How to Use PDF Software in the Documents of Quality Management Systems
Quality Management Systems are essentially a collection of protocols, procedures, and other documentation aimed at achieving predefined quality standards. As such, the documents of a Quality Management System or QMS must be centrally accessible by all employees in an organization regardless of their location. In most cases, there are quality standards unique to each department or division, and this may require some parts of the system to be locked to others. Whatever the need, PDF plays a vital role in the maintenance of the documents of a QMS. In this article, we’ll explore the ideal tools required to manage and maintain such an ecosystem of documentation and how they help organize resources, and we’ll also take a closer look at some of the processes involved in using PDF tools in a QMS environment.
Part 1. Why Is a Professional PDF Editor Important
Since much of the documentation needs to be archived for easy retrieval, QMS repositories and knowledge banks are often maintained as PDF documents. This allows for easy distribution, global viewability, and the use of security tools, among other considerations.
Introducing PDFelement, the most affordable, comprehensive, and flexible PDF solution that you can find. The reason PDFelement is a highly sought-after PDF editor is that it covers all the functions typically used to maintain the documents of a Quality Management System, as outlined below:
Create: PDFelement can convert hundreds of file types into PDF files, so whether you have spreadsheets, graphs, text, images, web pages, eBooks, or any other file format, you can consolidate the information into PDF for easy and secure accessibility.
Convert: You can also convert specific documents back to their native formats for editing, following which they can be added back to the master PDF file. This allows information to be kept up to date at all times.
Edit: Text, images, hyperlinks, and other content can be directly edited in the PDF file using PDFelement.
Merge: Key documents of a Quality Management System can be grouped and merged to consolidate related information. Merged files will have an additional first page containing the name of each of the documents that were merged to create the master file.
Organize: PDF pages can be added, deleted, reordered, extracted, rotated, etc., allowing you to quickly reorganize content to match the evolving needs of your organization.
Security: Enterprise-grade password security can be implemented across all documents of a Quality Management System to ensure that only authorized personnel can edit the information. Others can be given permission to view, print, and copy content.
For all these reasons, PDFelement is the preferred PDF editor for most quality management initiatives.
Part 2. Applications of the PDF Format in Quality Management Systems
1. What is a QMS or Quality Management System?
As we briefly saw, a QMS is a collection of documents outlining how specific quality goals should be met, and the best practices to achieve them. This primarily involves the use of extensive documentation in the form of quality manuals, standards of operation, procedure documents, quality checklists, and similar types of content.
While there are several different ways to manage such document workflows, the requirements of a QMS are clear:
- The information must ONLY be accessible to relevant employees to which that information pertains
- The files should be easily sharable, either via URLs or as file attachments
- The information must be properly cataloged and indexed for better searchability
Considering these factors, the tools that PDFelement offers completely cover the gamut of requirements for maintaining the documents of a Quality Management System. Let’s look at some of these requirements.
2. How to Sign a PDF
PDFs in a QMS invariably needed to be signed off by a division head or department chief. For this, the electronic signature feature in PDFelement can be used.
3. How to Apply Password Protection
Documents that are widely circulated must not be modified in any way. This can be achieved by implementing security measures such as password-based restrictions, which is possible with PDFelement.
Part 3. Application of PDF in the Control of Operating Protocol Documents
QMS documents must also be managed properly for efficiency, searchability, and secure sharing. Here are some processes that cover these requirements.
1. How to Combine Current Standard Documents
The Combine PDF function can be used to merge multiple files into a single PDF file. This can be done easily with the help of PDFelement as shown below:
Step 1. In the new window, click Combine PDF.
Step 2. You can now drag your files into the interface to add them to the queue. You can also you the Add button at the bottom to import files, folders, and currently open documents.
Step 3. Reorder the files in the queue if you need to.
Step 4. In the right sidebar panel, you can choose to combine all the files in the queue or to insert a new document into all queued files.
Step 5. Once the parameters are set, click Apply and then choose a location to store the merged PDF file.
2. How to Set Bookmarks
PDF bookmarks are useful when searching a document for a specific section or when you need to update information in a particular portion of the file. Such bookmarks can be set easily with PDFelement.
Step 1. Once the file is open, click the sidebar panel icon on the top left and select Bookmarks to see the Bookmarks pane.
Step 2. Scroll to the page where you want to add the first bookmark.
Step 3. At the bottom of the pane, click Add Bookmark and input a name to identify it.
Step 4. Continue scrolling to each page where a bookmark is required and execute Step 4 above.
Once you have added all bookmarks, save the file to preserve the changes. All viewers will now be able to access the Bookmarks pane to navigate the document easily when searching for or updating content.
3. Share a Protected Document with an Inspector
Protected QMS documents often need to be vetted by third-party specialists or consultants to validate content or recommend changes. In order to share these documents with them, the corresponding passwords will also need to be shared. To make this simpler, create a new PDF containing all the required passwords, and then apply a single Open password to protect the file. This file can be sent to the inspector and the single password can be shared with them using a different channel.
Step 1. To create a new PDF file, click File → New → Blank Document
Step 2. In the new document, click Text to go into text editing mode
Step 3. Click the T+ symbol to add new text, then copy-paste the all the required passwords
Step 4. Next, apply a password to this file using the process shown above, but the difference here is that you’ll be applying an Open password rather than a Permissions password
Step 5. The document can now be shared with the recipient along with the locked files, and the password for the new file can be sent to them separately via a different email or chat application.
Quality Management Systems are often critical to the success of an organization and the satisfaction of its customers. As such, the amount of effort that goes into organizing a QMS and making it securely accessible to all authorized employees is a vital part of that process. PDFelement is a highly capable tool to manage all your documents for a Quality Management System, and it is also the most affordable alternative to other premium PDF editors like Adobe Acrobat, NitroPDF, and others with matching capabilities.
In addition, PDFelement is also available for Windows and iOS, and there’s a new cloud storage and electronic signature platform called Wondershare Document Cloud to help manage QMS documents. With this ecosystems of apps and platforms, it’s easier than ever to bring your QMS documents up to speed.
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