When it comes to electronic documents, there is no other format more convenient than the Portable Document Format (PDF). Adobe developed this format in the early 1990s. PDF was once Adobe-exclusive but has since become a standard when it comes to electronic documents and other flat media. With nothing more than a reliable PDF converter at hand, you can display your PowerPoint presentations, word documents, and spreadsheets reliably across all platforms by converting them into a PDF file. Learn all there is to know about PDFs and how to use them with these PDF facts.
It captures and displays flat documents without altering the format of the document.
The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a self-contained file type. This means that when you convert a file from an application (such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, or Adobe Photoshop) into a PDF. Another device can open the file even when it doesn’t have that particular application. What makes it such a reliable file format is that it displays the file exactly how it was exported. This means that a PDF displays every font, image, and other aspects of the documents without changing anything. It displays the pages exactly how you see them on your screen, regardless of the device you use to view the file.
PDF is the most popular format for electronic documents in the web.
Perhaps one of the most interesting yet unsurprising PDF facts is that the PDF is the most widely-used document format on the internet. Its accessibility, ease of use, and reliability across a wide range of platforms makes it easy for the PDF to be such a popular file type. In 2016, users of Google Drive and Mail alone saved a total of over 73 million PDF files.
In its early release, people had to pay to use PDFs.
For many years after the release of the Portable Document Format, it was a proprietary format for Adobe. Back then, you would have to buy Adobe products such as the Adobe Acrobat to use PDFs. The program that allows users to create and view PDFs, Adobe Acrobat, charged a fee of $50 for a single user. It wasn’t until ISO standardized it in 2008 that Adobe released a public patent for PDFs. This public patent made PDFs available for free use and production.
Early versions of PDFs didn’t have as many features as they have today.
One of the most important PDF facts is that its popularity today is due to the fact that PDFs have useful features coupled with their overall reliability. However, this wasn’t always the case. In addition to not being a format that’s free to use, the PDF in its early days did not have as many features to boast.
The early versions of PDF had large file sizes, which means they took up more space and took longer to download than plain text formats. Furthermore, early PDF files did not have support for hyperlinks that make them useful for the internet. Today, PDFs have much more useful features, and the file sizes are much closer to the sizes of plain text documents. Moreover, there are various tools available to compress PDF files to reduce the file size.
Adobe co-founder John Warnock and his team developed the PDF.
The development of PDFs started in the early 1990s. One of the founders of Adobe, Inc., Dr. John Warnock, announced The Camelot Project in 1991. Included in The Camelot Project was an idea for an electronic document format that allowed for reliable distribution of information across all platforms. Regardless of hardware and software, the format had to display everything found in the documents — including pictures, drawings, graphs, and text. Adobe first referred to the PDF as Interchange PostScript (IPS) in its early development. In 1992, however, they released the PDF with its current name, Portable Document Format.
The US tax authorities were among the first to widely use the PDF.
Because of the PDF’s ability to store unaltered documents, authorities often find use in this now-ubiquitous format. One of the lesser-known PDF facts is that tax authorities in the United States were among the first users to work with PDF files, along with Adobe themselves. The US tax authorities used PDF documents to disseminate tax forms.