Is there a difference between PDF Files and PDF Forms?
Absolutely! Let’s examine the differences and see why they matter…
When people talk about a PDF, they generally are referring to a PDF File, which in the simplest terms is capturing a document in a picture file. The file can include pictures, drawings, and text. They’re usually created from Word or by scanning a piece of paper. Once the file has been created, it‘s not easily changed or edited and what can be changed is very limited.
A PDF Form, on the other hand, is a special type of document. Like the PDF File, you can have text, and graphics that are difficult to edit. The special thing about the PDF Form is that it can also have input fields. This allows the user to enter things like their name and address. Check boxes and drop down boxes can also be used. This provides a very easy to read document. If the Form is created with the right options, the user can save the newly filled out Form, capturing the entered data. This allows the user to email the saved PDF Form to a client, employee or business partner. It becomes an interactive tool that streamlines collecting and reading data. It’s a wonderful tool for collaborative work.
How Can Your Company Benefit from Using PDF Forms?
PDF Files are easily created and virtually everyone on the planet can open and view them. Because they’re difficult to edit, you can be reasonably certain that what’s in the document is what the author put there. Here’s something you may not know. I write programs that automate the reading of data in a PDF File into a database. (This means the data is automatically imputed into a spreadsheet, which makes it easy to understand.)
One client regularly processes hundreds of PDF Files, all ‘printed’ from their customer. I was able to automate the reading of this data into a database so that my client could search, filter, and summarize the data from all those files. This saved him a ton of time and money. And he finally could make sense of what was truly going on in his business. This enabled him to make proactive decisions that made his business grow.
When you need to regularly collect and process information for your company, a PDF Form greatly reduces data collection costs and data entry errors.
Let’s say you want sales people to send you their sales at the end of each day. They can fill in a blank PDF Form and email it to you from any device – an Android tablet, iPad, or laptop. Rather than sorting through each individual PDF and manually imputing the data into a new spreadsheet, which still doesn’t leave you with a clear picture of what those numbers mean, I create programs that do this automatically. It’s time to rethink how you use this familiar tool in a new and exciting way that matches our changing work environment. All you need is a program that reads the data collected in the PDF into a database.
What’s the Big Payoff when You Use PDF Forms?
It standardizes your processes, which translates into a huge savings in time and money. Whether you have sales people in the field, repair people, or inspectors, they can fill out your customized PDF Form. Since your data comes back to you in the same format every time, it’s easy to automate the import and reading of it, if you have the right program.
Would you like to automate the process of data collection and use that data to make money for your company? Contact me and we can discuss how to custom build PDF Forms and reading programs that fit your business needs.
Want to see how a PDF Form works? Click here to get a Sample: New Client Input PDF Form.