Have you ever tried to file your taxes or received an attachment at work and thought to yourself why these documents were in PDF form? While many of us work with PDFs on a daily basis, most aren’t aware of what it actually is. So does it mean when something is in Portable-Document Format? What does PDF actually entail?
That’s what we’re here to look at today. Read on to find out more about what a PDF is and how it all works.
What Is a PDF?
PDF, which stands for portable document format, is a file format that’s used to show electronic documents. It’s a versatile and extremely compatible format that’s been around for years.
You can send and view PDFs regardless of the software, browser, or operating system that you own. This versatility has allowed PDF to be the de-facto standard for exchanging documents around the world.
As such, people routinely use the PDF format to exchange important documents, web pages, tax information, and articles. If you’ve ever been sent a document over email, chances are it was a PDF.
So Why Use PDF Files?
But why use PDFs specifically? Why can’t we just send and view documents using other formats or programs?
Like we’ve established earlier, PDFs allow us to see whatever document you’re sending regardless of whether we own the program or software that document was made on. Let’s look at an example.
If someone wrote out a financial report in Microsoft Word and wanted to send it to their supervisor, they’ll most likely convert it to a PDF. Why? Because there’s no guarantee their supervisor has Word to view it.
Individuals often use PDFs when sending important documents to clients or other parties when they aren’t sure whether they own certain software. Other times different organizations might be using different browsers.
PDFs are like the common language between all organizations. Anyone and everyone can see PDFs so long as they have a working computer and internet access.
Creating PDF Files:
You can create PDF files in a number of ways since many different programs allow you to convert files into PDF form. A common way to do it for Windows users is to use the “print” function and print something as a PDF.
Another common way is going into Microsoft Word and exporting something as a PDF. You can convert it as a PDF export for Microsoft Office or for Google Chrome.
Other options include using third-party sites that let you convert certain documents into PDF form. If you’re a well-versed coder, you can use programs like iTextSharp to generate, edit, and print PDFs.
The fact that you can generate PDFs in so many ways is a testament to why it’s so widely used. With so many options, no wonder it’s such a popular file format.
Portable-Document Format: Making PDFs Work for You:
Portable-Document Format files are ubiquitous in our world, but understanding why it’s so popular is also crucial. Use this PDF guide to help you understand why PDFs are so versatile.
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