collaborative environment tools like this have to offer.