Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Problems With PDFs

“Every website I surveyed in the research for this article had a significant portion of its content locked up in PDF files, a format that actively impedes the goal of informing the public and driving conversation. PDF files often go unindexed by search engines (limiting discovery), are difficult to share and all but impossible to read on mobile devices. As a result, PDFs are highly unlikely to be read by any audience, at any time, on any device.

“In an analysis of its own PDF reports conducted last year, the World Bank found that 1/3 of all reports published in PDF format by the bank had never been downloaded. Fewer than 13% had been downloaded more than 250 times, making PDF files — the dominant format think tanks use to present information — almost wholly ineffective in helping think tanks achieve their goals.

The Digital Think Tank

Related: No One Reads PDFs. That’s Why Academics Need to Think Like Journalists