The portable document format, or PDF, is a versatile digital document format designed by Adobe. The PDF was designed to be easily shared and printed across various computer systems. The PDF excels in these areas, but when it comes to modifying the PDF, this document format comes up woefully short.
Consider a typical situation: You request a client’s medical records, and a large stack of material is returned to you digitally as a PDF. You load it into your case management software that does not have a PDF viewer or editor. As a result, when you return the following week to begin looking through those records, you must begin by opening another program to read the PDF document.
As you review the PDF, you find information that is helpful to your client’s case. You also find irrelevant information that you want to withhold from discovering to the opposing party. Or perhaps you want to highlight important case information so you can refer to it during negotiations or at a hearing. At this point, you have several options:
- You can print the PDF off, remove the pages you do not want the other party to see, scan and re-upload the new document into your computer system, save it as a new PDF and then send this new PDF to opposing counsel while also saving it back into your CMS.
- If you need to edit or highlight, you can (again) print the PDF, make the annotations and marks that you choose and then re-upload the document into your CMS and save it as a new PDF.
- Using any number of free or paid programs, you can convert the PDF into a document format that can be edited by another program (such as a .docx Word document), make your edits and then convert it back into a PDF.
These options, though, are not ideal. All three solutions are time-consuming and require you to manipulate multiple programs from different vendors. These solutions can also be expensive if you must purchase software to convert PDFs into another format and then back again.
And using free programs to convert PDFs for editing exposes your client’s data to hackers and others who may lure you into using their program with promises that it is free. Once you upload your PDF into their program, they duplicate your information and use it to commit additional crimes or hold it for ransom.
The Answer: A case management system with an integrated law firm pdf editor
The way to overcome these inefficiencies and dangers is to use a personal injury case management software with an integrated PDF editor, like that offered by CloudLex. An integrated PDF editor means that within your case management program, you can open, edit and save PDFs without having to open and access any outside programs. Imagine the time savings and peace of mind knowing you can do the following without switching to another program or exposing client data to third parties:
- Removing pages from a PDF document without printing it out. If there are pages that are irrelevant, nonresponsive or otherwise do not belong in your PDF, your PDF editor allows you to remove these individual pages without destroying the PDF files itself. You do not need to print off the PDF and scan and save a new copy with the pages removed.
- Inserting additional pages, pictures or information into an existing PDF quickly. If you have additional information from another file or source, you can seamlessly integrate these pages into your existing PDF without the need of printing, scanning and saving a new PDF.
- Highlighting or annotating a document so that a client can see your notes or so you can refer to them when needed. Imagine adding computer text to any page of your PDF without saving the PDF in a new format. The text can be any size, any color and placed in any location on the page. Moreover, if you share this PDF with anyone after saving your work, they get to see these notes, too.
- Adding your signature to a contract, pleading or other document without having to convert the PDF to another document format. You do not have to worry about losing a contract or a client not returning a page you send them in the mail for signature. Within the matter management software with an integrated PDF editor, this can be done electronically and instantaneously.
And by doing this all within your practice management system, you do not run the risk of a nefarious third party intercepting your sensitive information or hijacking your computer.
Reach out to CloudLex to learn more about our integrated PDF editor
CloudLex’s case management system with an integrated secure PDF editor is not just a helpful tool; it is a necessity for running a secure, efficient personal injury firm in modern times. Learn more about what CloudLex offers and how it can support and enhance your practice by contacting us.