PDF as the new main document format for Microsoft Word?

Recently a friend of mine told me that Microsoft Word is now capable to use PDF as its persistence format – you can now save documents as PDF and you can open PDF documents for editing. And because of this he assumes PDF to not be a secure file format to transfer documents that must not be altered until you protect it with a password.

This got my attention because of some issues I have with this “information” – I’ll just post the two most important:

  1. PDF is not a format that has been designed for saving text documents that will be edited again. PDF has been enriched with a lot of things that are contrary to its initial target (describing the output of a formatted document that is device independent and durable). I’ve seen PDF documents that actively call web services like applications do. IMHO it’s NOT a good idea to use things for a certain work just because there is a way to use them – I try to always use the tools for things they are designed for (e.g. I don’t try to force a nail into a wall using my cordless screwdriver – even if it would work). Opening a PDF to edit it is like opening a EXE with a decompiler to add a new feature.
  2. Simply saving a document as PDF never was a way to secure the content from being altered. Adding a password does not really make this better (http://www.pdfunlock.com/). To protect something against manipulation the correct tool is a time stamped signature – not a password or a specific file format.

So what I want you to take from this post:

  • Use tools the way the tool-designer had in mind!
  • If you are not 100% sure, what tool to use: RTFM – don’t ask your naighbor … he might didn’t read the FM 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Sylvio's Infobox

Aktuelle Themen rund um SQL Server, BI, Windows, ...

Meredith Lewis

Professional Digital Portfolio

Vittorio Bertocci

Just another WordPress.com weblog

ScottGu's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

AJ's blog

Thoughts and informations I think worthwhile to share...

Outlawtrail - .NET Development

Architecture & Design

SDX eXperts Flurfunk

Just another WordPress.com weblog

%d bloggers like this: