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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Marietta, Georgia
    Posts
    93

    Default to PDF or not to PDF

    Folks,

    How many of you convert your inspection reports to a PDF format before sending it electronically? I have been doing this for years but am just curious how many others do it and your reason for or not for doing it.

    Thanks,

    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Western Maryland
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    My HI reporting system produces .pdf reports, but when I do other reports (typically in Word or PowerPoint) I convert to .pdf. Much smaller file size and can't be altered by recipient.

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    I print to PDF to help prevent accidental altering on my end or intentional altering on the recipient's end. I've heard that some PDFs can be altered but I don't worry about that as I have the original as my backup in case somebody tries pulling something. And the PDF conversion does make for a smaller memory size too.

    I see no reason not to convert reports to PDF.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I see no reason not to convert reports to PDF.
    Agreed.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Same here.... always PDF for smaller fize size and to reduce the chances of it being changed.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I've heard that some PDFs can be altered but I don't worry about that as I have the original as my backup in case somebody tries pulling something.
    Agreed. But then again, I could also alter my copy. What would seem to be more important is whether you could show what was actually sent i.e. the email that contained the report. I only know of one situation where someone added something to my report (on an NCR form) and that never came to anything.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    I send as pdf. also so others cannot alter the form, so it does not change in transmission, and so others cannot use/take my specialized manufactured home inspection form.

    Expert Mobile & Manufactured Home Inspections O.C. & San Diego Co.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Lanham, MD
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    With PDF editing software, one can easily digitally sign the PDF. With this electronic signature it is impossible to edit anything without it causing removal of the certified signature. I use Nuance's PDF Converter Pro for creating and signing documents.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NY Finger Lakes Area
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    I always use PDF-for all the reasons mentioned above............Greg


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    All of my work products go out as PDF's.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    All of my work products go out as PDF's.
    Same here and for the reasons above

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  12. #12
    Bill Parrish's Avatar
    Bill Parrish Guest

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    Same here and for the reasons above
    For some reason my picture quality in PDF format, from Word, goes down dramatically; just started happening. Sending Word docs now, with fully restricted editing in place. I usually only include less than a dozen picts, so file size isn't an issue.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Parrish View Post
    For some reason my picture quality in PDF format, from Word, goes down dramatically; just started happening. Sending Word docs now, with fully restricted editing in place. I usually only include less than a dozen picts, so file size isn't an issue.
    Bill, I had the same issue for a while. At the recommendation of another Inspection News member, I downloaded Nitro PDF and sizing is no longer an issue. Pics appear in the report very clear.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  14. #14
    Bill Parrish's Avatar
    Bill Parrish Guest

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Bill, I had the same issue for a while. At the recommendation of another Inspection News member, I downloaded Nitro PDF and sizing is no longer an issue. Pics appear in the report very clear.
    Thanks, Nick. I'll give it a try.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Doing anything but creating a SECURED PDF is just asking for trouble.

    Quick story an inspector shared with me this weekend at the PRO-ASHI conference. His last software (just switched to HIP) created PDF reports but they weren't secured.

    He did a report for his client but did not pass the report on to the agent (per the client). The client modified the PDF to add that the gutters needed to be replaced. He then passed the report on the agent and asked that the gutter replacement be included in the negotiations per the report. The seller calls the inspector pissed off as they were fine. Took awhile to figure out what had happened.

    Any PDF that is not secured can easily be edited in Adobe Reader. If you don't believe me, just email me a report! Word files are even easier to change (locked or not).

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
    Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iPad. Import HomeGauge, 3D & InspectVue Narratives!

  16. #16
    Dennis Webber's Avatar
    Dennis Webber Guest

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bronner View Post
    Folks,
    How many of you convert your inspection reports to a PDF format before sending it electronically? I have been doing this for years but am just curious how many others do it and your reason for or not for doing it.
    Thanks,
    Our company has been using PFD format for years. We use Adobe Acrobat & Acrobat Professional.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Maricic View Post
    Doing anything but creating a SECURED PDF is just asking for trouble.

    Quick story an inspector shared with me this weekend at the PRO-ASHI conference. His last software (just switched to HIP) created PDF reports but they weren't secured.

    He did a report for his client but did not pass the report on to the agent (per the client). The client modified the PDF to add that the gutters needed to be replaced. He then passed the report on the agent and asked that the gutter replacement be included in the negotiations per the report. The seller calls the inspector pissed off as they were fine. Took awhile to figure out what had happened.

    Any PDF that is not secured can easily be edited in Adobe Reader. If you don't believe me, just email me a report! Word files are even easier to change (locked or not).
    My software creates pdf's for me and I don't know if they're secured or not....assuming not. How would I secure them?

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    My software creates pdf's for me and I don't know if they're secured or not....assuming not. How would I secure them?
    Hi Bruce,

    The way to check is to open the PDF and look at the program name along the VERY top of the window (along with the minimize, maximize, X to close). If it's secured you'll see the word (Secured) there. Yes it'll have the parenthesis too.

    There's a few programs you can use like Adobe Acrobat and Nitro PDF

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
    Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iPad. Import HomeGauge, 3D & InspectVue Narratives!

  19. #19
    Dennis Webber's Avatar
    Dennis Webber Guest

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    My software creates pdf's for me and I don't know if they're secured or not....assuming not. How would I secure them?
    Out of curiously, what software are you using?


