The Best File Formats for the Modern Office

Today’s corporate environment is changing quickly, driven by new technology. To stay up-to-date, companies should be utilizing the latest in digital technology so that productivity does not suffer in comparison to its competitors.

Using digital documentation, in favor of the old paper-based methods of record keeping, offers a huge range of benefits to your company, going forward. Any successful use of digital documentation will largely be built on a solid foundation of using the right file formats.

modern file formats at the office

For most organizations, we recommend one of two formats for digital records: Either PDF (portable document format) or TIFF (Tagged image file format.) These file types are used around the world by organizations large and small, and by companies who have a need for reliability, dependability and ease-of-use in their company’s documents and records.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of using the right file formats; how they can help you become a more productive and efficient workplace; and some of the best file converter software solutions to help your company stay up-to-date.

The right file formats make it easier to work from anywhere

Today’s workplace is shifting to a more fluid, digital experience where the presence of a physical location is of minimal importance. The traditional norms of being present during certain hours at a certain place are starting to fall by the wayside. New devices and greater connectivity allows today’s younger workforce to work from anywhere – whether that’s in the office, on the road, or at home.

To facilitate this newer mode of collaborative working, digitizing your customer records is definitely the way to go. Digital record keeping allows your employees to access important records and files from anywhere. Rather than being reliant on antiquated methods (such as mailing, filing, etc.), utilizing formats like PDF and TIFF suddenly make it possible for your employees to detach themselves from the requirement of a physical office space, and plug into greater connectivity.

The right file formats help reduce the need for a large physical office /potentially can cut down on administrative work

Opening up the ability to work from anywhere allows for other potential opportunities to cut costs around the office. To start with, taking up less physical space with filing systems, cabinets and the like, can potentially allow you to cut down on office space.

Additionally, moving more of your files to digital form can actually allow you to re-allocate staff to the core objectives of your business. Rather than having them spending their time filing and sorting, they can be oriented towards tasks that serve the most important aspects of your revenue-generating operations. These transitions are fostered by making use of file formats like PDF and TIFF that allow a smooth transition towards a more paperless and digital office.

PDF and TIFF visible the same on all device sizes

With the proliferation of different devices, operating systems and screen sizes, document management from one system to the next has the potential to be problematic. When sharing documents from, say, a computer to a smartphone, you want to ensure that the documents display the same way. Beyond that, you also want to make sure that the format is actually viewable on all devices.

Let’s take a Microsoft Word file as an example; one of the most commonly-used file types in the modern corporate world. There can potentially be several issues that arise with these types of files. First, a file that’s saved in the format of .DOC or .DOCX generally requires that the end user have the Word software installed on their device to view it – and it’s fair to say that most people don’t have Microsoft Office installed on their smart phones (very few would even have it on their tablets). So right off the bat, you can run into issues there. Beyond that, even if the end user does have Word or another word processing program that’s capable of viewing the file, it’s not certain that the formatting will be maintained from one screen to the next. That could make you look highly unprofessional in the eyes of clients, or cause confusion amongst your colleagues. For those and reasons and more, sending documents in a format that maintains its consistency is a must, and PDF and TIFF are the ideal formats to make sure that happens.

It creates consistency in your company’s files and documentation.

Building on the last point, consistency from one format and device to the next can not only make things easier for your employees, but if you’re sharing documentation with clients, it can add a level of professionalism to your documentation. As well, using a consistent file format in PDF/TIFF, and utilizing consistent settings can help ensure that the actual quality of the outputted file is maintained, each and every time.

How to Create TIFF or PDF Files

A successful modern office gives users the tools of the trade to easily create the files that they need. In this section, we’ll look at the approaches you can take towards empowering your employees with this capability, and some of the best options in terms of file conversion software to make the idea into a reality.

Image Printers:

Image printers, sometimes referred to as virtual printers, are a very simple way to create the types of files that are ideal for the modern office environment. They are, basically, a simple driver that you install on your computers that allows for added functionality on your Windows computer’s Print menu. The primary advantage of an Image printer for PDF creation or TIFF creation is its ease-of-use and overall lack of a learning curve.

Recommended solutions:

To create PDF files, you can’t go wrong with PEERNET’s PDF Image Printer. It is the quickest and easiest way to convert your Windows files to PDF. The user simply selects PDF Image Printer from the dropdown menu in the print folder, and the file is outputted to a specified folder.

If you are going with TIFF files, then the TIFF Image Printer offers the same functionality, but for TIFF files.

If you anticipate requiring the regular conversion of files to both formats, then consider our Raster Image Printer product (we call it the “Cadillac” of our image printer family!) It features all the functionality of the two products mentioned above, including advanced image processing features, automation options, compression settings and more.

Purpose-built, on-demand file creation software:

If you need some more customization, you may want to consider making use of specialized software. This class of products allows you to create files on demand, by either selecting, combining or merging different files. The advantage of software such as this is that this class of product tends to offer more features and customization options than a standard image printer.

Recommended solutions:

If you regularly create PDF files but require something a little bit more advanced than simple conversions from one file format to another, you may want to consider a software solution such as PDF Creator Plus. This program offers much of the same functionality as Adobe Acrobat, but is offered at a price that is more cost-effective for users and businesses. Its core functionality allows users to combine, edit and merge other types of documents into a searchable, outputted PDF file. Of course, prior to creating your final outputted file, the software also gives you the option to edit and annotate your documents.

Enterprise-level automated batch file conversion solutions:

The other option, for companies that have a significant need for ongoing file conversion, is an automated file conversion solution that operates in the background. This type of solution does not require someone to manually input files to convert; rather, it can be set up to convert files automatically, saving significant time and resources.

If you need to regularly convert to a various number of file formats, our File Conversion Center may be a good solution. It converts from Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), HTML (web pages), PDFs and more; and is capable of converting to non-searchable TIFF, JPEG, PDF and other popular image formats. If your organization has a regular need for file conversion but not at the level that you need to automate the process yet, this might be a good piece of software to explore.

Recommended solutions:

For ongoing, automated batch file conversion, PEERNET’s Document Conversion Service is a best-in-class solution. DCS offers truly automated file conversion. It supports a wide range of the most popular and common file formats, and is commonly used to convert files to PDF, TIFF, JPEG, and more. The newest edition of Document Conversion Service even allows you to create vector PDFs – making the documents searchable, and allowing for clickable links.

Document Conversion Service functions as a true Windows service, offers a robust set of features for power users and IT departments (including command line tools and workflow integration), and a wide variety of other advanced features.

Start Your Transition Today

Make the move towards a more modern workplace environment today! PEERNET products are the ideal solution to help you get there.

If you’re not sure about which product might be right for your company’s needs, please take a couple of minutes to watch the short video below, which should help clear things up.

And remember, if you ever need further assistance we’re always willing to lend a friendly hand. Contact us today!