How To Edit and Modify PDF Documents in the Post-Pandemic Era
All businesses require some level of documentation, whether in physical form or digital form. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses still operated using paper documents. Physical documentation did the job, so there was no immediate need to have tools to modify PDF documents.
Once COVID-19 hit, businesses struggled to survive. Offices were discouraged or barred from operating, making business even more difficult or even impossible to do through the use of physical documents. COVID-19 accelerated the need for electronic documentation.
In light of the need for electronic paperwork, many new technologies sprouted to be able to meet the demands of the marketplace. This article will outline some of the technologies that now help businesses operate in the digital landscape and explain how to use them to do business.
What Is a Business Document?
A business document is any document that is used in a business setting. These documents may contain information about customer orders, employee data, business plans, or any other function. Documents are a vital part of the business environment.
Here is an example of a situation that uses a business document:
A dental office offers incoming patients clipboards with attached intake forms to speed up the dental process. The receptionist takes the paper intake form, transfers the data into a computer system, and files the paper copy away in a backroom.
Companies can use documents in many formats, either physically or digitally. Beyond paper format, popular digital formats are PDF, DOCX, and XLSX.
How Businesses Edited Documents Pre-pandemic
Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses had little need for anything beyond simple physical documents. Businesses conducted daily operations using printed documents such as:
Each business had its own reasons for generating physical documentation.
Businesses largely kept their documents in physical storage locations such as filing cabinets, storage units, or warehouses. Files were organized based on the needs of the organization, and retrieving the files could have been as simple as opening a cabinet drawer.
Of course, physical documents had their fair share of problems. Physical documents could be lost, destroyed, stolen, or mishandled. Losing any documents could mean losing any of the attached information forever. Companies were slow to change to non-physical documentation practices.
How Document Editing Practices Changed After the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for businesses to continue using physical documents as the primary source of business documentation. Since employees and clients refrained from any form of physical contact, companies needed a way to conduct business without the need for someone’s physical presence or documentation. Enter: electronic documents.
Here is what changed in the world of documents after the pandemic:
Companies shifted to electronic documents – in addition to physical documents, businesses could scan them into digital format for ease of storage and use.
E-signatures became widely available – the introduction of esignature technology allowed companies to do business fully remote. This greatly sped up business processes across the board.
Increased security for electronic documents – electronic documents increased in value due to the amount of confidential data they contained, which prompted companies to beef up their security practices.
Employees could work on documents remotely – with the exception of confidential data, employees could take their work home with them and perform their duties with only a PC and an internet connection.
Staff can view documents on mobile devices – advancements in technology have allowed mobile devices access to electronic documents with limited editing functionalities.
Businesses can share documents online – companies can share documents in private portals with employees or in secure spaces with clients.
Teams can collaborate online – companies could host electronic files that employees can work on together.
New document file types – as developers produce new software for documentation, companies now have access to a wider range of file types.
The pandemic may have slowed or shut down many businesses, but the survivors have embraced electronic documents as the primary source of documentation.
How To Modify Your PDF Documents, Post-pandemic
In the post-pandemic era, electronic documents reign supreme. Businesses and clients can both open, edit, share, and modify PDF documents and other e-files for any purpose. There are many different programs available for manipulating documents, with many of them sharing overlapping functionalities. Here are some common types of files and ways to edit them:
Yes, paper documents are still around and they are just as important as before the pandemic! Editing paper documents is as easy as taking a pen and writing information into the fields or crossing out errors. In some cases, mistakes can be remedied with the use of white-out.
Microsoft Word documents (DOCX or DOC) are widely used in many educational institutions and business settings. Users can open DOCX files with the software program of their choice and start editing away. Of course, the core Microsoft Word program is still the best choice since it has all of the basic features and plenty of advanced features, too.
Microsoft Excel documents (XLSX or XLS) are used in situations requiring the use of math calculations of the more advanced variety. Editing an Excel spreadsheet is as simple as loading the file into a compatible software program and editing with an attached keyboard. All editing is done in a local setting.
