Thursday, February 26, 2009

Binders vs. Portfolios

I've been looking at PDF as a format for packaging and delivery for some time. I started to incorporate it a while ago and love the flexibility of the format. A question came in response to a previous post about the difference between PDF Binders and PDF Portfolios. It's actually pretty simple.

A PDF Binder: all of your native files will be converted and combined into a single PDF file. A 10 slide powerpoint, a 5 page word doc, and a 10 page PDF report would be combined into a 25 page PDF file. Navigation is through bookmarks and hyperlinks. Binders can't contain PDFs protected with passwords, digitally signed documents, or PDF forms.

PDF Portfolios are new with version 9: works like a container, box, or "portfolio" (thus the name). Can hold all sorts of file types and keeps them in their native formats. Navigation is Flash based which gives you a cleaner and more professional looking package. Acrobat 9 Pro gives you 9 different Portfolio layout options (Standard only offers a grid layout).

The other cool thing about Portfolios is the ability to preview Tiff images. So often, attorneys can't view the Tiffs that we produce as final files. But, with the help of the free Acrobat reader, now they can. They can view them within the Portfolio that also contains your searchable notes and reports.

Finally, creating Portfolios is almost an automatic process. It's really simple to do and you'll find yourself asking why you didn't switch to this delivery method sooner.

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