Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » P »

PDF - Portable Document Format

PDF is short for Portable Document Format.

PDF is a file format developed by Adobe Systems in 1992. PDF captures formatting information from a variety of desktop publishing applications, making it possible to send formatted documents and have them appear on the recipient's monitor or printer as they were intended.This is because a PDF will maintain the original fonts, images, graphics as well as the exact layout of the file.

How to Create and View PDF files

A PDF file can be shared, viewed, and printed by anyone using the free Adobe Reader software regardless of the operating system, original design application or fonts. The tools to view and create PDF files, called Acrobat, were released in 1993. To view a file in PDF format, you need Adobe Reader, a free application distributed by Adobe Systems. Initially, the tools to create and view PDFs were expensive. Later, Adobe launched a free version of Acrobat Reader.

PDF Today

Today, PDF is an open standard maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The format has expanded over the years and now PDF files can contain elements including links, form fields, audio and can also be signed electronically to collect e-signatures that are legally binding. Access to PDF files can be controlled with passwords and protected PDFs can be created in many different office and productivity applications.

Recommended Reading: Webopedia's All About Adobe PDF guide.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
Small Business Marketing's Greatest Hits

The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »

Taking Ownership through Digital Governance

Taking ownership of our own misjudgments or simple forgetfulness takes a healthy amount of humility and some honest self-assessment. Yet sometimes... Read More »

Have We Become a World of Addicts?

It's hard to imagine our lives without smartphones. But people who suffer separation anxiety when they don't have their phones nearby may be in... Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
5 Best Cloud Storage Services

With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »

Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC

Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »

29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »