Pdf Format

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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PDF (Portable Document Format) was created by Adobe in the hopes of facilitating a "paperless office" environment, where all significant data was stored and accessed digitally. Even though paper documents are still as popular as ever, the PDF format has managed to revamp many aspects of how documents are created, converted, archived, and distributed electronically.

PDF was originally developed as part of an in-house project at Adobe. Adobe was interested in creating a program that would allow internal documents to be distributed throughout the organization and viewed on any operating system. The goal was to invent a method for authoring full text and graphics documents, in which all of the content could be fused into one entity, allowing them to be accessed and viewed, but not altered, by any operating system.

Converting to PDF Format

As an open-standard, PDF is subject to a wide variety of associated applications. This means that anyone can create, distribute, or even sell PDF-related software without having to pay royalties to format's originator, Adobe Systems. Since so many parties are now creating their own PDF applications, even the most simple converters are now being equipped with enhanced capabilities. In addition, the abundance of PDF conversion software available has prompted some software authors to write specialized conversion utilities.

These new applications focus on potential conversion applications that may have been previously overlooked. Although the Portable Document Format is resolution-independent, newer conversion utilities remedy issues that can arise when dealing with limited resolution monitors. These programs, created with pocket PC and PDA monitors in mind, are used to format scanned image files before joining them together as a document. While the print-to-PDF method of conversion created a document by joining the unedited scanned JPG files together as individual pages, emerging programs take a different approach. JPG to PDF conversion utilities intended for smaller devices contain an additional file-editing program, allowing the scanned JPG images to be cropped, or even divided into several pages before being compiled as a PDF document. This enables a PDA, or similar device, to present each page in several segments, increasing legibility.


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