It wasn’t so long ago that electronic files were limited to simple text and spreadsheet documents. These were clearly very useful for some purposes but not the most attractive of documents. The next big development was the explosion of desktop publishing and electronic layout programs. Suddenly newspapers and magazines were being designed and laid out electronically and the entire printing industry was changed forever.
Rise of the PDF
All of these new graphics, image manipulation and page layout programs created a problem however, as computer users with different computer platforms and application software could not share documents. The Portable Document Format (PDF) from Adobe addressed that need. With users able to view documents without access to the application that created it, workflows in publishing were much simpler and users on different platforms could share information.
Interactive pdf files
Standard PDF files are now common and a widely accepted document format. They contain text and images but with computer users now used to interacting with other media types online, such as video and audio, the demand was there to develop a PDF with multimedia capabilities. These multimedia PDF files would provide the user with a much more interactive experience and include media types like video, audio, images, flash animation and interactive buttons.
Why use a PDF with multimedia?
Creating a multimedia PDF gives you the opportunity to create a much more engrossing experience for the recipient. Instead of pages of text, ideas and information can be shared more vividly and succinctly by using video for example. Interactive PDF files also contain clickable buttons which allow the user to navigate around the document in their own time and according to their own preferences, selecting the information that is of most interest to them without the need to wade through pages of text.
Typical uses for interactive PDF files
A multimedia PDF is a great tool for designers and commercial organizations to show off their wares. It is far better to show a product or a design project rather than just write about it. Using a PDF with multimedia would allow such organizations to create a video about a product and then talk about it to support the product information contained in the text. Recipients requiring more information can then click on buttons to take them to more relevant content. Interactive PDF files are also a great way to bring a newsletter to life and can be used to guide and support users filling in a form within the document.
A computer file game-changer
Modern computer users are now used to using rich media formats such as audio and video online. Clearly they come to expect the same sort of experience when using documents too. The multimedia PDF provides a platform to do exactly that and it has changed the nature of what we think of as a document. Now a PDF with multimedia document provides a vehicle for the delivery of all sorts of information in a single, portable format.
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