PDF Portfolios for Better Document Management

Companies are making a big push to go paperless nowadays and they cite a number of reasons for doing so. Some mention environmental concerns over wasted paper while others are making the move to capture cost savings.

But the real reason may be that companies are going paperless because technologies such as PDF software and word processors have made it easy to do so. People can easily share electronic documents with one another through email, messaging services, and other file sharing applications. The best part is that sharing happens in real time, no matter the distance between collaborators.

Sharing electronic documents can get messy, though. When one or two files are sent, it’s easy to Download them and keep them together in the same folder. When multiple files are shared, however, the probability increases for one or more documents being left out. You may forget to include a file. Your recipient may forget to move it from their download folder. The list of possible reasons for missing files goes on.

Some users get around this by putting all their documents into one folder, compressing the folder and then sending it. There’s a better way, however, if you have the right tools.

Creating portfolios in PDF software

Using a PDF editor software such as Foxit PhantomPDF allows you to create a PDF portfolio that lets you collect all of the documents you wish to share in one package. Once you put your files into a portfolio, you really start to see the advantages against simply dropping the files into folder that you compress and send to someone.

For one, the portfolio allows you to create a cover sheet. You can use this to provide a narrative for the files you have chosen to include. You can list the documents in the portfolio or provide whatever information you think recipients may need to have.

You also have the ability to search for specific text or phrases in PDF files included in your portfolio. This makes it easier for people to find the right document.

Multiple file types supported

While you create portfolios using PDF software, the types of files you include in your portfolio are not limited to pdfs.

Using PhantomPDF, you are able to include Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, images, and even Microsoft Outlook email messages.

Creating these collections of files is simple. PhantomPDF even supports drag and drop. A quick look at page 67 of the PhantomPDF user manual is all it takes to get you on your way to organizing documents you need to send to others.


12 thoughts on “PDF Portfolios for Better Document Management

  1. Jane

    Great product! Is there is any hope in adding the function or a plug in to to extract all files and attachments (In the portfolio) into separate PDF files while converting non-PDF attachments into PDF format and appending to the corresponding parent email/document? This would be a major attraction for law firms in the discovery process, just to name one industry. For example, being able to convert emails into a portfolio and then extract those emails as individuals PDFs WITH their attachments already included on subsequent pages for easy viewing and printing.

    Reply
  2. Brian

    Great feature but is there a way to reference in files rather than imbed so if I update a referenced external .pdf it will reflect in multiple portfolios rather than having to go through each one individually and manually remount the updated PDF?

    Reply
    1. FOXITBLOG Post author

      Currently there is not a way to do that. However, that is a good idea and we will consider adding that capability in a future release.

      Reply
  3. Alan

    I get the impression that the portfolios created by PhantomPDF are basically just pdf files with which PhantomPDF can do some clever stuff. Are they usable in all pdf readers on all operating systems, at least to the extent that the component files can be extracted and saved ?

    For archive purposes would it be more appropriate to print the component files to the single “portfolio” pdf file so that everyone can at least read it even if they do not have the right software to open the spreadsheets, emails, etc. ?

    Reply
    1. FOXITBLOG Post author

      There are a number of free PDF readers that support PDF portfolios – for example, Foxit Reader and Adobe Reader. It is a good way to archive file together that all relate to a common project or topic.

      Reply

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