PowerPoint has become the standard presentation tool in the professional and educational worlds, but this period of dominance is coming to an end… or it would be, if I got my way. Interactive PDFs do everything PowerPoint does, except for the quick presenter editing. Most consider this a disadvantage. For designers and brand consultants like us, it’s a luxury. It puts control back in our hands. PDFs don’t restrict design to the least common denominator like PowerPoint often does. Is the presentation computer (or tablet, or phone) equipped with Adobe Acrobat Reader? Good, that’s all we need. There's no need to worry about selecting web-safe fonts or how the presentation will be affected by a switch from Mac to Windows or Office 2013 to 2007.
What can we do with Interactive PDFs?
- Use vector illustrations that allow for crisper images on high-definition displays
- Have greater control over colors and fonts that fit your company branding and identity guidelines
- Build interactive jump indexes to skip to and from pages/slides
- Embed HTML5 and CSS3
- Create spreadsheets and form input boxes with automatic formulas
- Better control file sizes and image quality
Of course PowerPoint isn’t going away, and I’m not telling you to ditch it. PowerPoint puts editing power in the hands of the presenter, and that’s often a necessity (although I would recommend Apple’s PowerPoint alternative, Keynote). Interactive PDFs require a designer, and that's not always a requirement. But for your company presentation materials that don’t require several changes – like stock presentations and sales tools – an interactive PDF is likely the best option. Here at OffWhite, we currently use Interactive PDFs to create operating manuals with jump-link indexes, sales brochures with built-in quote calculators and presentations with indexes and transitions. And we do all this with the control provided through Adobe Creative Cloud software, rather than relying on Microsoft’s word processing and archaic drawing tools.