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February 24th, 2007

PDF Overload

Surely I can’t be the only one suffering from PDF overload, can I?

Last week while on a mini-vacation my wife and I looked at myriad sites for restaurants, hotels, and the like. Used to be, PDFs held ancillary information: one-off flyers, forms, and their ilk. Now PDF is being used for everything. We lost count of the number of restaurants using PDFs for no good technical reason. It’s getting nutty when you see Comic Sans making an appearance in a PDF when it’s just as possible to hate it on a pure HTML page!

Worse, most of these sites don’t offer an alternative: it’s PDF or nothin’. I don’t know about you but I think that’s a pretty lousy way to do a website. Give me the information in HTML, and hire a competent designer who knows more than a smidgen of CSS to make it look good.

Posted in Technology

Cat February 24, 2007, 1:48 pm

The problem is that it’s easier for laymen to update a document on a site using a pdf. I do this at work, because creating a pdf in WordPerfect is easy, and it’s something users are already familiar with. I’d much rather teach them to use a macro when they edit a document than have them edit a blog entry. A CMS may seem simple to us, but to most of the people I work with, they are incomprehensible.

If I created a restaurant site, and the menu needed to be updated regularly, you can bet I’d use a pdf.

Merle February 24, 2007, 7:08 pm

No kidding. PDF is just fine if you need absolute control over the printed form, but very few restaurants actually want people to print out their menus.. nor are they usually on standard sized paper. It’s just lazy, considering the number of WYSINWYG editors out there.

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