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35.6. PDF versus TIFF File Format

Trumpet recommends scanning using the PDF file format.  PDF is a much more robust file format.

TIFF is an image-only format.  The specification for TIFF is owned and maintained by Adobe - but there haven't been any advances to the format in many years.  In addition, there are a lot of 'optional' features in the TIFF format, and because there isn't a standard TIFF viewer, support for these features is spotty at best.  There are some very basic compression algorithms, for example, that are supported by most TIFF viewers.  But as soon as you step even a little outside of the norm, it can get really tricky.

PDF has the following significant benefits:

  • It is not an image-only format.  It also has provisions for high quality rendering (as opposed to just bitmap presentation).  This allows for an OCRed text overlay, etc.

  • It has a very well known, well publicized and freely available default reader implementation (Adobe Reader).  This is very well maintained, and is available for all operating systems, and in fact, ships with almost every new computer

  • It is a specification that continues to add new and innovative features (better compression algorithms are one example)

  • It captures much more than just simple image-per-page data (TIFF captures one image per page - that's it).  For example, PDF allows for markup, embedding of tags, building of hyperlinks and bookmark navigation trees

  • PDF allows for encryption

Worldox does support TIFF formats (the internal Worldox viewer is actually quite good at rendering TIFF files), but if a firm does not use Symphony OCR (Symphony OCR converts TIFF images into PDF as part of the OCR process), they'll want to convert TIFF files to PDFs before emailing to a client so the client can easily read, save and manipulate the file as needed.  Attach Plus (www.attachplus.com) is a great tool for converting email attachments to PDF on-the-fly.

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