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Moving to a PDF Workflow

Undoubtedly, you've seen both Acrobat and PDF appear quite often on the workflows listed here. In fact, one of the biggest benefits of using the Adobe Creative Suite is that you can take full advantage of PDF—mainly because support for PDF is built into the Creative Suite at almost every level. From creating PDF files and placing them into your layouts, to opening PDF files, setting up PDF review cycles, and using PDF as a final delivery format, the Creative Suite ensures that it all works and fits seamlessly into your workflow.

Think about it. In the past, client reviews consisted of expensive color comps, unclear faxes, low-resolution JPEG images, and forgotten phone conversations. Today email–based PDF reviews make for an experience that's welcome to clients because they can review materials faster than ever before, as well as to designers, who can save money and track issues and make changes more efficiently than ever.

This isn't to say that moving to a complete PDF workflow is easy. There are still issues that have to be dealt with, including color-management issues (making sure that what you see on your screen is the same as what the client sees on his screen), software compatibilities (making sure that clients are using the right version of Acrobat), and more.

Switching to PDF overnight probably won't happen, but one thing is sure: After you establish a workflow and get comfortable with using the Adobe Creative Suite, you'll be able to help yourself and your clients by taking advantage of PDF where you can. Before you know it, you'll have more PDF files in your inbox than emails that promise weight loss by eating chocolate (okay, maybe not…).

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