Sending emails has become an important and unavoidable part of business in today’s day and age, and it often requires adding a file as an attachment. Like all communication, any documents you send out from your business should be branded, but with email attachments there are additional issues such as file size, security, upload limits and the end-users technical specs to think about. One of the best ways to contend with all this is to make the file a PDF. Surprisingly it seems very few businesses take advantage of the PDF, so I thought I would take a quick look at the advantages of this file type.

Firstly, PDF files can be created from most programmes as long as you have a PDF printer installed. We use Adobe Acrobat but there are plenty of free ones available for download including and It is then simply a matter of hitting the print button and choosing the PDF printer instead of your inkjet or laser printer.

The file that is created can then be opened by anyone as long as they have a PDF reader installed on their machine. Almost every machine these days comes with it standard and if not a free download can be installed easily. Unlike other file formats, you know the end user will be able to view your document. Although programs like Microsoft Word and Publisher are commonly used, not everyone has them and if you send a file in its native format you risk your recipient not being able to open it.

Another issue with sending files in native formats is they don’t look very professional. If you are using functions like ‘Header/Footer’ in Word then your background graphics will display as ghosted images and any spelling or formatting issues that the program doesn’t agree with will be underlined in red or green. By creating a PDF file instead, your document will look as though you have printed it – just on screen.

Another advantage of PDF’s is their security settings. Even a straight PDF with no security added is more difficult for anyone to edit compared to other file formats. This is perfect if you are quoting dollar amounts on documents such as a quote or order form. With some PDF printers you can add
additional security settings such as passwords or restrict editing or printing
of the document.

Overall by saving your attachment as a PDF file will ensure your recipient can open it; your branding will look its best; the document cannot be easily edited; and that the file is small enough to send easily on email.