Not your father’s PDF: Improving workflow and business efficiency with document enhancements
By Roger Beharry Lall | July 11, 2014
2 minute read
There are a number of ways the kind of file type you use can improve the way you work. It may sound strange, but some file types are more collaborative and efficient than others. The PDF is one of those file types. It helps organizations to work better and faster by allowing end users to view files on the go on their mobile phones and tablets, in addition to eradicating the need for native authoring applications to view files. End users can literally open up and view a PDF file on any machine on any device – and it will always look exactly the same.
Improving an already amazing technology with enhancements
Can the PDF get any better? It certainly can. With the addition of document enhancements, the PDF helps to improve the efficiency of document-centric workflows across organizations. What exactly is a document enhancement? Let’s break it down to the specifics:
Watermarks: An automated watermark can specify the status of a document (Draft, Approved, In Progress) in addition to who is allowed to view the file (Confidential, Public). By using document metadata to generate watermarks automatically, organizations can ensure the right versions of their documents are used at each stage of the document lifecycle.
Headers and Footers: Like watermarks, headers and footers can be automated using document metadata. They can include information such as the file author, the organization name, page numbers, the creation date and how long the document is valid until. Having automated headers and footers ensures that readers have all of the pertinent information at their fingertips.
Table of Contents: When dealing with documents that are comprised of a number of separate files, or have tens or hundreds of pages long, having internal navigation allows end users to find the content they are looking for. When printed, users can still see the table of contents and flip to the correct page.
Bookmarks: Internal bookmarks are essentially a table of contents that cannot be printed. They are great for documents that will remain digital only. When clicking on a bookmark, the PDF will flip to the appropriate page automatically so that the end user doesn’t need to search for what they are looking for continuously. Like table of contents, bookmarks can be automated through business rules within your organization’s document management system.
Digital Signatures: When dealing with documents containing sensitive information or content which needs to be authorized, digital and electronic signatures are a must and can ensure security and authenticity. Using workflow tools and document security software, signatures can be automatically added to critical documents.
I bet your father’s PDF didn’t come with all of these bells and whistles.
Automating much more than enhancements
What’s common about all of these document enhancements? They can all be automated using the right software, so that end users don’t ever need to worry about adding them on individually or forgetting a critical piece of information. Adlib PDF can automate these, and many other features. Learn about them in this white paper: Transforming Information Silos into Shareable Assets through Automated Content Conversion.