If you’re like most people, you’re barely scratching the surface of the software applications you use every day. Instead, you use the same small handful of features over and over, even as updates and new enhancements are released. Occasionally you might wonder if there’s an easier or more efficient way of accomplishing a task, but you fall back on a familiar, if clunky, workaround.
Research bears this “feature inertia” out. The Standish Group found that less than a third of an enterprise application features are commonly used. (Only 7 percent are always used, 13 percent often used, and 16 percent used occasionally.) That leaves a stunning 64 percent of the features in an average enterprise application that are rarely or never used. When software applications like Word and PDF can help you do so much, that’s a lot of wasted opportunity.
A better way
To be truly effective when using a software application, you obviously have to commit to learning new ways of thinking or working with existing tools. For example, if you’re trying to save time, simplify tasks or generally become more productive, you should try to learn new ways to use existing tools to work smarter and achieve more.
PDF solutions are a perfect example of this – and a perfect place to start. So many times, users suspect that there are features or functions to help them perform a task more efficiently or solve a nagging problem, yet they don’t invest the time or effort to seek them out. As a result, they’re missing a significant opportunity to learn valuable best practices that will inevitably help them in the long-term.
It is such a common mindset that we recently held a Nuance webinar to help PDF users learn more – and achieve more – with PDF tools. (If you’re interested, you can still watch “Advanced PDF Tips, Tricks and Superpowers – Part 2” as a webinar replay.)
To continue to help, we created this blog article to provide five tips that anyone can implement to use PDF tools to become more efficient, more productive and hopefully, stay on track to achieve their resolutions this year.
Tip #1: Save time and effort when converting PDFs
So many PDF tools make it challenging to convert PDFs to Microsoft applications. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to convert PDFs to Word, Excel, PowerPoint or other applications, the process tends to be too cumbersome and require too many steps.
Instead, use a PDF tool that offers one-click conversion. For example, Nuance® Power PDF lets users convert static PDFs into Microsoft Word documents, so you can start editing right way – and increase personal productivity.
Tip #2: Learn how to create and combine PDF files more efficiently
Have you ever had to assemble a PDF document by merging, inserting or re-arranging various pages? Or split an original PDF file into multiple documents? If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, this can be a time-consuming, laborious process.
PDF tools purpose built for business meet the needs for workers creating files by offering powerful features and functions, such as drag-and-drop functionality, to combine pages into one PDF or Document Assembly features to make it easy to insert and re-arrange PDF pages – all while maintaining formatting, page numbers and tables of content.
Tip #3: Don’t be intimidated by advanced functionality
A frequent complaint among PDF users is that they know advanced functionality exists, but they don’t use it as thoroughly as they should to improve key processes, because they are intimidated by the solution they use, or assume it must be complicated to conduct an advanced process.
With Power PDF, advanced features are no more difficult to learn than basic tools. Once you start using functionality such as batch conversion, form tools and optical character (OCR) recognition, you will save even more time and accomplish so much more.
For example, you can use batch creation to automate processes related to creating PDFs from multiple files and file formats – all in a single operation. Or when it comes to working with forms, you can quickly create fillable fields within a PDF file where users can type data, check a box or perform other functions.
Tip #4: Take advantage of intuitive tools
Again, so many tools make things so much more challenging than they need to be, especially if users need to search and find common features over and over again.
The best solution: PDF tools that offer intuitive user interface. For example, Nuance Power PDF provides a Microsoft Office-like ribbon for the most common tools, helping users get up and running – and productive – in mere minutes.
Tip #5: Use touch
To work better with Microsoft 10 touch-enabled devices, PDF tools should provide the convenience to navigate, draw and make notes and type using a touch device such as a pen or even a finger.
New PDF tools support Microsoft Surface and other touch-enable devices, and include options that optimize the size of toolbars and tool icons so they are easier to press and navigate – in the way users prefer.
So as you look to save time and improve personal productivity, make sure you’re using the right PDF tools to achieve your goals and contribute to your organization’s overall success.