Electronic Document Conference 2019: A Recap on Redaction and PDF vs HTML

I recently had the privilege and honor to present an introduction to PDF Redaction at the PDF Association‘s Electronic Document Conference this past June in Seattle, WA.

Adobe's Seattle office, site of the 2019 Electronic Document Conference.
In my presentation, titled “PDF Redaction at Scale,” I discussed how redaction is a critical aspect of PDF document management, but many people don’t understand the correct way to redact sensitive information from their PDFs. If information is redacted incorrectly, there is a possibility that your document may still contain sensitive information that users can find. I explained that if your documents contain sensitive info, there is a potential liability, and non-compliance could be very costly. I also covered redaction in the news and how it is a hot-button topic in today’s political landscape.
If you would like to download my presentation to learn more about PDF Redaction, please click here.

Another Hot Topic at EDC: HTML vs PDF

It was nice to see that were a few other redaction-related presentations at the conference, but if there was a palpable theme to the presentations and discussions I attended, it was the epic struggle of PDF vs. HTML.

"So HTML or PDF?" slide from EDC presentation.
I’d recently discussed (in a prior presentation) that HTML and PDF are about the same age (practically ancient) and have been used side by side on the internet for decades, without one subsuming the other, which is unusual in my experience. I thought that says something about the fundamental strengths of these two file formats.

During this conference, I learned from attendees that PDF is the chosen format for precision layout and for long-term archiving. In contrast, HTML is the format for a “Good Enough” layout (and that wasn’t meant pejoratively; “Good Enough often is good enough!”) and instantaneous/ephemeral presentation. Overall, I found this year’s conference to be very informative, with interesting discussions around hot topics in the PDF landscape.

Do you have information you’d like to share with us on PDF Redaction and/or the PDF vs HTML debate? Feel free to leave a comment to let us know your thoughts!

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