Steph’s Rant on “Portable” Documents


*Steph steps on soapbox.*
So, I sent a PDF out to people at my school. The ladies in the office told me that they couldn’t open it and asked if I could send it in a format that was more “universally acceptable” like a Microsoft Word document. I told them that, actually, the PDF was considered to be much more universally acceptable since you only needed free software to be able to read it. Also, the name “Portable Doucment Format” was a testimony to its intended purpose of being easily transferred between different OSes and between Mac and PC platforms. They stared at me blankly. I offered to send them the link to download Adobe Acrobat Reader. Still, blank faces.
I went back to my office and exported my document to Microsoft Word format and sent it to them. Some battles are too painful to fight.
But, it gets worse. I figured that the lower-tech office ladies would shrug off the PDF thing, but now, not one, but TWO of my professors have requested that we send our homework assignments in DOC format because it’s “more accessible.” GAH! I love when someone in my class sends me her paper in an old version of Word and it ends up all funky looking on my newer version.
One of my teachers didn’t have VERDANA installed on his machine and when he opened up my file he downgraded me because my font wasn’t very readable. Hello!?!? That’s because his computer didn’t have a standard readable font and replaced it with some tiny version of TIMES. Another problem the PDF would have solved.
I especially love when my professors tell me that they don’t like PDFs because “you can’t make comments on them.” Hello!?! Am I the only one who knows the wonders of highlighting, underlining, making call out bubbles, or leaving comments on a PDF? Does anyone else appreciate not having to download special fonts or whatnot in order to view my documents?
Seriously, people! PDF is the way to go. ANYONE can open it for free on his or her computer without having to purchase software by the *evil* company (heh). It will show up on everyone else’s computer looking exactly the same as it did on your computer. People can’t go in and edit your content without copying and pasting it into their own word processors. (Besides, if I wanted you to edit my content, I wouldn’t have sent you a PDF). And, you can do all kinds of nifty little commenting and whatnot on it. Get with it! Sheesh!
*Steph steps off soapbox.*