As the business world continues its move towards electronically-based management systems, communications, messaging and record-keeping, the usage of electronic documents continues to rise and is increasingly relied upon for critical business documents and information transfers. A world that was once dominated by paper is continuing the transition to a world dominated by electronic documents - unquestionably, the leading format for electronic documents is now PDF (Portable Document Format).
PDF-formatted documents offer both solutions and challenges for any person or business that needs to send communications in electronic format. The benefits of PDF are obvious - PDF provides a compact file format that can be easily viewed using freely available PDF viewing software. Hence, documents can be easily sent via email and viewed on any computer with a PDF viewer, which is available for free over the Internet from Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE). At the same time, there are significant challenges to working with and incorporating information received in PDF by another party. By its nature, PDF is not an editable document format - even though the appearance of a PDF document mirrors what you might see in a Microsoft Word document, it cannot easily be changed, revised or manipulated.