Join Claudia McCue for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the Portable Document Format, part of Learning Acrobat XI.
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.
- Understanding the Portable Document Format (PDF)
- Inserting, replacing, and extracting pages
- Combining PDFs
- Creating PDFs from Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
- Converting web pages to PDF
- Scanning hard copies of documents
- Printing to PDF
- Exporting to other formats from Acrobat (such as the Excel .xls)
- Adding hyperlinks and bookmarks
- Marking up a PDF with annotations and drawings
- Using shared reviews