Thursday, February 27, 2014

Portable Document Format (PDF)

The abbreviation PDF stands for Portable Document Format that is a multi-format file format developed by Adobe Systems. PDF captures formatted documents such as images, fonts, document texts and even does formatting of documents from variety of Desktop Publishing Applications. The greatest advantage of PDF is that it contains color-accurate information, it prints the documents as it is as they appear on your screen. You need Adobe reader, free software distributed by Adobe Systems to enable your computer to display PDF files.

History of Portable Document Format (PDF)

The history of PDF files dates back to 1984 when the idea was discussed for the first time. However, it was not until 1993 that Adobe systems introduced their first Acrobat 1.0 and PDF 1.0 product line. The current PDF format has actually evolved from a page description language that already existed in early 90s and was known as PostScript. A future scientist with the name of Dr. John E Warnock wrote a paper named “Camelot” that basically expounded the new ideas and techniques obtained after refining the PostScript in terms of structure and concept. The first concept of PDF format emerged from the ideas incorporated in this paper. Now PDF had developed into a format that can describe the documents in complete resolution and device independent manner.

Why PDF was Developed

At the time of the appearance of this extremely useful format, the publishing industry was facing some serious problems in terms of printing paper from the computer. The PDF was actually developed to address most of these problems if not all. For instance, it was nearly impossible to send your documents across different platforms and networks while preserving the font and formatting of the document. Furthermore, bottlenecks and bandwidth was another major issue back in 1993. The Acrobat or PDF documents resolved the problem by providing users a chance to transfer documents without altering the font of that document and having to attach multiple fonts. Similarly, the PDF format also helped the designers to get rid of usage specific agreements related issues at the time of sending these documents to other networks and platforms.