Convert To Pdf

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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When you convert a document to PDF, you can configure it for a number of additional uses that would have otherwise been hampered by the original file format. PDF files are universal, and can be opened and viewed on any computer and operating system, from Windows to Unix to Mac. The universal accessibility of these files makes them ideal for data distribution and transfer, as they can be opened and viewed by all potential recipients. In addition, PDF files are usually much more compact than their counterparts, thanks to compression. The smaller file size helps to increase the speed and efficiency of any data transfers.

In order for PDF files to be universal, they must be able to present their data as a cohesive whole, unaffected by the computer environment or software. This means that all the individual components of a document are fused together into a solitary, stand-alone entity during the creation of a PDF file. For example, an MS Word document might contain text, images, specific alignment, and other variables, such as the type and size of font used in the file. In fact, the font selected for most documents is contingent on that font's availability on the computer it is being viewed on. If the font is not present on the recipient's computer, their word processing program will automatically select a font and font size for the file. By converting a Word file to PDF, you can help to secure the data by adding it to an unalterable, universally readable document.

Why Convert to PDF?

Many programs are now equipped to convert a file to PDF from directly within the software. Software that includes this option for basic documents usually does so with an "export to PDF" selection in the file menu. Nearly all programs offered by Adobe Systems, the originators of PDF, include such a function. This includes specialty applications such as Photoshop, CorelDraw, and Illustrator. If you want to convert a standard document format to PDF but your software lacks an "export-to-PDF" option, you will need to get a PDF converter. This can be anything from a small plug-in that allows you to create PDF documents from other file formats via virtual print-to-PDF option to larger, specialized stand-alone PDF conversion programs that can process batch conversions and compile searchable files from scanned document images.

Although PDF files can be created from existing documents, they are still highly difficult to arrange and edit once created. This is by design, as the format is meant to preserve the data and appearance of the file across platforms. If PDF components could be easily manipulated, they would be subject to each computer's settings, resolution, operating system, and software, instead of maintaining the system and resolution independence that enables their cross-platform compatibility.

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