What is PDF?
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format used to present and exchange documents reliably, independent of software, hardware, or operating system. Invented by Adobe, PDF is now an open standard maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). PDFs can contain links and buttons, form fields, audio, video, and business logic. They can also be signed electronically and are easily viewed using free Acrobat Reader DC software.
PDF: The way people share important business documents.
In the spring of 1991, Adobe cofounder John Warnock launched the paper-to-digital revolution with an idea he called The Camelot Project. Camelot’s goal was to give organizations the tools needed to “capture documents from any application, send electronic versions of these documents anywhere, and view and print these documents on any machines.”
By the fall of 1992, Camelot had developed into PDF. And more than 20 years later, it is the format trusted by businesses around the world because PDF files:
- Look just the way you intend them to across platforms and devices
- Meet ISO 32000 standards for electronic document exchange, including special-purpose PDF standards
- Can be electronically signed by anyone using free Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software or the Acrobat Reader mobile app
- Can be password-protected to prevent copying and editing
- Can be redacted to permanently delete sensitive information
- Preserve all source file information, even when text, graphics, audio, 3D maps, and more are combined in a single file
- Are easy to search, including scanned text that was converted using optical character recognition (OCR) technology
- Work with assistive technologies, making PDF files more accessible to people with disabilities such as low vision or blindness.
Learn how to
Acrobat Reader for desktop
Acrobat Reader mobile app