Do You Hate PDFs Too?

I remember there being some backlash against ChangeThis, Seth and Co.’s site to distribute and give birth to a gang of manifestos. And yesterday I posted about Halley’s manifesto and mentioned that I hated that it was in PDF format.
I’m a total purist. I’m too practical. Drives Ron crazy. I just want the content thank you without all the presentation and bells and whistles. Other people love it. I can’t stand it. The more I study and do web design the more I simply and constrain my templates.
I think my big beef is that it always forces the user to open up another application. And often it’s a waste of space like a PowerPoint presentation. I understand PDFs if you’re doing product delivery etc but not for stuff that should be freely available and searchable.
Doc Searls goes off:

[The ChangeThis site says] “our PDFs don’t suck.” Because they’re beautiful and “a joy to read.” Excuse me, they do suck if what they contain isn’t also on the Web in relatively ugly but open, unowned, nonproprietary, standard and non-infuriating HTML (or its more modern and no less standard successors and derivatives). PDFs, no matter how beautiful, are not a joy to quote (how about all them line breaks you have to edit out?), or to link to. Forgive me. I’m in a bad mood today about people breaking the Web. One way they do it is by taking writing off the Web and offering it only as a .pdf “download”. AAARg.

5 thoughts on “Do You Hate PDFs Too?

  1. Mike

    PDF’s suck, pure and simple! Who wants to open bloatware juse to read some text?
    If I see a pdf, I normally will not open the document, so I know they are losing readers. And as far as it being “pretty”, just learn HTML!

    Reply
  2. Connie

    Yes, Andy, I absolutely hate, hate, hate PDFs! Hurrah for you for coming down on them!!!
    They take too much darn time to download, and then you have to figure out where the heck you’re going to file this thing. Oh, and let’s say some cool new study came out, I don’t know how the heck to cut and paste from those irritating PDFs!
    Thanks for spouting off about them! Yeah!

    Reply
  3. gerry

    I find it also very inconvenient and most exasperating.
    The tragedy is why people want to use pdf when they can use html to put their messages and whatever on the web.
    I think I will resolve to boycott all pdf downloads because whatever they contain can be found in html files.
    That will teach their users to switch to exclusively html files.
    gerry

    Reply

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