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Colorful QR codes
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Updated
May 21, 2024
Read Time:
3
 minutes

How To Share PDFs With QR Codes

Using QR Codes
How To Share PDFs With QR Codes
Kayla Uytengsu
Growth Marketing
How To Share PDFs With QR Codes


When you have important files to share with your customers, linking a QR code to PDF documents is one of the quickest, simplest ways to get the job done. With a QR code link, you can allow customers easy access to your menu, e-books, contracts, and any documents that are best shared in PDF format.

In this guide, we’ll cover why PDFs are the perfect medium for sharing information through QR codes and provide the simple steps to create and connect your PDF to a custom design QR code. Read on to get started.

PDFs are a common file type, used for many different purposes in both business and personal settings. They're often used for e-books and other large documents because they can easily be converted into digital files. PDFs are also useful for securely distributing documents containing sensitive information.

QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes used for a variety of purposes, from redirecting people to website links or puling up PDFs. QR codes are one of the fastest way to share media, as all your audience needs to do is scan and click with their smartphone. Connecting QR code to PDF links lets you send your audience to your file in seconds.

Benefits of using QR codes to share PDFs 

QR codes can connect to any type of file or digital content, making them especially useful when you want to share large files that are difficult to send via email, messaging apps, or even cloud sharing. With a QR code link to PDF files, it’s easy to share e-books, brochures, slide decks, and instructional content or large resource files without having to first upload them to a cloud-sharing platform and experience loading delays.

There are many different scenarios in which you could find it useful to provide a QR code link to PDF documents. Whether you’re a restaurant owner who wishes to share your menu with patrons or a speaker who wants to share key documents during a live presentation, QR codes make life easier and more efficient for both you and your audience. 

You’ll find it invaluable to have a QR code sticker, QR code sign, or other means of sharing your QR code with your audience — who will in turn appreciate not having to download a file in order to view your content. Moreover, you’ll save money by not having to print out any handouts, menus, or other materials.

Industries and use cases for linking PDFs to QR codes 

The potential use cases for linking a QR code to PDF documents are virtually endless, with a variety of industries making use of QR code generator PDF technology like that of Flowcode. Here are just a few of the possibilities:

1. Events and conferences

Take your audience directly to presentation materials, marketing assets, sign-up forms and more. A QR code sign or QR code sticker can be especially helpful on a busy trade show or event floor while you’re preoccupied with other guests.

2. Workplaces

In an office setting, you can link a QR code to PDF files containing workplace safety documents, orientation and training materials, and SOP (standard operating procedures) documents. Production plants might link a QR code to PDF user manuals and guides, reducing employee errors in the production process. 

3. Retail stores

Another use case is in retail stores where customers can scan a QR code to PDF files containing more information about products and services.

4. Restaurants and hospitality 

If you're a restaurant owner, you can add a QR code to PDF menus table tents that link directly to an online menu. In hospitality settings like hotels, your QR code can link to guest agreements, plus additional information about amenities and local attractions. Restaurant and hospitality job applicants could also access online applications using a QR code link to PDF.

5. Health care settings

If a new patient enters a medical professional’s office, a hospital, or a treatment center, a QR code can link them directly to new-patient forms and HIPAA standards. Patients can securely fill out the forms and submit them, streamlining the intake process.

6. Fitness studios and spas

New guests at a fitness studio or a spa can securely sign and submit waivers and contracts and receive a copy of their forms. Studio and spa owners can also link to information such as class schedules and descriptions, treatment services, and events.

7. Schools/Education 

A teacher can provide a QR code to students that links to study guides, sample tests, homework assignments, and other classroom materials. Parent-teacher organizations can link to PDF order forms for fundraisers. Sports teams can easily collect athlete information via a QR code link to PDF forms.

8. Government offices/courts/public spaces 

Local communities can make use of QR code links to PDF documents in a variety of ways. Government offices can link to information about local regulations, leaders, and community services. Courts can link to information about courthouse processes and procedures for different departments. In public spaces, QR codes can take an audience to information about local parks, public transit, and other community information.

9. Travel 

There’s no better time for a QR code to PDF documents than in travel situations. Whether at an airport, a train station, a bus stop, a subway, or a rental car facility, QR codes make it easy to distribute helpful information that travelers need to know along their journey.

10. Construction sites 

Construction sites are often loud and chaotic environments where workers are constantly in motion. As a result, it can be difficult or impossible to communicate instructions verbally. With a QR code to PDF files, you can provide easy access to information that workers need in order to do their jobs safely and efficiently.

11. Realtors/Open houses 

When guests arrive at an open house or pass by a home for sale, they can scan the QR code on the sign in front of the home. The code will link directly to a PDF file containing information about the property. A QR code to PDF files also helps with accessing the innumerable forms associated with buying or selling a home or a commercial property.

12. E-commerce stores

E-commerce stores that need to provide lengthy user manuals and product or service information can include a QR code sticker with shipments. This makes it easy for customers to access warranties or information they need to get started. 

How to generate a QR code for a PDF

It’s easy to create a QR code link for any kind of PDF document with Flowcode’s QR code generator for PDF documents. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a Flowcode account. Choose from a Basic plan to Enterprise-level, depending on your needs.
  2. Once you’re logged in, navigate to the top left corner and select CreateFlowcode
  3. Follow the steps to create your Flowcode, and select the scan destination to a PDF file of your choice.
  4. Upload your PDF file. Note that your document must be 200MB or less in order to upload.
  5. Design your Flowcode with different colors, patterns, and themes. Check out this guide for more tips on customizing your Flowcode. 
  6. Select Create or Create and Download to activate your code and start using it.
  7. Connect your Flowcode to a Flowpage. This gives you a mobile-friendly landing page that provides a richer user experience for your visitors.
  8. Print and display your Flowcode anywhere you want to link your offline audience to online PDFs.

How to scan a QR code to access a PDF 

Scanning a QR code to access a PDF file is a quick, easy process you’ll never forget once you’ve done it once or twice. Here’s how:

  1. Open the camera on your smartphone or tablet. Alternatively, you can use a QR code app. 
  2. Hold the camera over the QR code. A box will appear around the QR code, and the camera will automatically scan it.
  3. You’ll be prompted to open the link from the QR code to view the content.

Tips for sharing PDFs with QR codes 

Here are a few best practices to consider when creating a QR code:

  • Place your QR code somewhere easily visible and accessible to your audience to ensure a seamless scan experience. Add a prompt or call-to-action to get more engagement.
  • Poor size and resolution will impact the readability of your QR code. As a general rule of thumb, your QR code should be at least 1 inch square. Ensure you print on high quality materials to make your print material last.
  • Don’t be afraid to think outside the proverbial box! Give your code a custom look with unique colors, text, and themes that help you stand out from the crowd and get more people to scan.
  • View additional best practices and resources here.

QR codes are a great way to connect audiences to your content quickly, especially large PDF files. By linking your QR code to PDF documents, you can make it easier for people to get more information about your brand. It's never been easier and faster to do so than with Flowcode, so get started today!

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Kayla Uytengsu
Growth Marketing

Colorful QR codes
Create free QR codes

Design colorful and branded QR codes for your brand.

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