PDF, a file format designed to present documents in a manner independent of software applications, devices or operating systems, has not changed much since its invention in 1993. That is, until now.
Foxit Software, a provider of PDF solutions, today announced the release of ConnectedPDF (cPDF), a technology that brings PDFs into the 21st Century, enabling teams to collaborate, share and track PDF documents in a secure cloud-based environment.
ConnectedPDF Features – A PDF Workflow Solution
ConnectedPDF does not completely reinvent the PDF but builds on the standard ISO PDF format as an extension, enabling the following capabilities:
- Document locating and tracking — Users can find their document anywhere in the world, almost like a GPS beacon;
- File update notifications — File owners can notify team members of new versions. They can also update, change and distribute documents automatically, to prevent others from reading the wrong version;
- Document activity awareness — Users can know when someone reads, changes, prints or shares a document;
- Real-time review and editing — cPDF allows for real-time synchronized review and editing (similar to Google Docs) that maintains a record of revisions;
- Remote file protection — Documents route through Foxit’s cloud-based servers and are encrypted to ensure secure sharing. Users can also set expiration dates so others can’t view them past a specified date.
“People are no longer printing documents; they’re exchanging them,” said David Ronald, head of marketing for Foxit. “By embedding intelligence in the documents themselves, users can track PDFs and know where they are on what device and see who’s printed, forwarded or changed them.”
According to Ronald, ConnectedPDF gives small businesses access to functionality that was previously available only to enterprise organizations, yet without the complexity and expense.
Designed to Solve Real Problems
ConnectedPDF was not designed merely to reflect the rise of the connected digital economy but to solve two very real problems that have existed for some time:
- Document clutter that overwhelms users and clogs storage, resulting in loss of productivity;
- Lack of version control and tracking that results in employees working on the wrong document 80 percent of the time.
According to “The Document Disconnect (PDF),” a study conducted in 2015 by IDC, working with “disconnected” documents resulted in $267 billion in profitability lost to document management issues in the U.S. alone.
“It’s time for a new generation of digital documents,” said Karl De Abrew, cPDF evangelist and president of Foxit SDK, in a prepared statement. “The PDF standard was developed before the rise of the connected economy, and it has failed to adequately address some of the most vexing and costly problems people constantly face in dealing with documents. ConnectedPDF was built from the ground up to solve these challenges simply and cost effectively.”
How ConnectedPDF Works
Follow these steps to create a connected PDF document:
- Go to the ConnectedPDF website and click the “Create cPDF Now” button, located near the bottom of the home page;
- Start by uploading any standard document (ConnectedPDF accepts the following file formats: pdf, jpg, png, bmp, gif, tiff, jpx);
- Convert the document to ConnectedPDF using its web-based tools. Foxit stores the document’s metadata on its cloud-based servers;
- Foxit ascribes a unique ConnectedPDF ID to the document. It’s not unlike tagging an animal, to track it;
- Users can share the converted connected PDF knowing they have power to monitor and control it — no more PDFs let loose in the wild unattended.
- Recipients see the document as an ordinary PDF unless they have an app that is specifically intended for use with the cPDF. (Apps are available for download from the ConnectedPDF website.)
ConnectedPDF Free to Use (Sort Of)
One of the most salient features associated with ConnectedPDF, where small businesses are concerned, is that the software is free to use — with one catch. Users who want access to the multi-feature PDF editor must purchase Foxit’s PDF editing software, PhantomPDF 8.0, for $139. Foxit’s web tools create connected PDFs but do not provide the full PDF editor capabilities.
cPDF is available in beta immediately through the ConnectedPDF.com website. It also comes with Foxit’s free PDF reader.