ConnectedPDF Benefits

It's free

Document Management Systems are expensive. But, luckily, you can get started with ConnectedPDF for free. And you will enjoy very cool features for free. Foxit provides a free web tool to convert standard PDFs into cPDFs, and the cloud-based document home page is also free. You can get additional capabilities (such as commenting) using Foxit Reader or MobilePDF. Still free! Many of you won’t need any more than that. But if you want advanced features, such as the ability to initiate a shared review, you will want to upgrade to Foxit PhantomPDF. Yes, that costs money, but consider: We didn’t raise the price of PhantomPDF when we added the ConnectedPDF features, and PhantomPDF is still less than half the price of the leading PDF editor.

It's easy

Document Management Systems are notoriously hard to set up and learn, and finicky to use. In fact, all 13 of KPMG’s 13 Reasons why document management systems fail can be traced to large, bulky, monolithic systems. Foxit, on the other hand, has always been about making life easier (and safer, and less expensive) for PDF creators and users. One example: we introduced commenting to the free “reader” product, forcing the rest of the industry to follow our lead. The latest example: the patent-pending technology that powers ConnectedPDF. Will ConnectedPDF totally replace enterprise DMS? No. But it immediately empowers individuals, small groups, and mid-sized companies to enjoy the benefits of document control with zero technology investment and minimal time investment.

Prevent prying eyes

The owner of a cPDF can protect it before sending it out. Protected files are encrypted, and recipients have to be granted rights in order to unlock the encryption and to enable such activities as viewing the file. This requires that the recipient use a cPDF-aware application (such as the free Foxit Reader or the well-worth-the-money Foxit PhantomPDF). What happens if someone tries to open a protected cPDF with, say, Adobe Acrobat? They will get a message that tells them that this is in fact a ConnectedPDF, which requires a cPDF application, and how to easily get one.

The normal cPDF security model requires uninterrupted internet connection. What if your boss needs to review that contract on a plane without Wi-Fi? You can optionally grant her the right to create an offline copy. And to keep security in check, you can set the offline rights to expire after a set number of days, so that you don’t have a rogue unprotected version of your contract floating around.

When you change permissions, the changes take effect immediately. Even a user who is in the middle of using a document will experience their access rights change within seconds after you click on the update.

Keep everyone on the same page

Without doubt, document deluge destroys productivity. According to one study, 20% of employee time is wasted searching for the right information. Arguably, a lot of that is due to the trouble we have finding the right version (which is often, but not always, the latest version). How many conference calls start with an obligatory level-setting, whereby some brave soul cops to the fact that they are not sure if they have the right version of the all-important document, and the meeting grinds to an unproductive stop until it can be located and emailed to everyone? Or who among us has not received or submitted a reviewed document only to learn that the work was not done on the most recent version?

After a ConnectedPDF document is created and distributed, the document owner can register new versions, and by simply checking a box, notify the users that a new version is available. The owner can even provide a hyperlink or other information telling where the new version can be retrieved from. When a document user tries to open the older version in a cPDF-aware application, they will get the notification message and instructions on how to download or retrieve the new version.

No other solution allows you to notify all holders of a PDF document without setting up a list first. And nothing else combines PDF editing with automatic notifications. The beauty of ConnectedPDF lies in the powerful simplicity it delivers.

  • HR example: Sam needs to publish the latest travel policy, and is worried that even if he posts the new policy on the company intranet, and sends an email blast to all employees, that some will miss it, refer to the old document, and unwittingly violate company policy. By using a ConnectedPDF, Sam knows that when people open the old version, they will be told that there is a new one and how to download it.
  • Marketing and sales example: Karen distributes detailed datasheets to her potential customers, but version 4.0 delivers some new killer features. With ConnectedPDF, no one in her funnel has to be in the dark when the new version of the datasheet is published.
  • Finance example: Gas prices go down and the reimbursement rate per mile of driving goes down, too, promising to save the company loads of money. But employees keep submitting expense reports with the older, higher rate. Nip that waste in the bud with ConnectedPDF forms.

Coordinate your comments

Virtual teams, where you share a task, but are not physically in the same location, are increasingly common. That can make group reviews difficult. With ConnectedPDFs, you can do connected reviews. Any user with the right permissions can initiate a connected review of a PDF document. (To initiate a review, you must use Foxit PhantomPDF. But to just participate in a review you can use the free Foxit Reader or free MobilePDF app). When a connected review session is active, any user with access to the document can join in the review. Participants see each other's comments appearing on their local document, thus the team shares review comments. The initiator can end the review session at any time.

The review session can be real-time, or be left open for an extended period, say a day or two. That eliminates the need to receive multiple separate marked-up documents and the typical worries like Do I have everyone's review? and Do I have the right versions?

Unlike cloud review solutions, Connected reviews can start right after you send out the document. And unlike server-based solutions, Connected reviews don’t require laborious setup and maintenance. And finally, unlike other cloud-based solutions that don’t support PDF files, Connected PDF was born to support the most popular document format on earth.

  • Small business example: Pete is a general contractor who wants to prepare a quotation for a customer along with three subs. Pete knows plumbing, but couldn’t set up a server to save his life. Investing in Foxit PhantomPDF and telling his subs to get the free Foxit Reader, they all contribute to and jointly agree on the final quote, win the business, and wonder how they ever lived without ConnectedPDF.
  • Agency example: Jim runs a creative agency. He is working with a video production house and a talent scout to create a TV commercial for a new client. Jim loves what he does, but doesn’t like to have to learn IT arcana just to be productive with an extended team. He already uses Foxit PhantomPDF, so he creates a ConnectedPDF for a connected review and sends it out to the rest of the team. When they open it, they get a message telling them that they need to download a ConnectedApp (such as Foxit Reader) to participate. They collaborate like a well-oiled machine and produce a CLIO-award-winning spot that puts their client on the map.
  • Education example: A lot like the examples above, a group of students have to collaborate on a project. But they live in different dorms, and, like, it is really cold outside! Plus, they have no money. But they are really smart and the future leaders of the world, so they use ConnectedPDF and connected reviews, and ace the project.

Track and find versions

While search volume for version tracking has increased steadily in recent years, search volume for version control has dropped precipitously. Sadly, we’ve given up trying to control versions because our software and systems make it too hard. Yet we cling to the hope that we at least can track what has been created.

There is power in simplicity and one of the most empoweringly beautiful aspects to ConnectedPDFs is that whenever a new version is registered, the version tracking is updated automatically. A ConnectedPDF's document owner (and document users with proper rights) can contribute changes to a document and register any new versions they create. The new version is automatically recorded in the cloud in an intuitive document version tree.

  • Legal example: Tom, an attorney in Virginia, is working on a complex piece of bicycle safety regulation. With input from many sources, he sometimes has to find an older version of the proposal to locate earlier language or discarded suggestions. The ConnectedPDF document tree makes it easy to find what he needs, and it saves valuable hours on this pro bono project.
  • Textbook example: Bob is contributing a chapter to a textbook on pricing models in the financial services industry. Along the way, a case study on disparate impact is edited out. But a political shift comes just before publication date, and Bob needs that case study. He deleted all of the old versions of the document, but his ConnectedPDF document home page tells him who still has a copy of it. Bob offers his graduate student tickets to a clownstep concert in return for a copy of the important earlier version that he needs.
  • Stuff-happens example: Rebecca manages her projects like a submarine commander, always moving forward steadily and with purpose. But a new boss takes over and decides that the project went off track about three weeks and ten versions ago. Rebecca is talented—and smart—so she uses ConnectedPDF, and therefore she can backtrack to an earlier version faster than you can say “liberal arts can be a great education”.