Saturday, February 15, 2014

To PDF or JPG?

Yesterday I spent the afternoon finally attacking one of the many photo albums my sister lent to me that she received from our Aunt Mary.

I decided to chose the album that consisted of Marriage Invitations. It wasn't until I was almost to the end of the album that I wondered if I should have scanned these items as JPG instead of PDF's? I like JPG's because you can get a preview in the directory, plus when you are using Windows Photo Viewer, one can easily scroll through all the images.

I wish I had questioned myself about which format I should use before I started the projected and the reason it was a PDF, was because I scanned some documents for my Genealogical Society that I was going to share via email.

I decided to do a little research on the subject and the consensuses seems to be consider saving master copies of photos as TIFFs and use JPG copies to share and for everyday viewing. PDF format is good choice for documents. So the big question is, are the Marriage Invitations considered documents? My first answer is yes, but I wonder about putting these documents into my genealogy software program.

This leads me to my second research experiment and I quickly opened my genealogy program to see if I could attach a PDF to a person. It was successful and I even saw a thumbnail of my document.

What I have decided is that in the future I need to save each item as a TIFF, then re-save it as a jpg and finally if the image is a document, newspaper article or invitation; I will save it as a PDF.  I think this will give me flexibility with my scans. I will need to stick a Post-it-Note about scanning in TIFF, JPG and PDF format to help me remember the next time. Plus, if I find time, I might revisit the photo album I did yesterday and rescan those items as TIFF and JPG.

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