  20. #20
    Bill Parrish's Avatar
    Bill Parrish Guest

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Maricic View Post
    Hi Bruce,

    The way to check is to open the PDF and look at the program name along the VERY top of the window (along with the minimize, maximize, X to close). If it's secured you'll see the word (Secured) there. Yes it'll have the parenthesis too.

    There's a few programs you can use like Adobe Acrobat and Nitro PDF
    So how do I fix my poor-quality PDF format pictures?


  21. #21
    Dennis Webber's Avatar
    Dennis Webber Guest

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Parrish View Post
    So how do I fix my poor-quality PDF format pictures?
    A lot of this has to do with the conversion software. I'll give you an example what we found that worked for us.

    We still use Word-Perfect for many, if not most, of our word documents. (I can hear the gasps from here, grin. Hey I still use Lotus 123 as well!) Heh.

    Well, anyway, in converting a Word-Perfect file from WP to Adobe Acrobat PDF there are two different ways that this can be done. First if you have no graphics, use the printer and just print to PDF function.

    However when the WP document contains graphics, we must switch to "Publish To" and select PDF. The page with graphics will convert properly and look like the original.

    I really don't use Word much, perhaps there's a similar method available that you could try. My version of Word doesn't have a native conversion process and Adobe Acrobat linked directly into it. Most likely the PDF conversion program your using will have its own quirks for handling graphic conversions.

    Also, you you didn't elaborate as to what was really "poor quality". In converting to PDF there are usually options you can choose from. In the conversion process we get dialog box that allows us to select things like quality (high quality = large files size, low = small).

    And lastly, we found the format of the graphics seems to play a role in quality. I find the best graphics are jpeg. Tiff has problems and bit-map graphics seem to be of lessor quality. Have you started using a different graphic format that what you were previously using?


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Parrish View Post
    So how do I fix my poor-quality PDF format pictures?
    The photo quality of the PDF is going to be handled by the inspection software. I've spent years revising how pics are handled in HIP to get great quality, it's not simple.

    If you're still using Word (or WP!) the best thing to do is resize the images before importing them into Word. Try 350 pixels wide. That's about right for 2 pics wide on a report. Drop it down to 250 if you want 3 wide.

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
    Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iPad. Import HomeGauge, 3D & InspectVue Narratives!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Webber View Post
    We still use Word-Perfect for many, if not most, of our word documents. (I can hear the gasps from here, grin. Hey I still use Lotus 123 as well!) Heh.

    Well, anyway, in converting a Word-Perfect file from WP to Adobe Acrobat PDF there are two different ways that this can be done. First if you have no graphics, use the printer and just print to PDF function.

    However when the WP document contains graphics, we must switch to "Publish To" and select PDF. The page with graphics will convert properly and look like the original.
    Dennis,

    What version of WordPerfect do you have and use?

    I started with WordPerfect 6.0 and went through 6.0a, 6.1, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 - when I use WordPerfect I always use my WordPerfect 10.

    I used to use WordPerfect almost exclusively as I wrote my inspection program on WordPerfect macros - one can do almost anything with WordPerfect and its macros.

    Since I have retired I have gradually converted over to using Word almost exclusively, starting from way back when and up to Word 2007 (I have not purchased Word 2010).

    In my opinion, there is no comparison between the two, however, when you share documents back and forth, you need to use Word, and even Word 2007 is not readable by people who are still using Word 2003.

    Any way, I never had a problem with graphics in my reports when using WordPerfect 10.

    I would simply print to my Adobe printer.

    I have lately found that some of the files suffer lost letters or numbers when printing from Word or from Paint Shop Pro to pdf. After trying several different pdf print programs I have, I recently discovered that Green PDF creates the cleanest files and never loses any characters.

    An easy way to print from Word to pdf is to select 'email as pdf', then cut the attachment from the email and you have a good pdf file.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  24. #24
    Dennis Webber's Avatar
    Dennis Webber Guest

    Default Re: to PDF or not to PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Dennis,
    What version of WordPerfect do you have and use?
    WordPerfect 11

    In my opinion, there is no comparison between the two, however, when you share documents back and forth, you need to use Word, and even Word 2007 is not readable by people who are still using Word 2003.
    I still use an older version of Word (2003, think I had added some sort of compatibility update from Microsoft to read 2007 files. Don't remember the name precisely, was some time back, but it's available from Mcrosoft. Lets me open 2007 documents saved as .docx or .docm, but not .dotx or .dotm formats. Basically just use it when people send me Word files. I'll convert nearly everything to PDF whenever exchanging between offices and/or clients. I'm to cheap to spring for later versons, I'd spend a fortune just trying to keep up.

    Any way, I never had a problem with graphics in my reports when using WordPerfect 10.
    I would simply print to my Adobe printer.
    I noticed that I can do that some of the time, but not always. So anytime I have photos or other graphics, I will use the alternate method and get better results. Perhaps it just the setup I'm running??

    I have lately found that some of the files suffer lost letters or numbers when printing from Word or from Paint Shop Pro to PDF. After trying several different pdf print programs I have, I recently discovered that Green PDF creates the cleanest files and never loses any characters.

    An easy way to print from Word to pdf is to select 'email as pdf', then cut the attachment from the email and you have a good pdf file.
    I never tried that, interesting, will remember it. Thanks.


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