6 Common PDF File Mistakes To Avoid

Portable Document Format (PDF) files are very useful in many situations. They contain their own formatting data, making them ideal for sharing finished files. Additionally, they are less easy to edit than many other formats. Therefore, it is less likely that someone will make unauthorized changes to a document, accidentally or intentionally.

Modern PDF files have many great features including form fields and easy signing. In short, PDF is a very powerful format.

However, there are some mistakes people make frequently with PDF files. These errors can lead to frustration and further mistakes. Below are six of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

1) Printing, Signing and Scanning PDFs

Many people think that to sign a PDF document, they need to print it, sign it and scan it again. This is not the case. You can skip all of that hassle by using an editor tool.

  • Open your selected PDF editor software (PDF Simpli is one such option.)

  • Select the “Sign PDF” option.

  • Choose your PDF.

  • In the editor window, select “Signature.”

  • Either create a new signature or use an existing one.

  • When ready, download your signed PDF file.

2) Low Image Resolution

When creating PDF files, you may import an image that has a low resolution. This may be sufficient if the file is only going to be viewed on a digital screen. However, if you expect the PDF to be printed, you may need to change it with a higher resolution version. Since part of the point of a PDF is that it works on all screens and can be easily printed, it is likely worth making this change.

If you have already created the PDF file, you can open it in your PDF editor tool by choosing the “Edit PDF” option. In the editor window, replace the images with higher-quality ones. When ready, you can download the document as a PDF.

3) Using PDF as a “Live” Document

PDF files are great for sharing completed work. However, if you have a document you are actively collaborating on, it may not be the best format. While PDF forms are easy to edit, the document itself can be difficult. You can use a PDF editor tool if you like, but there is a better solution.

Specifically, you can convert the PDF document into an easier format. For example, if you want to make it a Word document, do the following:

  • Navigate to your selected PDF converter.

  • Select the “Convert PDF to Word” option.

  • Choose the PDF file.

  • Make any edits you want in the editor window.

  • When ready, click the “Convert” button.

  • Download the file as a Word document.

4) Incorrect Watermark

Watermarking PDF files is a great way to help mark and manage them. For example, you could mark one as “Confidential” or “Rough Draft.” Some organizations put unique identifiers on PDF files being sent out so that they can track them more easily. You may have heard of movie studios doing this with copies of scripts.

If you make a mistake when watermarking your PDF, you may think you need to redo everything. However, if you open the PDF in most editors, you can edit whatever you want, including the watermark.

5) Sending Overly Large Files

PDF files contain their own formatting information. This is a very useful feature when trying to share a document. However, it also makes the files very large. Sometimes they are too large to be easily shared via email or the internet.

If you need to upload a PDF to a website or send it electronically, consider compressing it first. Using a “Compress PDF” tool, you can make your PDF file smaller. This will leave you with a minimally sized file that is easy to share.

6) Not Embedding Fonts

As mentioned above, formatting data for a PDF file is embedded in it. However, it is possible to not embed a font if you save the PDF file improperly. The result is that if someone else opens your PDF file, he or she may not be able to see the fonts correctly.
If you are editing with Acrobat, this should happen automatically. If you are creating your PDF with Word, make sure the “ISO 19005-1 Compliant” option is selected in the PDF options when you save.

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