What does PDF stand for?

PDF is the acronym for Portable Document Format which is a file format created n 1993 by Adobe Systems for document exchange. PDF is used to symbolize two – dimensional documents in a manner that is free of the application hardware, software and operating system. Each PDF file includes a comprehensive description of a set layout 2D document. This includes images, fonts, 2d vector graphic which arrange the documents and text.

John Warnock is the co – founder of Adobe Systems and he delineated a system labeled ‘Camelot’ which later developed into the Portable Document Format file format.

On July 1, 2008 a propriety format PDF was officially released, formerly as an open standard. And the International Organization for Standardization published it as ISO/IEC.

Adobe’s suite for creating and reading PDFs was not freely available in the early days of the format’s history as it was a slow start. Early versions of PDF had no support for external hyperlinks this caused its usefulness on the World Wide Web (WWW) to be greatly condensed. The additional size of the PDF document in comparison to plain text saw an appreciably lengthy download time over the ordinary slower modems; files were dubbed too slow and therefore less potent machines. In the same field were other formats that competed with PDF these formats were:

  • Common Ground Digital paper
  • Farallon Replica
  • Post Script (Adobe format)
  • Envoy

Desktop publishing workflow was where PDF files were generally located in the early years.

Acrobat Reader, presently known as Adobe Reader, was introduced by Adobe and came at no cost to the user. The Adobe Reader supports the original PDF which led to it becoming the convention standard for printable web documents otherwise called a standard web document.

There have been several variations to the PDF file format and the evolution continues even today and new editions of adobe Acrobat are released. To date there have been nine versions of PDF with equivalent Acrobat releases, they are as follows

  • (1993) – PDF 1.0 / Acrobat 1.0
  • (1994) – PDF 1.1 / Acrobat 2.0
  • (1996) – PDF 1.2 / Acrobat 3.0
  • (1999) – PDF 1.3 / Acrobat 4.0
  • (2001) – PDF 1.4 / Acrobat 5.0
  • (2003) – PDF 1.5 / Acrobat 6.0
  • (2005) – PDF 1.6 / Acrobat 7.0
  • (2006) – PDF 1.7 / Acrobat 8.0
  • (2008) – PDF 1.7, Adobe Extension Level 3 / Acrobat 9.0

On July 1, 2008 the ISO 32000 – 1: 2008 PDF open standards was published which has made PDF a published ISO standard today with the title document management – Portable document format – Part 1: PDF 1.7.

Adobe has legal claims to PDF however PDF files can be read and written by anyone without them having to pay to do so.

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