Potential Drawbacks Of PDF Over An HTML File

Steven Hodgin | December 2nd, 2014 | PDF, Tips

Adobe PDF (Portable Document File) is a widely known industry standard for creating, exchanging and archiving documents. PDF files deliver high resolution images when printed via it.

But beyond these reasons HTML is far much better than PDF. HTML was designed basically for universal web access. It lies ahead in terms of its accessibility, keyboard usability, and structure.

Issues Of PDF Over Html

Let us have a glimpse over the few reasons as to why experts recommend minimizing or fully avoid using PDF as a solitary source of online information:

  • Downloading larger files in PDF is much more time consuming than HTML.
  • Adobe Reader has to be installed to read a PDF file. While to read an HTML file the end user needs to have a web browser installed on the machine.
  • For accessing, inserting any image, or editing any PDF File, the full version of Adobe Acrobatis required, whereas, for an HTML file any decent text editor or even a Notepad is enough.
  • Text searching in PDF file is time consuming as it is in a binary format whereas on the other hand,text searching in HTML is quiteinstantaneous.
  • PDFdocuments are larger in size as compared to a HTML file.
  • The size of a PDF File proves to be a poor match for the computer screen as they are usually vertically formatted and computer screens are horizontal.Due to this the user has to scroll down more often.
  • Repairing PDF Files is much more complex and time consuming than repairing an HTML file.
  • Scanned pages in PDFs that are series of images can be problem. Only an Optical Character Reader can save the scanned images in form of a text file.
  • The interface present between the browser and a PDF file lack consistency across various browsers and platforms.
  • PDF documents are restricted to images, hyperlinks and text. On the other hand HTML files contain images, java script, video or a combination of all.
  • Unlike HTML, the tracking mechanism is poor in PDF files, i.e., you cannot make out how a user is progressing through a document.
  • You cannot implement structured markups in PDF content while in HTML you can implement both structured markups and rich snippets.
  • PDF does not support ease of optimization of images whereas in HTML you can easily optimize images for searching through tags.

Recommendations For Easy Access Of PDF Files

A few comparisons do not mean that PDF files should be completely avoided. PDF can prove to be no less than an HTML. We cannot deny the fact that both the formats are universal and serve a respective purpose each. All computers can easily accommodate PDF files in the same way as all the web browsers can accommodate HTML Files. They also share a common fact that, both of the formats can be easily sent in the form of files over internet. In other words we can also say that PDF and HTML formats can easily enhance each other in some ways when used together. PDF files include web functionality in them. We can also attach internet links and images in a PDF file. Also, an HTML based websites can use PDF files to include supplementary contents like; forms and articles.

Thus, we can say that PDF and HTML can be considered as two powerful platforms each that when used together can contribute to a lot of productivity.

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