It is important to note that not all spreadsheet editors can handle all of the data from the original file properly. Smaller apps may be able to display the core information, but distort any special information beyond that. Likewise, the secondary app may only be able to save the file in its own format. When editing for accuracy, it may be best to use the original program.
Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) is used in every setting imaginable and is rather versatile. To modify PDF documents takes a bit of extra legwork because it was originally meant to be used in presentations, not for perpetual editing purposes. Regardless, you can edit a PDF in a few different ways:
Adobe Acrobat DC – Adobe offers its own PDF editing software. You can edit text and images directly within the file itself using the software program. Note that it requires a small financial investment.
Microsoft Word – Microsoft has its own version of editing software that also works with PDF files. The program converts the PDF into DOCX during the editing phase, but you can save it as a PDF once you’re done. You will need to own or have access to the software in order to edit and save the files.
Google Docs – Google has its own suite of file editors that can handle PDF files, too. You will need an active internet connection in order to upload the file for editing. The app converts your PDF into a DOCX file while you edit it, but you will be able to download it as a PDF once you’re done editing. Here are the steps:
Log into your Google account
Upload your PDF file
Download your file as a PDF
GSuite is a popular platform for Google users that can make editing documents easier, at the cost of your privacy.
PDF Simpli – PDF Simpli is a powerhouse platform that allows users to edit, convert, modify PDF documents and other files, and perform various tasks all in one place. All you need is your PDF file and an internet connection. Here is how it works:
Log into your PDF Simpli account
Upload your PDF file
Download your new PDF file
PDF Simpli makes editing your PDF file, well, simple! It’s completely free to use with a member account. Click here to sign up with a valid email address to start editing and converting files today.
Text documents (TXT) are the simplest files to edit and are found everywhere in the document world. Text documents can be edited on any PC using any standard operating system such as Microsoft Windows or Apple iOS. Open the text file with a text editor, modify the contents with a keyboard, then hit save.
Documents will always need editing, no matter the setting or usage. In the digital age, editing can be as simple as opening the file with a software program, making the necessary changes, and saving the new file. In more secure environments, extra steps may be needed to comply with applicable laws and regulations.
A Note About File Conversions and Modifying PDF Documents
In order to edit a file, users need the software program and the file. The software program may convert the file into a compatible format during editing, then save a new version of the file in the original file format. This process is fine for single or small numbers of files, but large batches can be an issue.
In some situations, users may want to convert a file from one format to another without opening the file itself. It would take an absurd amount of time to convert large batches of files between formats. That’s where file conversion software comes in handy.
PDF Simpli allows users to modify PDF files on the fly without needing to convert to another type. It is also capable of converting files between formats with ease, in small or large batches. PDF Simpli is your go-to app that handles PDF files from the ground up.
What To Expect in the Future
The future of document editing is an exciting one at best. If the current trends in document editing continue to progress along the same or similar tracks, you might expect to see many new developments. Here are some possible scenarios:
Editing files and Modifying PDF Documents can be even easier – at the moment, editing requires an internet connection, software installations, file conversions, or financial investments. In the future users might not require any of these factors or a learning curve at all to modify PDF documents or other files.
Biometric security – you’ve heard of password-protecting a file, but what if the password is a part of your body? Biometric security can make it safer to work with documents.
Innate language conversions – documents are now offered in single languages, but future versions of document editor software may feature built-in language translations or the ability to toggle between them.
Blockchain editing – documents may find a home on the blockchain and be edited in cyberspace.
There are plenty of opportunities for growth in the world of document editing.
Modifying PDF Documents and other E-Files is Easier After the Pandemic
The business landscape is always changing and business documentation is reaping the benefits of the newest developments and it’s easier that ever to modify PDF documents. At first, businesses did not feel the need to abandon paper documentation, but the pandemic changed that. Now, businesses can make good use of the many features in electronic documentation.
Isabel Landrau is a staff writer at WorkSimpli. Her background in Business Operations motivates her to improve access to legal advice in underserved groups, especially in areas like business formation...
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