(Portable Document Format) The de facto standard for electronic document publishing from Adobe. On the Web, there are millions of brochures, data sheets, white papers and technical manuals in the PDF format.|
PDF and PostScript
A superset of Adobe's PostScript, PDF files are widely used for sending documents to commercial printing houses. Whereas PostScript was designed as a language to drive the printer and imagesetter hardware, PDF lets users view and interact with the document. At the commercial printer, the PDF file is converted to PostScript for printing. Some printers also provide native support for PDF. See PostScript.
The "Portable" in PDF - Font Design Freedom
PDFs solved a chronic font problem, in which the target computer may not have all the fonts specified in a document. For a graphic artist, font selection is an important part of page design, but, quite often, only basic fonts are chosen to ensure they will be available in and rendered properly in every user's computer.
In contrast, PDF files do not rely on the fonts installed in the computer that displays or prints them. Document designers are free to choose whichever fonts they have at their disposal, and those fonts are embedded within the PDF document. Because the fonts are not distributed for general use, they comply with the font license and do not violate copyrights or patents. Most importantly for page designers, they can use all the fonts they have at their disposal and be guaranteed that the page will display and print correctly on any computer with PDF rendering software, which is practically every computer. See PDF/X and font incompatibility.
Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader) is Adobe's free download for displaying and printing PDF files, and hundreds of millions of users have downloaded this software from www.adobe.com. Adobe Reader lets you view and print PDF files, but not create or edit them. Starting with Acrobat 7 and Adobe Reader 7, users can make comments in PDF files.
Creating and Editing PDFs
PDF files are created with Adobe's Acrobat software. Acrobat can convert a wide variety of document types on Windows, Mac and Unix to the PDF format. Non-Adobe products are also available for converting to PDF; for example, Jaws PDF Creator from Global Graphics Software (www.globalgraphics.com). Adobe applications such as InDesign and Illustrator, as well as non-Adobe applications, include PDF converters to export content to the PDF format. See PDF/A, PDF/X, PostScript, DjVu and XML Paper Specification.