Actually, the PDF format offers several advantages beyond having documents that can be opened and read by anyone:
- Preserve layouts and formatting. If you spent any time at all adjusting the look of your pages, you want a reader to view them exactly as you’ve laid them out. If they download and print a DOC or XLS file, the paging and line breaks will be off since they won’t have the exact same printer and font setup that you do. Only PDF preserves your layout without changes.
- Allow interactivity. PDFs allow hyperlinks, multimedia, text notes and markups within the file. They can even include forms that a recipient can fill, or that can import and export data
- Include all subordinate files in one location. To minimize file size, you may have included references to external charts, pictures and other files in your document. If you send the document itself without remembering to include all the subordinate files, your recipient will see blank spaces or errors where the missing files go. A PDF files automatically sucks up all the inclusions and puts them in their proper places.
- Prohibit changes. If a document must remain unchanged, such as for a court of law, then the PDF format meets that requirement by being “read only.” No one can change the file without leaving an electronic sign that it has been altered.