PDF (Portable Document Format) is a compact file format that provides a way of creating, viewing and sharing documents electronically between users. It is a format universally compatible providing a standard format that works for any computer with any platform.
Created by Adobe Systems and launched in 1993, the PDF was geared towards providing a solution for organizations, corporations and people to exchange reliable documents electronically. Since then, the PDF specification has been developed to accommodate many uses in a growing technological world.
Primarily, PDF files are used when you want to preserve the appearance of the original document. The PDF is, in essence, a carbon copy “image” of a document. It is similar to a fax machine that takes a “picture” of the document and electronically sends it to another fax machine. Combined with its compact nature, the PDF is an ideal tool to transmit electronic files.
All that is needed for the recipient to access it is a PDF viewer, such as Adobe Reader. Just like the PDF format, a PDF viewer is a cross-platform compatible software that allows users to view and utilize PDF documents on or offline.
Most importantly, they can be downloaded onto any computer for free. This is one of the reasons why PDFs are so accessible and convenient—anyone with a reader is capable of viewing a PDF file document.
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