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Understanding the Portable Document Format

From: Up and Running with Acrobat XI

Video: Understanding the Portable Document Format

So, what is PDF? Well, PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It's a way to make your content completely portable so that the recipient doesn't need to have the program you used to create the file. All they need is the free Adobe Reader application and then they can view and print your file. So the purpose of the PDF is to faithfully render the look of your file and preserve the graphics and the text in the layout. You might think of a PDF as sort of a digital carbon copy. It doesn't contain your original file; it represents its appearance.

Understanding the Portable Document Format

So, what is PDF? Well, PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It's a way to make your content completely portable so that the recipient doesn't need to have the program you used to create the file. All they need is the free Adobe Reader application and then they can view and print your file. So the purpose of the PDF is to faithfully render the look of your file and preserve the graphics and the text in the layout. You might think of a PDF as sort of a digital carbon copy. It doesn't contain your original file; it represents its appearance.

Whether you've created your original in something like the Microsoft Office applications-- Word and Excel and PowerPoint--or you could contain an image in a PDF, or a text file, or an RTF file, in truth, any file format can be converted to PDF as long as you have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer and you can hit File > Print. There is an Adobe PDF Printer that's installed with Acrobat that enables you to make PDFs from anything. And then once you have that PDF, its portability means that it can be faithfully viewed on any platform.

So anyone with a free reader can view your PDF and they can print it and it's faithful to your original file. And then once you have a PDF, you can do some interesting things with PDFs. You can use them in comment and review cycles, as you collaborate with a work group. You can harvest their markups and everyone can collaborate on that PDF document as if they were in the same room. You can bring a PDF to life by adding interactivity. You can add movies and sounds. You can create fillable forms and harvest data from your clients.

And you can add navigational aids, such as hyperlinks and bookmarks, and make it easy for the recipient to find all the content that you've created for them. Now, if you're confused about the difference between Acrobat Pro, Acrobat Standard, and the free Adobe Reader, I'm going to clear up that mystery in the next video.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Acrobat XI
Up and Running with Acrobat XI

37 video lessons · 10801 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 1m 3s
    1. Welcome
      47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      16s
  2. 9m 13s
    1. Understanding the Portable Document Format
      1m 55s
    2. Comparing the three versions of Acrobat
      7m 18s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Navigating through documents
      4m 57s
    2. Changing the screen view
      7m 29s
    3. Understanding the Tool panels
      3m 45s
  4. 15m 45s
    1. Combining PDFs
      2m 57s
    2. Inserting pages
      2m 33s
    3. Replacing pages
      1m 59s
    4. Changing page order
      1m 29s
    5. Extracting pages
      1m 47s
    6. Creating portfolios
      5m 0s
  5. 16m 28s
    1. Creating PDFs from Word documents
      8m 20s
    2. Creating PDFs from PowerPoint presentations
      3m 5s
    3. Creating PDFs from Excel spreadsheets
      2m 0s
    4. Creating PDFs on a Mac
      3m 3s
  6. 14m 1s
    1. Converting web pages to PDFs
      3m 43s
    2. Scanning hard copy
      5m 27s
    3. Creating PDFs from text and image files
      1m 37s
    4. Converting selected areas of a document and clipboard contents into a PDF
      1m 49s
    5. Printing to PDF
      1m 25s
  7. 9m 43s
    1. Exporting PDF documents to Word
      3m 4s
    2. Exporting PDF documents to Excel
      1m 22s
    3. Exporting PDF documents to PowerPoint
      3m 0s
    4. Extracting images
      2m 17s
  8. 13m 21s
    1. Editing text
      3m 3s
    2. Editing graphics
      2m 38s
    3. Adding hyperlinks
      3m 23s
    4. Adding bookmarks
      4m 17s
  9. 17m 4s
    1. Adding annotations
      2m 32s
    2. Using drawing markups
      6m 48s
    3. Creating email reviews
      3m 26s
    4. Using shared reviews
      4m 18s
  10. 4m 23s
    1. Understanding interactive forms
      2m 27s
    2. Creating forms from Word documents
      1m 56s
  11. 58s
    1. Next steps
      58s

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