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BEYOND THOSE FEW CASES, HTML IS GENERALLY MUCH BETTER FOR PROVIDING INFORMATION VIA THE WEB.
PDF is good when the file is destined for printing, and the precise printed page layout is of importance, or when images should be rendered at high resolution on the printed page.
PDF is useful for taking fancy newsletters which are designed for the print, and making them available online without much hassle.
P D F v s H T M L
The aspect ratio (which is usually not 4:3) and size of the pages in a PDF document are a poor match for device screens. So reading PDF online is generally a worse experience than reading HTML. With good HTML and proper design, text is easy to read, and the paragraphs are laid out to match the user's preference. But with PDF the user has no choice. At a nice font size the page often doesn't fit on the screen. Reading 2-column output requires either a small font or lots of up-and-down scrolling. Headers and footers and page breaks get in the way.
Your audience is limited with PDF because it doesn't work on all platforms - e.g. handheld browsers. It requires extra software and takes more memory and CPU power, which is a problem for low end devices.
PDF information is less accessible than HTML, e.g. for those with vision impairments.
PDF is designed for printing, not browsing or sharing information. Words that contain ligatures (like when "fi" is represented by a single joined printing symbol) will often be garbled
Hyperlinks work badly. Relative hyperlinks are generally preferable but don't work on some platforms. Putting it all in one file to avoid this handicap makes it slower and harder to just read one part of the document.
PDF files are usually larger than a simple HTML version.
PDF documents are harder to reuse since they are not an editable source format.
Programs that create PDF are less available or cost more money than programs to produce HTML.
PDF content cannot be measured with systems like Google Analytics. So basically you have no tools to improve your content and distribution.
No tracking tools to understand how readers are interacting with the content:
* What would people be highlighting if they had a printed copy?
* Which sections are the most compelling?
* Who is sharing what via social media?
CHOOSING BETWEEN HTML AND PDF ON THE WEB.
Web sites often provide information in PDF when it is appropriate. Here are some considerations when choosing between PDF or HTML.
PDF DOES HAVE BENEFITS: