At IDR Solutions I spend a lot of time on the development of our Java PDF Library (JPedal) and our PDF to HTML5 and SVG Converter (JPDF2HTML5). So I spend a lot of time working with PDF files. Following my recent article 5 things I like about PDF Files, I thought it would be a good idea to follow up with an article describing the 5 things I hate the most about PDF Files.
1)Type 3 Fonts
Type 3 fonts are a very old font file format which look really horrible. Unlike Type1 and TrueType/OpenType, they lack hinting and generally do not look very professional. They also lack proper encoding so the text is not easily extracted or searched. Get rid of them.
2) Often impossible to extract data from or edit (can be but not setup)
It is easy to edit PDF files and extract data if they were created correctly in the first place. The problem is that most PDF files are not, and then people blame the file format.
This is the only feature that has ever been taken out of the PDF spec. For the last 10 years or so, it has been ‘the future’ of Document handling and now it is suddenly gone. Lots of people have lots of XFA files and XFA based workflows. And we finally have 3rd party support for XFA.
4) Standards not strictly enforced
PDF Files do not always follow the standards set by Adobe but will still open in Acrobat (so people assume they are proper PDF files). It is also very easy to create PDF files which look ‘okay’ but are not very useful (text is actually images, no text encoding, etc).
5) Features I need always seem to be in non-free version.
Why is it the one feature I always find I really need is only in the commercial version of any PDF viewer?