Term:PDF [Portable Document Format]

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PDF is an acronym for Portable Document Format.

PDF is a file format originally created by Adobe intended to capture the look and feel of a printed document in a way that could be displayed on a wide variety of different computers.

There are many approaches to creating PDF files; these range from using the original, full-featured Adobe Acrobat program, to sending documents to print drivers that simply capture output being printed into a PDF file.

PDF files can be read on almost all current devices, ranging from Windows, Mac, and Linux PC to iPhones, iPads, Android-based phones and tablets, and more.

See also: Just what is PDF format, how do I view it, and why do people use it? at Ask Leo!.

PDF (Wikipedia)
Portable Document Format
Adobe PDF icon
Adobe PDF.svg
Filename extension.pdf
Internet media type
  • application/pdf,
  • application/x-pdf
  • application/x-bzpdf
  • application/x-gzpdf
Type code'PDF ' (including a single space)
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)com.adobe.pdf
Magic number%PDF
Developed byAdobe Inc. (1993–2008)
ISO (2008–)
Initial release15 June 1993; 28 years ago (1993-06-15)
Latest release
Extended toPDF/A, PDF/E, PDF/UA, PDF/VT, PDF/X
StandardISO 32000-2
Open format?Yes

Portable Document Format (PDF), standardized as ISO 32000, is a file format developed by Adobe in 1993 to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Based on the PostScript language, each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, vector graphics, raster images and other information needed to display it.

PDF was standardized as ISO 32000 in 2008. The last edition as ISO 32000-2:2020 was published in December 2020.

PDF files may contain a variety of content besides flat text and graphics including logical structuring elements, interactive elements such as annotations and form-fields, layers, rich media (including video content), three-dimensional objects using U3D or PRC, and various other data formats. The PDF specification also provides for encryption and digital signatures, file attachments, and metadata to enable workflows requiring these features.

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