The portable document format does live up to the word “portable.” Whether you’re a busy entrepreneur, a workaholic or a web surfer, location doesn’t seem to really matter anymore. Everything is going mobile.
And you’re probably seeing a lot of technology moving from the desktop computer to the handheld device, which adds yet another category of decisions about your working habits that change with along with the trends.
So if you’re interested in joining the iddy-biddy-sized mobile world with your PDF work, here’s a brief background on some details surrounding PDFs on mobile devices .
Creating A PDF Optimized For Handheld Mobile Devices
First of all, regardless of what PDF creation software you have, you can create PDF files specifically optimized for mobile browsers by paying attention to a few details about your PDF.
1) File size. Use the Save As command to save the PDF. This will re-write the entire file and not just append the changes made to it, making it a more compact size that won’t ruin the integrity of the PDF.
2) Images. For images, use the best compression settings to ensure that you don’t include unnecessary pixel data. Using a lossy compression (JPEG and ZIP) or downsampling will help to decrease this.
3) Fonts. Don’t embed many, unnecessary fonts as embedding fonts also increases file size. Mobile devices importing the PDF may already have the fonts needed to render the text.
4) Tags. One of the key differences between desktop PDFs and mobile PDFs is file structure. Just as structure is important for reflowing the text to fit screen readers, it serves the same purpose for mobile browsers. Ensure that only the necessary tags for smooth textual reflow are included with the PDFfile.
Software For PDF Mobility
Palm OS, Symbian OS, Black Berries, and MS Pocket PCs are the most popularly used mobile OSs. The OS’s compatibility will play a factor in your mobile PDF research as some PDF software for handheld devices won’t support all platforms.
But for starters, there’s Adobe Reader LE. The software is supported by Symbian OS, Windows Mobile (Pocket PC 2.0), and Palm OS. Reader LE comes pre-installed on some mobile devices and supports scrolling, zooming and decryption for viewing your PDFs. As well, the software can support text search, bookmarks, and links within the document. In addition, Adobe has a user discussion forum for users with any tech support topics or tips regarding the software.
Features for different mobile devices vary. For instance, for Symbian OS devices, such as Nokia Smartphones, you can view a PDF as either a tagged PDF or in its original formatting. With Pocket PCs, you can directly print wirelessly from your handheld device to a remote printer. Adobe Reader LE on Palm OS devices allows you to view and transfer your Digital Editions e-books to your device. And another thing to note, there are a different variety of language options for you to choose from with each individual download.
Other mobile software supporting PDF viewing includes Dochawk Platinum 2.0, Repligo Professional 2.0, mBrainsoftware, DataViz’s Documents To Go v.9.0. Add them to the research list as it might come in handy as well.
Why Would You Need Mobile PDFs?
Now many users already complain about the usability of the PDF because of the long periods of time that can be spent in front of a screen. And handheld mobile devices have viewing and interactivity problems of their own (how small can a keyboard get?).
So why would you need PDFs on the go? One major reason is that, light and compact, handset devices are ultimately a matter of convenience. And when working away from your desktop, you need to have access to all the important documents you need—even PDF documents.
Checking emails on the way to work has perhaps become a daily routine for some. And undoubtedly, opening email attachments that are in the PDF format may be part of that. Or, for a PDF workflow that is almost essential to niche industries, such as publishing, for instance, emergencies that need attention don’t anticipate (or care) where you’ll be when they happen. And unfortunately, for others, going on vacation or getting ill doesn’t mean they stop working altogether– not with a PDA in hand and thumbs poised in the air.
Going portable with portable documents. . . . It does add a nice spin to the name, Portable Document Format!