Join Chad Chelius for an in-depth discussion in this video What is a PDF and why should you use it?, part of Up and Running with Acrobat X.
Hi, my name is Chad Chelius, and in this video workshop, I'll be walking you through the capabilities and usage of Acrobat 10 from the viewpoint of a user in a typical business environment. As an Adobe certified instructor in Acrobat, I teach people how to use Acrobat X to get work done faster, easier and more efficiently. I find that users are often confused by the number of Acrobat products available on the market, and may not quite understand which product is best for them.
In this video workshop, I hope to clarify which product is best for you, and how to use Acrobat X to enhance how you get your work done. One obvious question that I hear from users is what is a PDF? Well at it's most basic level, PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and like its name implies it is a file format developed to make a file portable from one computer to another. The PDF format maintains the appearance of a document regardless of the computer platform, or the software application.
With many software applications, it can be a bit difficult to share files with other users, and be sure that they look as intended. If fonts or images that you've used in your document are unavailable to the recipient, chances are that the file will not look the way you intended. PDF files help to ensure that the document maintains its appearance from one computer to another. The only thing that's required in order to accurately view a PDF file is the free Adobe Reader application, which can be downloaded at any time from the Adobe website.
The Adobe Reader 10 application is available on the Windows Mac OS, Linux, Solaris, and Android platforms. Another question I hear regularly is, why PDF? Well, PDF really makes the idea of the paperless office a reality. Although few organizations can say they are truly 100% paperless, most organization who use the PDF format can attest that at the very least it has saved some percentage of paper usage since implementation.
Let me give you an example. Not too long ago, when you would walk into any neighborhood post office at the beginning of the year, you would find stacks upon stacks of tax forms that were made available to people for filing their tax returns. Today you're lucky to find any forms at all. Why? Because all those forms are now available online for users to download to their computers in the PDF format. The only software required to view a PDF is the free Adobe reader. You don't have to go out and buy any additional software just to read a PDF file.
To make the PDF you do need to purchase additional software, but to read it, all you need is the free reader. Simply download it, install it and you're done. The PDF format guarantees uniformity, meaning that when a PDF is created, you're pretty much guaranteed its appearance across billions of computers throughout the world. There are also many capabilities that a PDF offers, beyond the ones listed previously. In addition, a PDF allows you to share files easily with other users. You can email, upload and share files with other users in a variety of different ways. You can collaborate with other users by communicating changes and ideas on a document.
You can add fillable form fields to a PDF to obatin information from other users. You can combine multiple files of multiple types into a single PDF file which makes these files ultra portable regardless of what application the user has. As long as they have the free reader, they're good to go. You can also add security to a document to limit their access. This is helpful when you're sending documents to other users, but you only want certain users to be able to open those files.
This is in no way a complete list of what can be done with a PDF. But it gives you an idea of what's possible. Although all the capabilities listed here requires that you purchase one of the full versions of Acrobat, not the reader, you can still send any of these files to any user who has the free Adobe reader application, and they'll be able to view and work with the PDF file without any problems. As you can see the PDF format offers a wide variety of capabilities. I hope you now have a better understanding of what can be done with the PDF, as well as the wide scope in which the PDF format can be used.
- Customizing Acrobat X
- Navigating and searching a PDF
- Creating a PDF from the Microsoft Office applications
- Creating a PDF from other applications
- Creating a PDF from a scanner, web page, or file
- Adding a watermark, header, or footer
- Basic PDF editing
- Combining multiple files into a single PDF
- Collaborating and sharing
- PDF security
- Working with PDF forms