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DocsCorp Report Highlights Obstacles between Paper-Light Offices and Tablet Devices

A major obstacle to PDF editing on tablet and mobile devices

Are we paperless yet?

A paperless office has been an elusive goal for most organizations since the 1980s. The benefits of going digital are well-known (better collaboration, a smaller environmental impact, more secure data). And the disadvantages of relying heavily on paper are obvious.

Yet, we’re using more paper than ever before. Industry analysts believe over 15 trillion pages are printed each year globally. An average office worker uses 10,000 pieces of paper per year. Computer usage is not reducing how much paper is used – in fact, demand for paper is expected to double between 2005 and 2030.

Paper usage doesn’t just cost the planet – it costs businesses, too. According to Gartner, up to 3% of a company’s revenue is spent on paper, printing, and filing costs.

The rise of tablets and mobile devices in the modern workplace was expected to be the key to reducing paper reliance. However, given the increasing paper production and demand, this hasn’t been the case.

DocsCorp surveyed nearly 300 people about how they digitally edit, review, and approve documents on different devices. Despite businesses doing more to support mobile working on tablets and smartphones, the survey found the technology is something people are still reluctant to embrace.

The digital document landscape

The preferred choice of hardware for internal use is changing. More and more IT departments in large law firms, for example, are rolling out tablets to partners because it means flexibility for them to work at home or during business travel; better protection against leaks, since data and email security applications move with them, and an overall competitive edge thanks to fewer
barriers to productivity.

However, user adoption of tablets was not especially strong in the recent survey by DocsCorp. Less than 10% of people said they used a tablet to do most of their work. The forecast for tablet use is not promising. The percentage of people who saw themselves mostly working from a tablet in 12 months’ time was less than the percentage of people who currently are (9.86% verse

This is despite a positive outlook for digital document workflows generally: 61% of people said they already do most of their document reviewing, editing, and approving work digitally. The percentage of people working from a laptop most of the time will jump from 34% to 40% in 12 months’ time.

A major obstacle to tablet use

How can a reluctance to use tablets for document workflows be explained? The survey found that many people are put off by the experience of writing on tablets with a stylus. 81% of people said they don’t edit or work with documents using a stylus. This is critical. Think about how many parts of the document review process rely on the stylus – digital signatures, text comments, and
highlighting, to name a few.

A quarter of respondents described the experience of editing documents with a stylus as poor, while the majority (48.15%) say it’s merely satisfactory.

The main issue people reported with using a stylus was speed and efficiency. Nearly half of people surveyed said it slowed them down compared to working with pen and paper. Poor quality markup was the next major issue, followed by delayed responses.

Improving tablet adoption rates

The best way to increase adoption rates of editing PDFs on a tablet is to offer users a PDF file editor with an enhanced stylus experience. For too many people using a stylus to write on a PDF can be slow and awkward. It’s frustrating when annotations lag or end up in the wrong spot. How you annotate a PDF using a stylus should be seamless.

A better stylus experience involves smooth inking and faster response times, so the stylus experience feels more like marking up documents with a pen.

The benefits of improved tablet adoption are:

• Organizations using tablets can benefit from new technologies and innovation in areas like PDF editing
• Staff will have access to a tool that helps them do their job better and in less time than it usually takes
• Organizations and IT departments can see a better return on investment in tablets
• Staff can work efficiently in any environment – improving the review and collaboration processes
• Turnaround times are shortened since work can be done on the go

Learn more

The Pencil tool in pdfDocs has been developed with smooth inking at its core, so the PDF editing experience is as free-flowing on a tablet as it would be with pen and paper. Find out more or start your free trial at

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