New documents are constantly being authored, shared, revised and archived, creating a continuing challenge to businesses to keep up secure repositories of information, along with maintain the ever changing formats where information is composed. image to pdf The wide variety of creator applications available today makes for workflow and business processing challenges for organizations – even way more for big enterprises with disparate locations. Converting documents from one format to another can have many advantages for organizations, helping them realize increased productivity, better communication and enhanced process improvement, but what format should be properly used and why?
PDF, TIFF and JPEG are three file formats frequently present in the electronic information age. The need to convert documents from PDF to TIFF and PDF to JPEG is dependent upon several issues including information accessibility, data security and file storage and archiving. The next factors should be used into account when contemplating what file formats should be properly used, and when:
Accessibility & Productivity
Converting documents into universally readable formats increases business process workflow along with worker productivity – while enhancing colleague collaboration and communication too. Since the introduction of the TIFF standard, many variations have been introduced. The JPEG image compression format (used primarily because it is browser supported) is just a lossy format, and therefore some quality is lost once the file is compressed, which is often problematic once the file is restored or shared. The consequence of these developments is that documents which were once frequently converted from PDF to TIFF and PDF to JPEG formats are now more frequently kept as PDF files – because of free readers, the standardization of the format and the preservation of document integrity.
Searchability & Archiving
TIFF is just a raster format and must first be scanned with an OCR engine (optical character recognition) before a report in this format can be searched. PDF is just a considerably better archiving format than TIFF for a number of reasons: PDF files tend to be smaller sized and therefore usually require only a fraction of the memory space of respective TIFF files, often with better quality. Small file size is especially advantageous for electronic file transfer (FTP, e-mail attachment etc.), and the PDF file format stores structured objects (e.g. text, vector graphics, raster images), and makes for efficient full-text search. Plus, metadata like title, author, creation date, modification date, subject, and keywords can be embedded in a PDF (or TIFF) file, enhancing archiving and retrieval.
Files stored in JPEG format (image files), aren’t directly text searchable (and frequently don’t contain word content), but might be named with titles (or otherwise indexed) and archived and located by naming attributes. However, JPEG files of documents might be scanned via OCR, and then text searched.
Document Structure & Portability
Standard TIFF doesn’t include any method for defining document structure beyond sequencing pages, while PDF documents can include bookmarks, hyperlinks, tags and annotations. Also, Web browsers don’t support TIFF – and so the format isn’t ideal for Website pages – while PDF pages might be optimized for Web delivery, via an optional Adobe plug-in.
TIFF, JPEG and PDF are all portable across operating environments – so files will appear the exact same on both PCs and Macs – possibly eliminating the need to convert some files from PDF to TIFF and PDF to JPEG.
TIFF and JPEG formats don’t contain built-in security protocols, so users can just only be allowed, or restricted, use of documents. The PDF format on one other hand, includes a sophisticated security system, which is often used to create document access passwords, or restrict usage.
PDF to TIFF and PDF to JPEG – to Convert or To not Convert – there is no-one answer
As a first step towards electronic document archiving, many organizations implemented TIFF archives – ensuring long-term viability, an established document structure, and a simple to transmit format – but one that’s not easily searchable. Evolving business needs have dictated that the greater functionality of the PDF format is necessary for document storage, while companies commonly utilize the JPEG image file compression for storage and Web compatibility for color image files. Additionally, PDF is more versatile in that it works extremely well to store JPEG images and searchable text within the document as well.
Another good format alternative for JPEG to show documents in a browser is Portable Network Graphics Format (PNG). PNG was made to displace the older GIF format, and is advantageous as it utilizes lossless compression, meaning no image data is lost when saving or viewing the image. (We’ll enter greater detail about PNG, and other file formats, in future articles.)