download-as-pdf v/s print

26 Nov 2007 - 2:57pm
2 years ago
8 replies
688 reads
Prachi Sakhardande
2007

Hi All,

If you have a webpage containing information that the reader may be
interested in saving and using later, would you prefer 'Print' or
'Download as PDF' or both?

User may or may not have a printer attached [E.g. surfing on laptop
while commuting] - high probability
User may or may not have PDF reader - Low probability considering he
can download a free reader online

So...what do you think?

--
Regards
Prachi Sakhardande
Information Architect
MphasiS, an EDS Company
Mumbai, India

Comments

26 Nov 2007 - 3:05pm
jarango
2004

On Nov 26, 2007 2:57 PM, Prachi Sakhardande <prachisakhardande at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> If you have a webpage containing information that the reader may be
> interested in saving and using later, would you prefer 'Print' or
> 'Download as PDF' or both?

I was recently faced with this same question in a project. We opted to
provide both; if allowing the user to have his/her own copy is very
important, it's safe to assume that a printer may not be available. In
this case, having a PDF can be very valuable.

Cheers,

-- Jorge

26 Nov 2007 - 3:08pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

Hi,

Both options are good.. also keep in mind that some people will have a
print to PDF or save to PDF function in their OS (Mac always has this
option, and Linux does a lot of the time)

If all I want to do is print a page having to save the PDF first would
be annoying, however, saving a PDF is a great option when there is no
printer, or when the goal isn't to have a paper copy as much as a
archived copy, which could easily be digital.

On Nov 26, 2007 2:57 PM, Prachi Sakhardande <prachisakhardande at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> If you have a webpage containing information that the reader may be
> interested in saving and using later, would you prefer 'Print' or
> 'Download as PDF' or both?
>
> User may or may not have a printer attached [E.g. surfing on laptop
> while commuting] - high probability
> User may or may not have PDF reader - Low probability considering he
> can download a free reader online
>
> So...what do you think?
>

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

26 Nov 2007 - 7:28pm
keyur sorathia
2007

Hi,

If all I want to do is print a page having to save the PDF first would
be annoying,

I agree, but there are less chances of printing a page, and more chances to
save to
as pdf.
>From my point of view, in most of the cases i use pdf as pdf is more secured
than having a printed copy (which generally i loose) .

Keyur.

On Nov 26, 2007 1:08 PM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Both options are good.. also keep in mind that some people will have a
> print to PDF or save to PDF function in their OS (Mac always has this
> option, and Linux does a lot of the time)
>
> If all I want to do is print a page having to save the PDF first would
> be annoying, however, saving a PDF is a great option when there is no
> printer, or when the goal isn't to have a paper copy as much as a
> archived copy, which could easily be digital.
>
>
>
> On Nov 26, 2007 2:57 PM, Prachi Sakhardande <prachisakhardande at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > If you have a webpage containing information that the reader may be
> > interested in saving and using later, would you prefer 'Print' or
> > 'Download as PDF' or both?
> >
> > User may or may not have a printer attached [E.g. surfing on laptop
> > while commuting] - high probability
> > User may or may not have PDF reader - Low probability considering he
> > can download a free reader online
> >
> > So...what do you think?
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Matt Nish-Lapidus
> email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
> ++
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
> Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com
> ________________________________________________________________
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> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
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27 Nov 2007 - 12:54pm
Clark Valberg
2007

For some users "saving" a page is a way to take ownership over something
that to many seems very elusive and temporary. Younger or more
internet-dependent users seem to have a "if it's online, it will always be
there" framing to their web experience. Providing users with a "Save"
feature is almost like letting them tuck the asset away in their own world
(hard drive directory structure) with the security that they'll always be
able to get back to it -- no matter what. I believe that this gesture is
essentially different from "Printing", although they can share the same
motives.

-- Clark Valberg

--
Clark Valberg | Web Systems Architect

Epicenter Technology Consulting
Phone: (518) 935-4567

2 Dec 2007 - 1:46pm
destraynor
2007

> Hi All,
> If you have a webpage containing information that the reader may be
> interested in saving and using later, would you prefer 'Print' or
> 'Download as PDF' or both?

Having worked on Web Analytics for a few projects where the above choices
are available, I've seen that the most popular option is to receive the PDF
by email.

I think the ability to receive receipts etc in your inbox is a good option;
it avoids the hassle of holding a paper copy, or the fear of losing a
one-off pdf which you downloaded to your desktop.
(Also, it's nice when you're working off a computer you don't own. It saves
you emailing the file to yourself or storing it on a USB key)

I realise it doesn't work in all cases, but it's worth considering when
feasible.

Des
--
Des Traynor
Senior Analyst - iQ Content
http://www.iqcontent.com

2 Dec 2007 - 3:42pm
Cliff Williams
2007

PDF is great as an *option* for those who understand its value.
Consider that many don't know what PDF stands for or why it even
exists.

I've noticed that many users (mostly Windows IE Acrobat Reader)
hate dealing with PDFs. I can understand why-- you click on a PDF
link and your browser transforms (slowly!) into something completely
different visually. Most of the ways you interact with web pages are
gone: you can't enter data into forms, you can't easily copy text
to the clipboard, you have to deal with zooming. Even panning and
scrolling through the document can be confusing (page vs continuous
modes).

The choices made by MS and Adobe around this experience have puzzled
me for years.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22923

22 Sep 2011 - 11:31am
penguinstorm
2005

User may or may not have a printer attached... - high probability

This makes no sense. It's unclear whether you think the "may" or the "may not" is the high probability.

22 Sep 2011 - 12:07pm
hersh
2010

Hi All,

I think Des and Clarke have it right. Print & Save PDF are two distinct use cases and since both are important to our customers, we make it easy to do both.

Print is usually used to get something physical to read on the go or to do personal research on desk/board.

Save as PDF - In most cases, it is for sharing.

We opted to implement both features. Save as PDF is done via an online service. It is not as accurate as cutepdf/mac/adobe etc.. but definitely easier for our customers. Not many were familiar with the connection between their printer workflow and pdf making.

Hope that helps.

Harsh

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