Not everyone knows that PDF stands for portable document format. We see PDF documents and readers just as another utility that makes our lives more convenient. But have you ever considered their importance for studying, sharing documents, sending job applications, and publishing your own work?
A good PDF reader allows you to do much more than read documents. It also lets you create, manage, manipulate, and even combine PDF files.
The portable document format is important for everyone who relies on digital files. So let’s learn something more about it.
7 Tips: How to Use a PDF Reader to Its Full Potential
Use Markup to Read More Effectively
When you use PDF to study, it’s important to mark the most important parts. The markup feature is also beneficial for highlighting crucial elements in studies, books, and any other document.
Most PDF applications will allow you to highlight and underline sentences and passages. You can create your own color scheme, so you’ll classify the highlighted information in relevant categories.
When you finish reading the document, you can collect all highlighted parts in a single file. That makes the studying process much more effective.
Protect Your Files
PDF files are important because they are available in a read-only format. That’s a useful feature when you send job application documents. Nobody can edit them without being authorized.
But the protection that PDFs offer goes beyond that point. You can control how your files can be viewed, edited, accessed, and sanitized. Adobe Acrobat is an excellent program for achieving such a level of security. You can easily protect a file with a password; just follow this path: Tools > Protect > Encrypt > Encrypt with Password.
Search through PDFs
Let’s say you just read a book and you want to find this special paragraph that you forgot to highlight. You remember some of its context and a few words. You can search through PDF files. This feature is useful for your own documents as well. If you’re working on a dissertation and you just thought of something you’d like to add, you can easily find the needed section.
In Adobe’s reader, follow this path: Edit > Advanced Search > Open Full Reader Search. There, you can enter your text and browse through the findings.
Add Sticky Notes
Sticky notes are valuable for annotating. Whenever you read something, your mind is active. You’re getting ideas that you’d like to write down. You can use a note-taking app, but that doesn’t give you the same effect as sticking notes inside a book. The location in the file is important!
Most PDF readers have advanced review features. In Acrobat DC, you can activate a floating toolbar to add your own comments. You just need to select the relevant text and choose Add Note from the options.
Create Standalone Files from a Larger PDF
When you want to save a particular page from a larger PDF, taking a screenshot is the easiest way to do it. But you’ll only get an image that way. Maybe you need a standalone file, which you can view and edit as a document. Adobe Acrobat has an Extract feature, which you can access in the tools. You can choose the parameters to save the page as you like it.
Combine Files into a Single PDF
Sometimes you have to work on a large document, which is easier to handle in sections. It’s easier to turn each chapter into a PDF and send it to your mentor or editor for reviewing. But what happens when you want to combine all those sections into a single, coherent file?
You get that option in Adobe Acrobat, too. Follow this path: File > Create > Combine Files into a Single PDF. Then, you’ll need to select the files by order, and the program will do the rest.
Use PDFs for Surveys
Surveys hold an extreme value for opinion scanning. Marketing experts use them all the time, but so do researchers and PhD candidates. Sending out surveys as Word files is not the smartest idea, since the respondents can edit the text that should stay consistent.
Adobe Acrobat allows you to identify form fields, which can be edited by those who access the document. Through the Wizard menu, you can add a field where the respondent can answer a question or choose a variable.
Elevate the Effectiveness of Your PDF Reader!
The portable document format is useful on any device. It’s great for creating and accessing documents in a safe way. But your standard reader holds potential, which you can unlock to make the process of reading, marking, and editing easy. Start exploring it through the tips above!