PDF or TIFF? Choosing the Right Digital File Format

PDF or TIFF? Choosing the Right Digital
File Format

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answer to your file questions

You're ready to go paperless, but you're not sure which file format to convert your records to. PDF and TIFF are the two most commonly-used file formats, each providing a host of benefits. Here, we breakdown the difference between the two so you can make the right choice for your business.

PDF

Businesses often convert their hard copy documents to PDF (Portable Document Format) images. It's easy to see why: Virtually every computer has a free PDF reader installed on it and if you've ever downloaded a document from the web, there's a good chance it was a PDF file.

As their name states, PDFs are truly portable; they can viewed on nearly any device. Similarly, PDFs can be stored on your hard drive without taking up too much space. They are also compressible, enabling you to share and distribute them via email. Plus, you can add hyperlinks and attachments to PDF files. You can use optical character recognition (OCR) software to make PDF documents searchable. The main downside of a PDF is the difficulty of editing it; changing a PDF file requires specialized software.

If your business needs a file format that's easy to store and share across a wide range of platforms, and you are able to edit them if needed, then PDF is the right choice.

TIFF

TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format. Although TIFF was developed several decades ago for desktop publishing, businesses in many industries now convert their hard copy documents to TIFF files.

TIFF files can be viewed on a wide variety of devices, operating systems and software programs. This flexibility and adaptability allows them to be used in almost any type of application.

TIFF files are also secure. Hidden links and data cannot be imbedded in TIFF files, which makes them a more secure solution for organizations converting sensitive and confidential information.

The one disadvantage of TIFF is size. Generally, TIFF files are large which makes them more difficult to store and share. Uncompressed TIFF files take up considerable space on hard drives and in software applications. And because of its large size, you may also have difficulty sending a TIFF file as an email attachment. But despite this, it may make sense to convert your documents to TIFF files, especially if your business has high-quality photographs or documents to convert, needs to archive a large amount of information, or wants a more secure alternative to PDF.

PDF and TIFF aren't the only formats to choose from when scanning your documents. You can also convert your records to GIF, JPG and PNG files. Make sure you speak with a knowledgeable scanning provider who will help you understand the differences between them so you can make the right choice for your document conversion needs.

Docu-Dépôt provides document scanning solutions for businesses throughout Montréal. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page. We’re here to help you!

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