November 03, 2005

always tell people it's a PDF

Doc gets pissed about PDFs. We all know that. And we know why. He's right, they are a pain in the ass in terms of loading time, hogging resources, and searchability, although I think google spiders them now, right?

But what is a pain is that PDFs aren't as fast and manuverable as HTML.

What's nice is that you, the author, controls the look during the browser wars of today and tomorrow.

My solution is to simply TELL readers that the document they're about to click on is a PDF. It's really very simple. Just put [PDF] after the document link.

That'll make Doc happer. It'll make me happy. And we can all get some rest.


Phil Ringnalda said...

For no good reason, my fuzzy brain read that as saying "always tell people it's a PDF, whether or not it is." I was having the hardest time figuring out why. Let's see, so they'll be happy when they find it isn't really...

Jeneane Sessum said...

HA! Phil got tricked! I think that we could actually use your idea in every day life. What if I actually tell them I wrote the copy in Sanskrit and so when they open the document they'll be like--HEY I CAN READ SANSKRIT - I ROCK! We need a little more of that kind of optimistic trickiness in this world.

Anonymous said...


I've been weaning my clients off pdf files for the last several months...moving their files to Flashpaper docs. They load faster, are smaller, equal I'm getting paid to make the transformation! Life is good.

misterorange said...

Oh my lord, please, no Flash.

If PDF is a flesh wound, Flash is like setting yourself on fire.

Or something.

All I know is, I can't stand the stuff. It's not indexable, it's not searchable, and only the most adamant developers will allow you to bookmark flash pages (bookmarks that -work- anyway).

Ewwww, Flashpages :(

John said...

Obviously you haven't tried FlashPaper. Flashpaper is both searchable and indexable.