PDF File Format – Your Questions Answered

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Virtually everyone who uses a smartphone or computer today must have at one point created or used a PDF file. Despite their widespread popularity, however, a lot about this famed file system remains shrouded in mystery. For instance, very few people know that PDF development is no longer controlled by Adobe, even though the company’s trademarks currently line a handful of PDF-related products. Also, you wouldn’t have guessed that PDF development started way back in the 1990s, the same time as HTML, one of the first languages of the web. But it’s true, John Warnock co-founder of Adobe, drafted up the PDF development team in 1990. With the codename Camelot and charged with the responsibility of creating a universally compatible file type they went on to create PDF as we know it today.

Want to know more about PDFs, read on.

PDF files are perfect replicas

Unlike traditional text or image-based file systems that change appearance based on the device or software used to access them, PDFs maintain their graphical integrity across all viewing channels. What this means is that regardless of the device (mobile or PC) or software (Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader or any of the other PDF readers) the content of a PDF file will always be as the creator intended it to be – no drop in quality or altered formatting.

PDF is arguably the most secured text-based file system

In addition to being relatively unmodifiable, PDF files can also be securely locked or encrypted to prevent unauthorized access. This makes them the ideal document type for sharing or transmitting sensitive information. This is however not to say that they’re entirely impervious to hacks and intrusion. Like every other file type available today, PDFs are also vulnerable, the key is to steer clear from the antics of hackers by sticking with global online and computer user best practices.

PDF has native support for 3D graphics

Images, text and formatting aside, PDF takes the whole business of housing rich content a step further with its inherent ability to host 3D graphical elements. Although this feature is still in beta and limited in terms of compatibility, it’s potential as a means for presenting detailed images and diagrams transcend the ordinary. Very soon, content creators will be able to seamlessly embed and display stunning 3D models and blueprints on conventional PDF files.

Last but not least, it’s not just 3D graphics, PDFs can contain other multimedia elements too

Bet you didn’t know that PDF files could house video, audio, and even interactive content, in addition to the text and images you’re already familiar with. Yes, they can, however, because PDF files are usually used in professional settings, these other compatible content categories are often sidestepped.

So, next time you create a PDF document, add a bit of flavor and panache by embedding a few video or audio files – a surefire way to engage and captivate your audience.  

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