why aren't more people, companies, etc using PDF?

Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2019 Apr 26, 2019

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Not so much a problem with any scripting. I was wondering why aren't people, especially companies using PDF to streamline their workloads and take advantage of the powerful tools at their finger tips. I know some out there do but I am very surprised at how many people I know in the business world that own a version of Acrobat (the full program) and just let it sit on their computers doing nothing. Instead of using it to make their jobs easier and to create a custom app or form that would save the company so much time. It absolutely amazes me. I have a few good friends that own big companies and I witnessed the employees struggling to get even a letter written. I mentioned to my friends to utilize the Acrobat program they own and they were just not interested in hearing anything further about incorporating PDF's into their company. Here they spent at least $450 on the Acrobat program and it just sits taking up space on their computer. Through the years (from version 3) I have become a very strong advocate for PDF usage and I know it's the way of the future. I was sold from the moment I realized it's cross platform. But, still the people I'm associated with could care less. Saving time, is saving money and PDF can do exactly that. I don't believe these people are aware what can be done by embedding some javascript in an app, form or document. Soooo

I'm sure you guys run into this as well. How do you pro experts contend with this and make a living creating apps and forms. Am I the only one who runs into this? What do you guys say to a potential client? I don't want to get into the business, I want to help a few friends realize they should take PDF's seriously and take a minute to learn it and understand that PDF creations are not just exporting a Word document into PDF. It's very frustrating to me, knowing I can help if someone would just listen. The reason for my post is one of my friend's secretaries told me she "didn't believe" me after I tried to explain what someone can do with Acrobat and PDFs instead of taking a minute to see, a few examples I've created, for herself. They rely on Quick Books and Word.

I sure would like to hear from some of the experts here and what are they doing or saying to promote the usage of PDF's. What do you guys have to say?

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript, Macintosh, Windows

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 26, 2019 Apr 26, 2019

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Love your enthusiasm, but I'm not sure I understand your question in full. To my mind Acrobat can't make apps, so I don't see that part at all.

Forms are a big problem, and I fully understand why people would avoid them because the vast majority of PDF end users don't use PDF viewers that handle forms properly. In this case the huge success of PDF has made it much less useful for forms, in my opinion.

Also, I have no idea how Acrobat figures in writing a letter. Word is the industry standard for that, and trying to use PDFs to write a letter sounds painful indeed. If the employees struggle to write a letter they need training in Word.

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Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2019 Apr 26, 2019

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Thanks for the chime. Yes, I am very enthusiastic about the Acrobat program, I think Acrobat is a very useful tool to create apps and to add more functionality to forms. It calculates some sophisticate javascript equation formulas. I think notifying the user to use the free Acrobat Reader would steer them to use it to access your form or app correctly. I use Acrobat X Pro all the time and have created several nifty things so I know some of Acrobat capabilities, at least on a personal level. And, with the help and guidance from the experts here I've been able to do some very interesting forms and yes indeed, apps. I save myself a lot of time creating the apps based on my own needs. Unfortunately, at my age, I'm more or less retired but stay in touch doing lunches with my buddies which own their own companies but as soon as me helping them save time, lunch is over and they turn off.

What I was referring to about writing letters with Acrobat. I don't remember the last time I wrote a letter. When I saw my buddy's secretary copying and pasting text from one file to the other and having a hard time at that I just flipped out. She was preparing a contract proposal. I agree, she needs more training with the Word program. She put on her resume she was an computer expert. A little exaggeration, in my opinion. Anyway...

I would like the experts which do this for a living to chime in. If I have a hard time convincing my buddies to incorporate Acrobat into the group of apps they use, then people which make a business out of Acrobat, must have met some stick in the mud types. How do they overcome the obstacles and continue to make a living? What would be a professional pitch for using Acrobat? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 27, 2019 Apr 27, 2019

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why aren't more people, companies, etc using PDF?

Client: Can we do this in a PDF form?

Me: Yes, it works fine but on computers only, not on mobile devices.

Client: Can we do that in a PDF form?

Me: Yes, it works fine but on computers only, not on mobile devices.

- Etc.

This is the biggest restriction on the use of PDF format.

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Advocate ,
Apr 27, 2019 Apr 27, 2019

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Well, it is a bit of a challenge to make something work on iDevices, and I fully agree that there are quite a few things even the best PDF Viewer for iOS does not support.

The question is, why did, for example, Adobe such a lousy job with their PDF Viewer for iOS (and an even worse one for Android)??

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 27, 2019 Apr 27, 2019

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I still don't understand what you mean by "apps". Originally an app was a program for a mobile device. Now it also means a program for Windows or Mac, but a program made with programming tools like Visual Studio. So I can't imagine in what way Acrobat could make anything I'd call an app. I'm sure it's just a question of us using the same word in different ways.

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Advocate ,
Apr 27, 2019 Apr 27, 2019

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You appear stuck with semantics here.

In the days before the mobile phone frenzy, what the OP calls "app" was often called "lightweight application" (but for today's users, that has too many syllables…)

Otherwise, what would you call, for example my booking system for small enterprises in the hotellerie or para-hotellerie, coming along as a 1.2 MB PDF? It is not a form (although it uses Acroforms as a base), so it must be some kind of app, but according your definition, it is not, because it has not been created in Visual Studio (BTW, on Mac, one would use Xcode…). So, what is it?

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Explorer ,
Apr 28, 2019 Apr 28, 2019

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you say potato, I say potato. I've always referred to apps as short for applications or programs. Even on computers or other devices. This is getting away from my question but I believe many people refer to apps as programs as well. Also, Acrobat can indeed create programs to use in many areas of business and personal applications. It just takes time and planning it. Even as a novice, I've created things to make my job easier and faster (when I wasn't retired) Acrobat handles very interesting calculations, data processing and the like perfectly.

What I was curious to find out, seriously, was PDF is being under rated and overlooked by quite a few professionals. I was thinking it was my enthusiastic pitch for it but what I'd like to know is what the experts were doing to continue to prosper in creating PDF's for a business because some of their rates (no offense to anyone) are more than what my doctor charges. Because it doesn't make sense, at least to me. How do they pitch PDF's? Anyway...I was just curious.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 28, 2019 Apr 28, 2019

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Not really stuck with semantics. It's just not anything I've ever heard called an app before in my world. Understanding how people use language helps me to get in touch with their problems more quickly.

I do draw the line at some things that are just plain wrong - like asserting that a Mac runs iOS, that Flash Player is the same thing as Acrobat Reader, that getting software from the internet is uploading it, that using a lot of memory proves a memory leak, that a computer fan coming on must be a fault in softwae, or that a blurred picture is pixellated... but mostly it's useful to just keep track of how the language evolves.

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