Video in PDFs

You’ve seen multimedia that you would love to use in corporate communication. Unfortunately, the corporate IT department is very security-conscious. They resist installing a new server or web application inside the firewall, and they forbid putting corporate information on outside hosts. They ‘encourage’ everyone use the company’s secure document management system (.e.g., Lotus Notes or Microsoft SharePoint) for all business communication. Is video out of the question?

Rich Media PDFs

Many people are unaware that it is easy to embed sophisticated, animated videos inside a standard Adobe Acrobat PDF file. The result is an integrated, thoroughly standard PDF.

Note: In keeping with their PDF format, these should be downloaded to a local disk and viewed from in Acrobat Reader. Download times will vary according to file size.

Example Applications

  • Work Instruction Software Instruction Memo (1.7MB) – It’s pretty common that a minor software challenge will get in the way of productivity. Wouldn’t it be nice to record a quick fix or procedure and send a totally unambiguous memo to let everyone know what to do.
  • Work Instruction Video work instruction (2.2MB) – This shows the correct method to perform the sort of factory or distribution task that is used throughout industry. The work instruction design contains two video clips. One shows the task being performed at full, expert speed. The second shows it being performed step-by-step to make the subtleties more evident. Click here to view an in document version.

Who would need this?

These PDFs will play on any computer where Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed. Presumably, anyone who wants to view a PDF will have Acrobat Reader. They address situations where a multimedia web page may not be feasible:

  • IT security policies make it difficult to put the video on a web site.
  • Bandwidth limitations make it difficult to stream video to the target audience.
  • The target computer is not connected to a high-speed network.
  • Users are carrying laptops into areas with low connectivity.
  • The company’s documents must reside in a document management system like Sharepoint or Lotus Notes.
  • The company wants to distribute documents on DVDs or thumb drives to stakeholders beyond the firewall.
  • The company deals extensively with overseas offices that have slow connections.
  • etc.

A Rich Media PDF will work in those awkward places that a multimedia website cannot reach.

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