Should I create a PDF or HTML version of my reports?

With CPT v3.1, we now offer both PDF and HTML formats for report generation. The choice of format is really up to you, but here are is a quick comparison between the two that might help you decide which best meets your needs.

PDFHTML
Paginated ReportYESNO
Internal Graphic FormatVectorRaster
OS CompatibilityMac/PC/UnixMac/PC/Unix
Can be viewed in BrowserYESYES
Relative File SizeSmallerLarger
Can be e-mailedYESYES

As you can see, the report formats are similar in terms of being compatible across different computer systems and having the ability to be emailed, etc. However, there are two key factors that are different: report pagination and the internal graphics format.

Report pagination simply means that the report is formatted as 8.5 x 11in pages rather than as a single long column of report data. This gives you the ability to easily print the PDF report to a hard copy version which many of us are still more comfortable with – particularly your doctors which tend to still like paper documents. Although you can still print the HTML version reports, the printer software must decide how to split it into pages and this often results in sections and graphs being split in inconvenient areas. It also means you don’t have the nice headers and footers as in the PDF formatted version.

CPT v3.1 introduced the new PDF formatted reports and you may find these to be more visually appealing. Part of the reason is that the PDF format uses vector based graphics for all of the graphs and diagrams, whereas the HTML version is using raster based graphics. Vector based is going to produce much sharper lines and type compared to the HTML version.

Vector graphics also have the benefit of being a more compact way of representing the graph data, so the overall file size is going to be considerably smaller with the PDF format.

For most people, the new PDF format is going to be the preferred reporting format. We decided to leave the HTML format capability in the app for the off chance that someone might want to use it on a personal website or for reviewing a non-paginated format. In either case, the choice is up to you!