Know Your PDF

Compatible: PDF is a cross-platform file format. This means that PDF can be used to recreate documents irrespective of where they were originally created. Also, PDF will preserve the document’s original style and formatting (including color, font, and imagery) exactly as they were intended to be seen. With Adobe Acrobat Reader, virtually anyone, on any computer, with any platform, running any application version, can recognize, read, and print identical PDF files. Anyone. You included.

Convenient: PDF files are both smaller in size than original source files (e.g. potentially 20% as large as HTML files) and easier to download and view. PDF documents also offer page-at-a-time downloading; allowing you to read and revise the early pages of a document before the entirety has been received. Further, because of their economical size, you’ll download the whole document quicker than you would a source file anyway. Because of these convenient characteristics, PDF files are often referred to as 7-11 files. Not really, though. Someone might laugh at you if you called them 7-11 files.

1. Adobe Acrobat: main Adobe software for the creation and modification of PDF files. Allows users to create a PDF file by simply dropping-and-dragging a document into Acrobat, choosing the format directly from Microsoft Office, or converting scanned or web documents directly, among other methods.

2. Adobe PDF Writer: software that mimics a printer driver to create PDF documents from nearly any Windows application.

3. Adobe Acrobat Distiller: software for workgroup-oriented, automated high-volume conversion of PostScript files to PDF.

4. Adobe Acrobat Capture: software designed specifically for the conversion of scanned image files to PDF—optimized for character recognition and clean-up.

5. Other software: other Adobe graphical and publishing software such as FrameMaker, PageMaker, and Illustrator can be used to automatically create PDF files. Also, a surplus of third party software like EZ-PDF, ActivePDF Printer, and even QuarkXPress offer PDF creation capability.