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Ditch that paper! With the digitization of paper-based records, not only have we been able to save a ton of trees, but we’ve also been able to increase efficiency in a big way. Digital records are now transferable, sortable, searchable, and more easily archived. However, with a lot of benefits to digitization also come some challenges. Luckily, these challenges can be overcome with a handy tool called OCR. As you might be aware, OCR refers to Optical Character Recognition. This is a technology used to recognize text within digital or scanned documents and photos. You can use this tool to convert virtually any type of image that includes text into an editable text document, even if the text is in handwriting. PDFelement, among many other programs, supports this tool. It’s probably obvious that this technology brings many benefits. Read on to discover the top 5 below: 1. Easy Editing Ever wanted to make changes to an old document you worked on but only have the hard copy available? Maybe you want to copy the formatting of an old form you filled out or created, but again don’t have a digital copy to work off of. The OCR tool is a lifesaver because you can use it to scan and digitize old documents so that you can easily edit them in a word processor or other type of suitable program, rather than having to type the all of the content outagain by hand. This saves a ton of time and manuallabor, and is obviously a major benefit. 2.Stress-free searching After you use OCR to detect the text in your scanned document, you can save your file in a format such as .doc,.txt, .pdf and more. You can view and edit these file types in programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, PDFelement, and more. All of these programs contain an internal searching function that lets you easily search for a certain word or phrase by simply pressing Ctrl+F in Windows or Command+F in Mac. Again, this saves so much time, since you don’t have to manually scroll through the entire document and scan every line to find the section you’re looking for, which can betime consuming if it’s a lengthy document. 3.Convenient Storage Options Get rid of those filings cabinets! When you digitize documents, you save physical storage space which frees up space in the office for more productive uses, like fitting in more desks and employees, or creating leisure spaces for open seating areas, foosball tables, TVs, you name it! You also reduce the need forpaper, and paper storage. 4.Accessibility for Everyone Once you scan and convert your document using OCR, you can make it available to many other users. Essentially, it will be available to anyone who has access to the database you’ve uploaded it to. This can be beneficial since it allows you to give customers access to these digitalfiles, so that they can easily view and review past records such as past payment receipts, purchase history, credit history, etc. and more. Plus, by uploading them to databases like Archive.org you can make these files publicly accessible by anyone around the globe. 5.Top-notch translation tools These days, OCR supports a huge number of languages. English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Indian, you name it. You scan a document in one language, digitized it, and translate it into almost any other language. This also saves time and resources, since you no longer need human translators to manually go through printed documents. This also helps your office productivity, since the turnaround time for projects is muchquicker when you don’t have to wait on translators to get your translated content back to you. Do you have any other benefits to OCR that you think should be mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!
As you’ve probably heard, the purpose of GDPR is to protect EU citizens from organizations that might use their data irresponsibly. In today’s blog post, we’ll cover what this recent regulation means to IT Professionals, what their biggest challenges are, and how PDFelement can help! EU citizens now have the authority to decide what information to share with organizations, how and where to share it, and whether they want to delete their personal information from any database if they so choose. GDPR and the IT Professional With GDPR replacing the Data Protection Act of 1998, it becomes more critical that businesses, especially IT services, should know everything they need to about the changes that have been brought forth inlegislation. Better understanding means better compliance with the regulations and fewer chances of penalties. Challenges of existing approaches to documents for IT Professionals Document storage: Every item of personal information that you store in printed or digital documents is subject to GDPR regulations. Typically, files are stored in a range of different formats, including: – • Editable documents (such as Microsoft Word files) that can be easily edited, and are therefore insecure • Unencrypted PDF files with no access control Document sharing: Internal collaboration sees documents shared across multiple locations – with little or no user accountability. In addition, many businesses share entire documents as a matter of process, even if only one piece of the document is truly relevant to processing. Meanwhile, the growth in sharing via email and cloud services has also dramatically increased the risk of data leakage. Human error accounts for a large proportion of data breaches and most documents can be opened by anyone that has access to the file. 5 Ways PDFelement can help: 1. Conversion of all Office document file types to PDFs – Getting documents out of paper and into digital office files is an essential first step toward GDPR compliance. PDFelement allows you to create industry standard PDF files that are fully compliant with all PDF viewers on virtually any device. • Batch PDF creation from over 300 file formats • Print to PDF from almost any application 2. Data Redaction Redacting data can allow companies to remove the sensitive or identifying data, without removing the entire record. This makes the process simpler and less invasive. 3. Encryption and Password Protection Encrypt documents with 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption levels, and permissions settings to control the viewing, printing, and modification of files. 4. Convert scanned documents into editable PDF files A paper-free office has long been a dream for many people. Quickly convert paper documents into searchable and editable PDF files you can organize, share and protect. 5. Archiving PDF/A is an ISO-standardized version of the Portable Document Format (PDF) specialized for use in the archiving and long-term preservation of electronic documents. Make sure you stay up-to-date with this important privacy protection legislation! If you have any other tips let us know in the comments below.
