Printing is dumb


I haven’t spent enough time complaining about print lately.

When I used to work for a company that survived on weekly catalog mailings, I found the proofs to be absolutely gross. Gross! Didn’t the internet replace catalogs? It’s one thing when a company adds web access to an existing print model. Print becomes twice 100x as gross when a company derails your web experience with expectations of you downloading and printing a .pdf.

Here are some things:

  1. I don’t have a printer
  2. I don’t want a printer
  3. That’s what email/harddrives/ftp/etc are for
  4. Printing is gross
  5. I don’t have any stamps

I have an account that needs to be transfered to another company where I do all my transactions online. Almost. Except, apparently, add to their business. This time they want me to download a .pdf, fill in the form fields, print it and mail it off. The plan: fill out the form at home and print it from a remote machine.

FoxIt Reader doesn’t allow for interactive .pdf’s created specifically for Adobe’s Reader software (perhaps Apple Mac OS X’s Preview doesn’t either?). My intentionally limited exposure to .pdf’s means a light reader should accomplish all my needs leaving no reason to install the bloated and sluggish Adobe version. Until now. 22.4mb later (30mb if I hadn’t unchecked an additional attached download) and all my file type preferences for .pdf’s are stolen. Those Reader icons are gross.

First keystroke and it turns out saving is not an option. .pdf’s may be useful for one thing: creating a document to be printed. They are miserable for creating a document to be edited. If they had made the document a web form I wouldn’t have had to download new software, I could easily save the completed form to my machine, I could still print and mail it to them, and for the day they make the service available online, they would already have the front-end code in place. Some users may not realize that a webpage is savable but considering they have a full page of instructions of how to use the .pdf, a simple blurb on how to use your browser’s built-in functionality shouldn’t be a problem. Plus it’s knowledge the user would then be able to carry to other websites.

And I wouldn’t be a bitter olden shaking my fist at a computer screen right now. .pdf’s are dumb. PDF‘s on the other hand are awesome.


  1. majafa 20080212

    you should build a printer from an old typewriter.

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