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I HATE PDFs!!!!!!

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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Eric_L



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Posted September 08 2004 - 01:55 PM

I ust got another PDF file online. It is a manual for a receiver. I am running a P4 with 1 gig memory and every PDF file I've ever used slows my system down to a crawl when I click on it. Same for work or any other PC I use. Broadband connections seem to help, but it is still a problem. Then, when I think it is downloaded and I try to scroll, my system slows again.. I hate those goddam memory munchers! I have to download and save them, then, after a considerable wait for the download, I can finally view them at a reasonable speed. So why the F are PDFs so friggin popular?

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Mike Voigt

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Posted September 08 2004 - 02:35 PM

Something's wrong with your setup. PDF's (portable document files) are there to make it easier and faster to read info. I run about what you do, and I have zero issues with PDFs. Word documents, esp those that contain pictures, on the other hand, are a real PITA. Mike

#3 of 22 OFFLINE   DaveF



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Posted September 08 2004 - 02:53 PM

I've got a P3 450, and PDFs cause me no troubles, in general. With every machine I've used, the only time I've seen slowdown is with more graphically intense PDF on a slower machine. In those cases I can see the page refresh slow down when I go scroll or zoom pages. But for normal stuff, there's no troubles. And just having one loaded doesn't has never caused me problems.

I don't know how your internet connection would affect things, except for the initial download time. After it's loaded, it's irrelevant.

As Mike said, there's something wrong with your machine or software installation. Have you tried reinstalling Acrobat?

I did a search on PDF related slowdowns and found some reviews at Download.com (http://www.download.....html?pn=3&fb=0) echoing similar frustrations. I wonder if the newest version of Acrobat has some problems. I'm running v5 at home and it's fine. I've got 6 at work and it's ok too, but maybe v6 doesn't play well on all computers?

#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Ricardo C

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Posted September 08 2004 - 03:23 PM

Two tips: 1) You can use an older version of Acrobat Reader (4 or 5 are pretty lean) or you can disable most of the plugins in 6, which would make it load much faster (a google search will find the pwertinent links on what to disable). and 2) Don't open the PDF files directly on your browser, download them instead.
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#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted September 08 2004 - 04:33 PM

^^^He ain't lyin! Regarding #2 anyways. Firefox can slow to a crawl when I open a PDF in it and even crash totally. Just right-click, download and open from your hard drive. I think it's a mistake to have PDF as a browser plugin in the first place.. PDF's are great because you can zoom in/out and all that real estate at the top of browsers just creates clutter.

#6 of 22 OFFLINE   Todd Hochard

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Posted September 09 2004 - 12:07 AM

It's the transfer, not the file, that's the problem. Unless I'm getting a .pdf from a site that I KNOW has fat bandwidth, I right-click, "Sare Target As..." and then open it after it's saved on my PC.
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#7 of 22 OFFLINE   John Watson

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Posted September 09 2004 - 12:40 AM

The three or four experiences I've had with them are similar to Eric's.

Adobe gyrates, asks me about things I don't understand, is slow as can be, then there's eventually as little text as in a couple of small pages.

Perhaps the geniuses who design these things could update or downgrade my computer (a small 7 year old) so it could benefit. Posted Image In the meantime, I remain puzzled - what is the good of them?

#8 of 22 OFFLINE   Holadem


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Posted September 09 2004 - 01:22 AM

I have wondered this for a long time (all datasheets are printed on PDF) until we started using them recently at work. The biggest thing for us (and I guess most users) is: They cannot be edited, and they are pretty much universal - everyone has the Acrobat reader. Huge PDF fan now, since I discovered cutePDF, a neat little utility which converts documents from ANY source into a pdf - it shows up as a printer, just print to it, and save. Edited to say cutePDF is a freeware and is a google search away. -- H

#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted September 09 2004 - 01:31 AM

Is there a way to do the opposite -- I'd like to take the data in a PDF and convert it to an Excel spreadsheet so I can sort the records.

#10 of 22 Guest_Eric Kahn_*

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Posted September 09 2004 - 02:07 AM

You need a full blown PDF creation program in order to be able to cut and paste text from a PDF file

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   MickeS



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Posted September 09 2004 - 04:49 AM

One problem I' have with Adobe's reader is that its update check is very crude. If you happen to click on the document, it can hide the "update check" window, and it may seem as if your browser freezes. That has happened to me a few times. Acrobat Reader version 6 is so bloated it takes forever to open, but otherwise I like PDF files. /Mike

#12 of 22 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC



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Posted September 09 2004 - 05:32 AM

Acrobat reader has a "select Text" tool, it appears up top as a "T" with a cursor over it. I have been known to copy out the text and paste it to Notepad or into a Web form [like this one!]. I don't know about spreadsheets, I bet it would take a good deal of work, but would be easier than typing in by hand. Paste into notepad, repunctuate using tabs for column separators, import into Excel as "tab-separated text", and correct would be my guess.

#13 of 22 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted September 09 2004 - 05:47 AM

As Holadem says, the biggest advantage is that you can send documents created in any software program in a universal format since most everyone using the Internet has the Adobe reader. We often use PDF's to send AutoCAD architectural plans via email to clients who may not have CAD software so that they can review the work in progress without having to shuttle around rolls of plans or wait 3 days for the mail to go through.
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#14 of 22 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted September 09 2004 - 06:44 AM

One thing I've noticed with Acrobat 6 is that it can create PDF files larger than the source document, which should not be happening. I put the question out to one of the boards but nobody had an answer. When this happens I usually have to make a postscript file and then use Distiller to create the PDF. I'll check out cutePDF.

#15 of 22 OFFLINE   Eric_L



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Posted September 09 2004 - 02:04 PM

yes, wehen I download them they work faster, but the files are HUGE. Most often I don't need all the graphical content - a .txt file would communicate all the info I need wil substantially less grief.

#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Bill Slack

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Posted September 09 2004 - 03:34 PM

PDF is just a super version of EPS aka PostScript which is somewhat familiar to a lot of folks here, I'm sure.

It's made to be printed, and looks the same on every screen and printer, which is the point of it all. Add to the fact that everyone has Acrobat Reader installed, and you can see why it's the choice for so many documents.

I'll be at the Adobe HQ in San Jose on Monday for work... so I think I'm required to *LOVE* PDF and Adobe. Posted Image

Honestly though, Acrobat reader isn't the snappiest piece of software. The really adventerous can rig up Ghostview and a few scripts to view PDFs w/o Acrobat.

Thank god they're not all webpages or Word docs!

#17 of 22 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted September 10 2004 - 10:42 AM

BINGO. Emulated Acrobat in a broswer is slow as shit.
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#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Jeremy Jones

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Posted September 11 2004 - 07:31 AM

Get a Mac! Then, you can use OS X Panther's Preview, which is the fasted PDF viewer out there. There are some side effects, though. No viruses, popups, and the like. I've had a G4 iMac for over and year and have had no crashes. Get a Mac and get happy! Posted Image

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted September 11 2004 - 09:32 AM

That's the key. PDF's can be viewed on screen, but their main purpose is to be printed and look EXREMELY good (i.e. just like a real printed manual). There isn't really any other better way to deliver such quality, with such a universal file type.

#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Philip_G



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Posted September 11 2004 - 11:46 AM

are you loading the PDF online, or locally?
if it's online that could explain it. But this has been mentioned like 5 times Posted Image

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