Improving Document Processes and User Experience with Linearized PDFs

By Roger Beharry Lall posted 06-13-2014 15:46


Unarguably, content is the lifeblood of any organization. Whether you’re in the Life Sciences, Financial Services, Government, Manufacturing, Legal, or any other industry, the content your organization creates and uses is what makes the wheels turn.

This content can range from 140-character Tweets to FDA submissions which can be several thousand pages, and everything in between. Accessing files which are of the latter size can be challenging in the world of instant access and low patience. Quick access to corporate documents seems to be a user requirement, if not an expectation, that might be the key difference between user adoption of a system or a pass. If a knowledge worker has to wait while a thousand-page report opens up – or worse, if a shareholder has to wait for a board book to download – what is to say they will lose interest and abandon the document? Organizations for whom content is critical – and there aren’t many that don’t fall into this area – can’t afford to let technology get in the way of accessibility.

This is where the linearized PDF comes in.

The linearized PDF is saved in a different structure than a regular PDF, which creates the ability to display pages in a PDF viewer while the document is being downloaded from a server.  This is achieved by reorganizing the file so that all objects, xref tables and visible content are stored on a per-page basis. What this means is that your knowledge worker, stakeholder or customer doesn’t need to wait till the full document is loaded before accessing the file. In the world of I-want-it-now, saving even a few seconds makes a difference, not to mention a minute or two.

The benefits of serving PDF documents in a fast and reliable manner can not only drive user acceptance and improve customer experience, but also drive down costs in several document-centric processes.

Many content management systems can be configured to enable linearized PDFs to be delivered and consumed correctly. To learn more about how to make this possible, please view this technical briefing paper:  Linearized PDFs - An End-to-End Overview with Technical Requirements for Implementation

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