Portable Document Format, or PDF files as we commonly call them, have been around for as long as most of us can remember. But how much do we really know about them? Here are 5 things that you probably didn’t know about PDF:
1) They are the most common filetype on the internet
You’ve probably seen at least one PDF file in the past week. It could be that free-ebook on Asia travel you downloaded, or a contract you’ve signed with a new client. The fact is, even today, about 80% off all documents shared online are of the PDF filetype.
2) They’ve been around for more than two decades
The history of PDF dates back to 1991 when the American company, Adobe Systems, started a small project called The Camelot Project. The project’s goal was to solve the problem of exchanging documents between different systems and computer applications. At that time, computer systems and software were still in their infancy, and most documents were exchanged through fax, a process that was tedious and resource intensive. The Camelot Project was probably one of the first examples of a collaborative system
3) They are truly cross platform compatible
Unlike DOC files which were designed by Microsoft, or PAGES files which were created by Apple, PDF files were not designed for any one specific platform or software. Because it is software, hardware, and operating system independent, the layout, text, fonts, colors, graphics, and all the other information on the file are maintained. This means that all PDF files will work natively and perfectly on any computer you can find today.
4) They’re actually very easy to work with
In fact, most modern office suites allow you to save your work directly as a PDF. But if you really want to kick things up a notch, there are very simple tools that can help you uncomplicate working with PDF. One such tool is Expert PDF 8, a simple but powerful tool that helps you create, edit, and convert your documents into PDF with just one click.
And despite contrary belief, PDF files are actually pretty easy to edit. A tool, such as the aforementioned Expert PDF 8, exports any PDF file into a Word document, so that you can make changes with ease.
5) Outstanding compression
Finally, we all know that files sizes get progressively bigger as we pile on the fancy design and graphics. When converted to PDF, a file is usually compressed by about 25% of its original file size. While that not might sound like much, think of the hundreds of files you’ve worked with in the past year, and multiple that by the number of people you work with. That couple of megabytes here and there quickly add up to a lot of unnecessary storage and bandwidth to transfer as those files move back and forth.
So there you have it, 5 things that you probably didn’t know about PDF files. Who would have thought that an unassuming file format like PDF would hold so many secrets.