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Tricks of the Trade

by | Jun 9, 2009

Everyone views documents on-line nowadays, whether for bank account statements, mortgage processing, insurance claims, phone bills and more. You use Adobe Acrobat to view PDF files, Word to view office docs, MS TIFF viewer to view TIFFs and perhaps a browser to view JPEGs and PNGs. Simple, right?

So why do so many of our customers complain about the cost and complexity of supporting hundreds and thousands of client stations with so many applications? They tell us they want to get away from multiple viewers. Why? Well, primarily because of that word multiple. Too many choices, too many interfaces, too many dependencies, too much training and too much cost.

Enter the universal viewer – a simple solution that takes care of everything. Your worries are solved. … Unfortunately it’s not that simple. There are trade-offs. You’ve got to know what you’re doing and what to expect. TIFF and JPEG have been around a long time. We’ve been developing with them for a long time – I doubt that anyone does it better than us.

PDF was originated by Adobe. No one does it better than they do, particularly when they control the spec. But some of us do a very good job.

MS Office – same story as PDF. Invented and advanced by Microsoft and no one does it better than they do – most people don’t even dare to try; again some of us do a good job with it.

So first takeaway – if you’re not using the Adobe Acrobat Reader or Microsoft Word, expect some differences, some trade-offs for the benefit of having a universal viewer than solves your complexity, training and cost issues.

Performing document and image viewing efficiently and economically is a relatively transparent process, once configured correctly – but many people don’t realize that setup is key.

What do I mean by set up? Learn more here.

As always, I welcome any comments you may have. Address them to and I’ll personally review and respond.


Simon Wieczner, CEO