PDF collaboration

Collaborative working with PDF documents

 

Collaborative working has never been more important; many people across many sectors rely on others to finish projects and meet deadlines, and tools that make jobs easier all round are critical to the smooth running and completion of projects on time!

Expectations & Purpose

Users expect seamless performance and integration from any tool they pay for, regardless of application. The purpose of any tool has to be to aid the user with their workload, whether that be work or pleasure, and tools that promote collaborative working have to be able to keep teams on the same page (literally), and allow them to share notes and feedback from different locations and time zones with ease.

Where do PDFs come in?

PDF documents are opened and edited millions of times a day across the world; they’re available on the cloud, the web, as basic documents and even on e-readers. As they enable the original document format to be maintained and work on any operating system, they give extreme versatility to individuals and businesses alike, as well as offering benefits such as password protection and ease of integration for non-text elements such as images and hyperlinks.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that PDFs are popular for team projects, especially as they can be uploaded to a shared area and downloaded by all members of the team with the formatting untouched. You can’t always say the same for formats such as Excel and Word, so saving a file as PDF before uploading can save a lot of hassle for others who want to access and edit the document. One of the potential downsides of using PDF files, however, is that they cannot be edited within the standalone reader; an editing program has to be used to make edits to the PDF itself, unless the original source file is available to all (which then runs the risk of maintaining original integrity).

Shared Editing

A comprehensive PDF editor such as Infix will allow all team members access to the document (with or without password protection; if a password is in place, all team members will need to know this to access the file). Once accessed, the PDF can then be edited and feedback/comments made about the content, graphics, functionality etc on the one document, which can then be saved and shared back to the other members of the team. Translation is also a key function, especially if the document is being created for multi-language use or if different team members are in different countries; Infix’ uses CAT tools and XML, thus minimising the need for page layout adjustments and also makes any necessary font adjustments as it works.

Other editing features that come in particularly useful when editing a shared document are:

•    Text/image redaction – Infix offers secure redaction, and removes the original text/image from the area, following with a coloured mark or label so all users know where the edits have been made
•    User defined stamps/watermarks – handwritten signatures, watermarks and stamp annotations can be created by different users and applied to the PDF file in use, which works particularly well if more than one member needs to include a signature
•    Search and replace – Infix offers a powerful “batch mode” that can search multiple PDF documents in one go. This function includes both text and hyperlinks.
•    Graphic editing – graphics can be grouped, locked and hidden, edited and aligned – the inbuilt vertical rulers makes alignment easier alongside grids, margins and guides.

Effectiveness

Using a collaboration tool has to be effective or it will quickly be replaced – those who work with such tools on a daily basis will quickly know how effective a tool is and how much time can be saved by all members of the team. A PDF editor that offers collaborative features to ease working is high on the essentials list for any shared working within PDF documents, and Infix is just the tool to make that happen!


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