Brandable PDFs: Do They Still Work?

If your brandable PDF tool is at least two years old, it most likely no longer works.

Just to clear things, a brandable PDF is a file that can be modified by others. This allows your PDF to get spread around more quickly because web site owners will also offer it for download in their sites...

...if they're allowed to modify parts of your PDF file.

For example, you can have a few lines that say: "This download is brought to you by (name of site)."

I tried using my "old" PDF branding tool and it doesn't work with PDF files produced from MS Word 2000 (or newer). I was able to force it to work (somewhat) by saving the .doc file as a Word 6.0 file, but there has to be a better way.

There's another PDF branding service that allows you to create PDF files from HTML pages. This is somewhat more convenient than the traditional PDF brander approach, because other web site owners don't need to download some EXE file to brand the PDF file.

(People are wary when it comes to downloading EXE files because of the threat of viruses or spyware.)

All they do is fill-up an online form and the PHP program produces the modified or "branded" PDF file.

This is great if you have identified a lot of people who might wish to brand your PDF files. If you prefer to have better control over who will distribute your PDF file, please consider trying the manual approach.

In the manual approach, you simply ask people who wish to edit your PDF file to get in touch with you. You can then get to know them and their sites better. From there, simply create a new/modified PDF file and email it to them.

Bottomline: The days of automatic brandable PDF ebooks are over (if you truly care about what words people will insert in your PDF file).
[ First posted on 08/01/2005 by Manuel Viloria ]



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