Browse Definitions:
Definition

Portable Document Format (PDF)

Contributor(s): John Vance

PDF is also an abbreviation for the Netware Printer Definition File.

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else. PDF files are created using Adobe Acrobat , Acrobat Capture, or similar products. To view and use the files, you need the free Acrobat Reader, which you can easily download. Once you've downloaded the Reader, it will start automatically whenever you want to look at a PDF file.

PDF files are especially useful for documents such as magazine articles, product brochures, or flyers in which you want to preserve the original graphic appearance online. A PDF file contains one or more page images, each of which you can zoom in on or out from. You can page forward and backward.

The Acrobat product that lets you create PDF files sells in the $200-300 range. A non-Adobe alternative is a product called Niknak from 5D, a company in the UK. (The Reader itself is free and can be used as a plug-in with your Web browser or can be started by itself.) Some situations in which PDF files are desirable include:

  • Graphic design development in which team members are working at a distance and need to explore design ideas online
  • Help desk people who need to see the printed book that users are looking at
  • The online distribution of any printed document in which you want to preserve its printed appearance

Acrobat's PDF files are more than images of documents. Files can embed type fonts so that they're available at any viewing location. They can also include interactive elements such as buttons for forms entry and for triggering sound and Quicktime or AVI movies. PDF files are optimized for the Web by rendering text before graphic images and hypertext links.

This was last updated in May 2010

Join the conversation

6 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

BEST .PDF search engine! http://www.look4pdf.com/
Cancel
For additional details on PDF files refer to http://www.file-extension.com/files/PDF/.
Cancel
it sucks ass
Cancel
I often work with PDF and I should say it would be much more difficult without this tool: http://www.coolutils.com/TotalPDFConverter.
Cancel
I tend to convert my documents in pdf (portable document files) I use Adobe suite and most companies especially those that are not printing and publishing company's don't have this softwares.
Cancel
I received a small non readable form with the legend "convert to pdf and download as a second action". What does all this mean for me to do with all the keys on my board?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • Web application firewall (WAF)

    A Web application firewall (WAF) is a firewall that monitors, filters or blocks traffic to and from a Web application. WAFs are ...

  • MD5

    The MD5 hashing algorithm is a one-way cryptographic function that accepts a message of any length as input and returns as output...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is used to protect inactive data written from a primary storage array to a nonvolatile tier of disk, flash or ...

  • VRAM (video ram)

    VRAM (video RAM) is a reference to any type of random access memory (RAM) used to store image data for a computer display.

  • ZFS

    ZFS is a local file system and logical volume manager created by Sun Microsystems to control the placement, storage and retrieval...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close