As part of our Back to School promotion running until September 14th, we are highlighting the ways that PDF software can be useful when it comes to education. This time, we’ll outline the top 5 uses of PDF tools for instructors! With the beginning of the school year comes many challenges for instructors. They return back to long days of teaching, lesson planning, and marking assignments. Their days are packed, so any tool that will help make their lives just a little bit easier is one they should likely invest in. An instructor’s main concern should be on educating their students – helping them understand concepts, explaining and listening to different viewpoints, and giving students all the tools they need to absorb information so they can use it in the future. They don’t want to think about the mundane aspects of their job like how to best markup student papers, share learning material, or fill out a tedious form. This is why a PDF solution like PDFelement can be a real time-saver for instructors now that the school year is starting back up again! Here are the top five ways PDF editing tools can make your life easier as an instructor: 1. You can mark assignments electronically Since everything is done online these days, it makes sense that marking assignments is often done electronically rather than in hard copy as well. Luckily, tools like PDFelement have an abundance of annotation tools. With PDFelement, you can leave comments or sticky notes to draw attention to a certain point or concept, or you can highlight certain sections that you’d like a student to change or review. Not only will you be able to easily make these changes, but you can also easily send the marked up file back to the student who can read and review the changes using PDFelement as well. 2. You can share learning material effortlessly As well, many learning materials are now provided to students in electronic format – either through files or links to educational websites. With PDFelement’s editing features, you can easily put together reading packages for your class, using tools to manage, organize, split pages, add bookmarks, and more. If you do decide that you want to print out the reading materials for your students, you can also easily print to PDF using PDFelement. As well, PDFelement’s OCR features lets you easily scan material from a hard copy textbook that can then be edited and added into the reading package or shared electronically with your students. Most PDF editors allow you to compress and reduce large pdf files as well, so they can be easily shared without compromising quality. This can come in handy when you want to send material to students via email or other platforms online. 3. You can quickly convert files PDFelement lets you export PDFs into other editable formats like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, HTML, and more, while preserving all formatting from the original document. Perhaps you have material in PDF format that you want to present to your class. You can easily export your PDF into a PowerPoint presentation. You can also convert other file formats to PDF effortlessly, while retaining the same formatting and look as the original. Perhaps you require your students to send their papers in PDF format to ensure that no formatting gets misaligned in the process of sending. Students can easily convert their paper written in Word to PDF format with PDFelement, which will help make your life a lot easier when you are reviewing and marking the paper. 4. You can read up on material for lectures Most PDF editing tools come with relevant layouts and settings that offer you advanced reading experience with smooth scrolling and fast search. If you are researching concepts online to include in your next lecture, or if you need to view online PDF content, you can do so easily with tools like PDFelement. You can also markup the text as you go, making notes on what you want to include in your lesson plan, or highlighting certain sections. 5. You can share and fill out forms easily With PDFelement, you can create or edit PDF forms either from scratch or from a template using automatic form field recognition. This is really helpful if you need to create a form for your students to fill out. Perhaps you want to gather feedback about the class by having students fill out a form. Or you might require your students to complete monthly assessments on their work by filling out forms, either online or in hard copy. You can easily create these types of forms, and your students can easily fill them out using PDFelement. Plus, with digital signatures, you or your students can electronically sign forms for saved time and convenience. We hope this school year will be a little easier with the help of PDFelement! If you have any other tips for instructors, let us know in the comments below!
For most businesses, the complete elimination of paper isn’t really a feasible option; but that doesn’t mean that they can’t still participate in “go paperless” initiatives. Even small steps can help. A small reduction in paper usage can cut costs significantly and make important daily tasks more efficient! Whether you work for a startup or a well-established company, reducing paper always has its benefits. Plus, PDFs can be your best friend, since many tools that aredesigned to assist in going paperless involve the use and management of PDF files. Why use PDFs? PDF is a file format that can be used without the need of a particular operating system or even hardware or software. Everything that is required for displaying the content of the PDF is embedded within the format including the fonts, texts, and the graphics. As a result, PDF is considered to be an almost exact digital representation of a paper document. So, for documents where the layout is important, PDF is the ideal choice. Plus, it eliminates the use of hard copies! Generally, almost all computing devices including tablets and smartphones can display PDFs, and they will look the same regardless of the platform you use for viewing them. Apart from their portability, using PDFs is also a good idea for the following reasons: · Quick access By converting the documents to PDFs, you can quickly get access to the information. Websites and web pages can also be converted to PDFs so that you can, later, go back and have a look at them. · Security Converting Microsoft Word documents into PDFs ensures that the document cannot be copied, altered, or even printed without using a special PDF editing tool. Thus, you can give others access to your work without losing control of your documents. Benefits of printing to PDF When going paperless, printing to PDF can provide the following benefits. 1. Document formatting is maintained PDFs enhance the efficiency and professional image of the company. With documents such as invoices and receipts converted into PDFs, it is easier to sort, file, and organize the files, plus their formatting is properly maintained. A big issue when sharing Word documents is that the formatting can change when being transferred between devices. This can make you look unprofessional to your colleagues. By printing a document to PDF before sending, you can be sure the document will look exactly the way you intended. 2. Client communication is made easier Communicate sales and offers to your customers without paying for printing and postage costs. Since many people now have smart devices, it is easier to send out PDFs so that the customers can access it immediately. As a result, efficiency is increased while storage costs and paper copies decrease. PDF files can be easily retrieved on the go too, and can be shared via email or over a network with coworkers, clients, etc., reducing the hassle of carrying a pile of papers with you. Plus, the transport of data is more efficient, and no document couriers or fax machines are involved when you simply print to PDF. 3. File size is more compact A huge advantage of the PDF file format is that you can compress high-quality files to a relatively small file size easily and without losing quality. That’s ideal for sending documents to clients because the file size won’t be too big to send over email, and PDF files don’t take up a ton of space on your hard drive. Next time you are sending that long presentation to a client or colleague, make sure to print to PDF! 4. Security and privacy are improved When it comes to security, the only way to protect sensitive data on a hard copy sheet of paper is to lock it inside a filing cabinet or throw it in the paper shredder. PDFs on the other hand, can be easily encrypted with a password so that no one else can make changes to it. You can also redact certain information that you don’t want visible to everyone receiving the document. Have any other reasons why it’s beneficial to print documents to PDF? Let us know in the comments below!