Reading PDFs off the screen? Advantages

October 22nd, 2006 by jose

This topic will be retaken here at often. For a start, here is a quick post on advantages of reading pdfs off the screen

You can do searches. Do you know where the paragraph you are looking for is? If you remember a word, you can find it easily.

  1. You can go back and forth between the references page and the point you are reading! Just hit the “end” key to get to the references page, and then the ‘back’ mouse button (or alt+left arrow) to go back to where you where.
  2. You can save a lot of time finding the paper you need. It’s faster to do a search in your HD (using indexing software such as locate 3.0) than going to the archives (folders, piles on the table, floor :) ) and getting it. This gets more and more important the longer the time since you used that paper!
  3. Save time in printing. Even if you print in batches, it normally takes a walk to the printing room to get the papers. That time is saved by reading off-screen.
  4. Save trees/electricity/ink/cost of a printer! I rarely need to print anything nowadays, unless it’s a document I need to print!
  5. Be portable. Your laptop is now your entire office. That means you have all you need even if you are in some strange location… like a hotel room, the queue at the doctor’s, or the beach. Think about that for a moment :)
  6. You can mark your papers (underline, annotations, etc), and keep those marking within the paper. That is, if you open the paper again, all the notes are there. This doesn’t happen if the paper version gets lost or you just print a new copy.
  7. The marginal cost of producing and delivering a pdf is smaller, so we may enjoy cheaper books if reading pdfs off the screen becomes mainstream.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you !

One Response to “Reading PDFs off the screen? Advantages”

  1. academic productivity » Adobe acrobat as a solution for reading articles off the screen Says:

    [...] I posted here about some advantages of reading papers off the screen. However, most people find the very thought of reading off the screen almost unconceivable. In this post I’ll try to show some usability tricks that will help you make the transition (or at least give it a try!). [...]

Leave a Reply