A Disadvantage of Using the PDF Format

Written by matt koble
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A Disadvantage of Using the PDF Format
PDF format is often used for digital copies of physical books. (The book image by Dzmitry Halavach from Fotolia.com)

Short for Portable Document Format, PDF has a lot in common with PostScript and HTML. PDF is touted as an easy way to create and publish both digital and physical documentation, though the format has some limitations.


According to MindProd.com, a PDF file is larger than an HTML file of the same content. This makes viewing and downloading PDFs take longer than it does for other web pages.

User Compatibility

Unlike HTML, which is commonly used to create websites and online content, PDF files require an extra program or add-on capable of reading them. While these programs are typically free, it's inconvenient to have to download a separate program to view PDFs.

Editing Difficulty

PDF documents can be difficult to edit. Unlike word processors, you don't simply open a PDF program and start typing, a lot of formatting and technical knowledge is required to fully take advantage of this file type.

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