by Thomas Hawk
Word processing ducments were used for exchanging information for many years. People could simply create the document, save it and send it to someone else to read. There is only one problem that not always did the documents look the same as views on a different computer. The reason was that the reader did not have a particular font installed.
To correct this issue, Adobe Systems went ahead and created a new document format called the Portable Document format in 1993. This format allowed documents to be independent of software, hardware or operating systems. Regardless of who opened the document, a PDF file would look the same on any computer.
A PDF document includes details of the document, such as fonts, text, and images directly within the file itself. This is how it remains independent of any system on which it is created or displayed.
On July 1, 2008, the PDF, a once proprietary standard, became an open standard that is currently published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This means that anyone can now create applications that can create and read a PDF document, which makes it the standard to which documents are shared online.
At the moment there are 8 versions of the PDF standard, with one extension. The latest update provides AES 256-bit encryption will helps make a PDF document more secure, especially for sensitive information.
For years, software and hardware companies have been using PDF documents to distribute electronic versions of their manuals. While many vendors still include the physical, paper version, many times a CD/DVD accompanies the product and includes the PDF version as well. If you have lost a user manual, you can usually go to the vendor’s web site and download a PDF version of the manual.
Besides user manuals, many have also create ebooks. These are electronic versions of actual paper books that can be easily downloaded. By using the PDF format, authors can now sell their books online. A customer would essentially go online, pay for the book, and instantly download it all within a matter of minutes.
With the PDF document format now being open standard, this format will become the format to use for all documents published and distributed online.