Everyone has handled, displayed, printed out or perhaps even created these destructured files. The first example is the most widespread type of destructured files: PDF files (Portable Document Format). This acronym refers to a file format used to describe printed pages created by Adobe. The aim of the PDF format is to keep the same layout, while avoiding any changes that would enable the information contained in these files to be modified.
For example, when you receive a bill for online shopping, you probably receive it in PDF format. This enables you to consult and print it, but you won’t be able to modify it. When you create a WORD document and want to send it by email, it is highly likely you will record it in PDF format. In any case, the person who receives this document will be able to very easily see and print it even if they don’t have WORD. The is also true for Excel and all other office software.
In the world of business it is the same. Information is exchanged with accountants; for pay – if this function is outsourced, pay slips and other documents are all shared in PDF format. In technical departments, documents are also shared in destructured formats, although the list is much longer. These are generally vector files, eg. PS, EMF, WMF, HPGL, SVG, DXF, IGES… (to see the list, please download this PDF).
All Compter-Assisted Drawing, Computer-Aided Design, Desktop Publishing and other technical software allow data to be saved in very “poor” file formats. These destructured data formats developed very rapidly because they enable the information they contain to be sent, visualised or printed even if you don’t have the software used to create them.
As we have seen, the main aims of these destructured data formats is to keep the document’s original layout and to prevent the document from being modified, either fully or in part.