We care about your privacy

We collect cookies to analyze our website traffic and performance. We never collect any personal data.

Click 'Accept' to allow cookies or 'Reject' to not allow cookies to be collected.

Why you need a document portal for publishing reports and handbooks

Nov 27, 2023

In today's digital age, organizations and publishers have a wide range of options when it comes to publishing reports and handbooks. While PDFs have been the go-to format for many years, there are now compelling reasons to consider using HTML and a document portal instead. In this blog post, we will explore why you should use HTML and a document portal rather than PDF to publish reports and handbooks, and what value it will bring.



PDFs are less accessible than HTML due to their inherent limitations in web usability and accessibility. Unlike HTML, PDFs are typically large masses of text and images, optimized for print and inherently inaccessible, unpleasant to read, and cumbersome to navigate online. PDF files are linear and limiting, often converted from print-focused documents without proper guidelines for web writing or accessibility, making them challenging for users to navigate and comprehend. Additionally, PDFs lack the structured nature of HTML, making it difficult for assistive technologies to interpret and present the content in a meaningful way, further hindering accessibility for users with disabilities

By publishing reports and handbooks on Readin document portal, you can ensure that the content is accessible to all users, regardless of their devices.

Searching and finding content

Searching multiple PDFs is more challenging than searching HTML documents because PDFs lack proper structure and are optimized for print, making them difficult to navigate and index for search purposes. In contrast, HTML documents have a structured format that can be easily indexed by search engines, allowing for more accurate and efficient search results.

Readin document portal can incorporate advanced search functionalities, such as full-text search, filtering, and metadata-based search, providing users with a more seamless and comprehensive search experience.


Usability is better with HTML than PDF when reading documents due to the structured nature of HTML, which provides a more organic and smooth reading experience, especially for online content. Unlike PDFs, HTML is designed for the web, making it more responsive and adaptable to different screen sizes and devices, ensuring a seamless reading experience across various platforms, including smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

Additionally, HTML allows for better search engine optimization (SEO), making it easier for users to find and navigate content, while PDFs degrade the user experience and are not suitable for on-screen reading.

Reading a PDF report on a smartphone often leads to a cumbersome vertical scrolling experience, lacking flow in reading. In contrast, a document portal with HTML content allows effortless reading of long and media-rich reports on mobile devices, providing a seamless and engaging reading experience.


Analytics will perform better with HTML user data rather than PDF due to the limitations of tracking user engagement in PDF files. PDFs lack the ability to collect data on reader engagement, making it challenging to understand how users interact with the content. Unlike HTML, PDFs do not allow tracking of how much of the content users read, which pages and topics they found interesting, or which links they clicked on. This lack of data collection creates a significant gap in understanding user behavior and engagement, hindering the ability to measure the effectiveness of the content.

In contrast, Readin document portal provides the capability to track user engagement, enabling publishers to gather valuable insights and optimize their content based on user behavior. Understanding the actual performance of your reports is more beneficial than simply assuming or believing that you know how they are doing.


HTML is easier to keep up to date compared to PDF, reducing the risk of misinformation caused by duplicating information in PDFs and not keeping them in sync. Compared with HTML, it’s harder to update a PDF once it’s been created and published. PDFs are also less likely to be actively maintained, which can lead to broken links and users getting the wrong information.

With Readin document portals SharePoint plugin you easily update a report or handbook in no time. The quality is maintained with automatic quality features like link checker, document health and analytics.


In conclusion, publishers should use HTML and a document portal rather than PDF to publish reports and handbooks. HTML provides numerous benefits, including accessibility, reduced need for alternative formats, easier maintenance, better SEO, and improved usability. By publishing content in HTML, publishers can ensure that their content is accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities, and provide a better reading experience for users. While PDFs have been the go-to format for many years, it's time for publishers to embrace HTML and a document portal to provide the best possible experience for their users. For further reading, check out our blog post: Don't publish your documentation in PDF

Book a meeting