Is PDF in Russia standard or not?

Why is PDF actually not a standard in Russia, although it has the status of an international standard (enshrined in ISO / IEC 32000-1: 2008)?

It would seem that PDF is an electronic document management standard recognized in the West, the format is convenient, compact, formatting does not creep when opening a file on different computers. Programs for viewing and creating PDF files are easily and free on the Internet. And yet we have little use of this format. Let's try to figure it out.

What is happening now. PDF (in particular, its kind of PDF / A) is used as an archive format by companies that introduce electronic document management. On the websites of public authorities, documents in PDF are slowly starting to appear - and it pleases. Almost all the instructions and manuals posted on the Internet “live” in PDF. Rare advanced users send files to each other in PDF. However, this is not all. In everyday life at the household, and at the corporate level, in business and personal correspondence, this format is practically not used, even serious tender documents are sent to the competition in MS Word format.

I think one of the main reasons for the Russian dislike of PDF is “it’s not accepted here”. If I need to upload information to the network or send to colleagues in our western offices, I do the PDF. If I send documents to friends, colleagues in Russia, the file usually flies in Word or Excel. Firstly, it’s faster (there is no unnecessary gestures for printing to a virtual printer), and secondly (and this is the main thing), a “non-editable” document may not be adequately perceived by the Russian addressee: he may think whether I’m showing off or I'm afraid to share source code.

Another possible reason - despite the availability of PDF-readers, they are not installed by everyone (not to mention editors). For the majority of users, a computer is a tool for office work, communication with colleagues, friends, and very many in working with documents rarely go beyond the standard functionality (which, for example, provides MS Office) - unfortunately, this is especially noticeable in Russian regions.

Although the exchange of documents in PDF, in my opinion, is much more correct.

Firstly, the addressee will see the whole document that was sent to him. When viewing a file, it is almost impossible to accidentally delete a fragment of a document (as happens in Word or Excel).

Secondly, there is confidence that with further transfer of the PDF document its contents will remain the same, the file properties and metadata will not change (of course, if you set a goal to change something, you can find the right program, but random edits - see the first paragraph - virtually excluded).

Thirdly, I personally open a “foreign” PDF file more calmly than a foreign .doc, xls. No matter what they say about the “holes” of the Adobe format, they are far from MS.

Fourth, if you do not live in the desert and communicate, especially with foreign partners, it will not be out of place to adhere to their usual standards. When I see compact PDF scanners on the desks of the managers of the Munich office of ABBYY, I regret that we haven’t matured at home before. No, not to scanners - until you are ready to scan any document in PDF and the readiness of our recipients to receive these documents. The fact that PDF is a standard in document scans was also confirmed soon at home when the Xerox MFPs were installed in my department. The default scan mode in it offered PDF - apparently, for good reason. In Western Europe, in America it is “fashionable” to behave correctly, adhere to standards. And there are much more of them, standards (but this is another topic ...).

Fifthly, PDF is convenient for sending documents created in non-default applications. The situation in the life of my company: we move to a new office, the administrative service sends all employees a floor plan in the * .vsd file. AND? Should lawyers, accountants (even in IT companies) not only be able to use, but simply have MS Visio installed on their computer? Should not. And MS Project, and other not all obvious applications. In addition, the company may not have licenses for installing such specific software for each workplace. If these files are saved in PDF (which was finally done), all our recipients will be able to read them.

At sixth. On the screen, the addressee will always have what you expect, and not the view that he himself will choose to view (such an opportunity is, for example, in MS Power Point). When Americans give out PPT seminar presentations on CDs, they always give them as hand-outs in PDF format. If the trainer considers it necessary, only slides are sent to the virtual PDF printer, if the notes to the slides contain valuable information, both slides and notes are converted to PDF. As a result, all course participants see the same information.

Etc. The list goes on :)

It is believed that PDF will gradually gain wide “household” popularity. Still, this is a format with which it is calmer, “standard”. Forwarded - and don’t worry whether they will understand him correctly.

Elena Korotkova
Head of the training center