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PDF rather than Word


One of my customers, a parish council, has a new member of staff and they were querying why I strongly recommended putting up minutes etc as Adobe/PDF rather than MS/Word documents on their web site.

So I wrote this little summary which it seems a shame not to share:

  1. PDFs are usually smaller, sometimes significantly smaller, which saves both disk space and bandwidth. It's also good news for those on slow Internet connections.
  2. MS/Word documents are often unreadable on devices that don't use MS/Windows and an increasing number of people visiting your web site won't be using MS/Windows (or even a PC, lots of people are surfing using other devices now).
  3. Even if the user's PC has MS/Word it may be a different version which may not be able to read documents produced by your version of MS/Word.
  4. Putting MS/Word documents up can expose the changes that you have made to them and any embedded comments (the "meta data"). This can, and has, caused considerable embarrassment.

All of the above is is why you'll find most district and county councils use PDF rather than MS/Word.

Tags: Microsoft, websites Written 25/02/09

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