The digital transformation is well under way in companies across all industries and sizes. Throw in a pandemic that accelerated the need for digitization, and it’s no surprise the workplace itself has changed quite a bit over the past two years.
Gone are the days of brainstorming while sitting on comfy couches and chatting it up at the coffee bar. Now most of us can roll right out of bed and into our home office. While some employees are making a full-time return to the physical office, many prefer a hybrid approach. Companies looking to retain top talent are answering the call, allowing employees to split their time between their home and corporate workspaces.
But this model demands some new tools. While it’s easy for employees to carry their laptop and smartphone with them as they move between remote and in-person offices, they’re definitely not packing up their printers, scanners and file folders.
So, what can organizations do to make sure workers have access to all the documents and information they need no matter which office they’re working in? You guessed it! Our dear, old friend the PDF is here to save the day.
But it’s not all unicorns and rainbows just yet. While most of us probably have a PDF viewer on our computer (or can easily download one for free), many software options don’t have the more advanced tools required to do sophisticated actions like adding comments, highlighting, stamping, redacting comments, creating new pages and digitally signing a PDF document. This kind of functionality is critical for many job roles, from HR to finance, marketing, sales and even customer service. And keep in mind, even Microsoft Office doesn’t come equipped to edit PDFs.
The easy fix is a professional PDF editor. Like with any other purchase, it’s best to do your homework first to make sure you select one that meets your needs and your budget. There are four main factors to consider.
4-Point Checklist: Your Guide to a Powerful PDF Editor
Budget is top of mind for every business purchase, and it’s no different when it comes to a PDF editor. The big question is how many of your employees need an editor versus just a simple viewer? Chances are, you’re not sure of the hard numbers.
Overestimate and you can wind up with a substantial IT overspend due to the high software costs associated with many editing tools. Underestimate and you risk leaving employees without access to the tools they need to do their jobs. There are cheap options out there, but you won’t get the usability, security and other features you need.
Your best bet is to look for a solution that comes in at an attractive price point and that scales with you as your needs change. Kofax Power PDF™, for example, is significantly less expensive than an Adobe Acrobat subscription and offers volume discounts. The bottom line is every employee can have access to a professional PDF editor without hurting the company’s bottom line.
As with most things tech, people won’t use it if it isn’t easy. The solution should have an intuitive user interface, so employees can easily and quickly accomplish any task required. Since most of us are very familiar with Microsoft Office tools, Power PDF was designed with a Microsoft Office “ribbon” style interface. It has a natural feel that’s easy to navigate and is optimized for Windows desktop and Microsoft Surface, as well as Mac OS Big Sur.
Your team will be up and running from day one. Enhanced features for adherence to accessibility standards for people with disabilities ensures every employee is productive.
When it comes to functionality of a professional PDF editor, you may already have a list in mind of what you need. But there may be some features you haven’t thought of yet—ones that can actually further improve productivity and efficiency. Here’s our list of top capabilities to look for in a solution:
- Create PDFs from any document, web page or directly from a scanner
- Convert to and from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel
- Create and validate e-signatures
- Annotate and edit PDFs
- Create, edit and review PDFs in real-time across devices and platforms on your local network
- Redact text and graphics
- Convert images in searchable PDF formats such as PDF/A
- Create fillable forms
- Apply dynamic stamps
- Check accessibility of a PDF document
- Organize and compress files
- Split and merge PDFs
- Drag and drop security profiles to quickly and easily secure PDFs
Another thing to consider: Modern PDF editors are equipped with advanced workflows built around optical character recognition (OCR). This technology makes a PDF image searchable, which can add tremendous value to the organization in terms of productivity, efficiency and accuracy. But a tool with poor OCR makes tracking the data you need like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Other advanced features to look for include native cloud integration with Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and Google Drive cloud storage and connectors that allow users to work with PDF documents inside third-party cloud solutions and document management systems.
Flexibility is another key component to consider when evaluating PDF-editing tools. For example, are there individual user subscriptions to manage and associated credentials to keep track of or does it come with a single admin to manage users, installs, security and updates? Can the solution be deployed across desktops, servers and virtualized environments such as Citrix and Microsoft App-V?
Other key features to look for are a convenient assistant that helps with building install packages for deployments for installation management tools like Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and a customization kit for flexible configuration options. IT departments will be able to easily roll out a PDF-editing solution across the entire enterprise when these types of capabilities are available.
Your remote and hybrid workers can’t take their scanners, printers and mountains of paper files with them, but with PDFs they don’t have to. A professional PDF editor gives every employee powerful functionality so they can work smoothly and efficiently, without breaking the bank. It’s like a unicorn and a rainbow wrapped into one, helping your employees work like tomorrow, today.