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What is Portable Document Formatting?

Knowing your way around different file formats is extremely useful when it comes to creating, editing, and sharing digital content. The nature of your digital data, the operating system you're using, and the recipient's preferences can all affect the type of file format you should choose. In many cases, saving your file as a PDF can increase the accessibility without compromising security or appearance.
 
What Is PDF?
 
Before you can unlock all the benefits of this unique file format, it's essential to understand what is Portable Document Format. This file format was developed by Adobe in the early 1990s, and it allows users to save and share digital documents without restrictions based on operating system, hardware, or software. Currently, the International Organization for Standardization maintains PDF as an open standard, and this file format is widely used in professional, government, and private organizations around the world.
 
What Are the Benefits of PDF?
 
Now that you understand what is Portable Document Format, the next step is figuring out when you use it. This file format offers many advantages that can indicate when saving as a PDF is the right choice. For example, because PDF documents can be accessed on numerous different operating systems, it's a good idea to save in PDF if you aren't sure what OS your recipient is using or you know it's different from your system.
 
PDF files also maintain visual appearance regardless of software and hardware. So if your document has unique formatting, such as bullet points, graphics, or spreadsheets, you can be sure your recipient will see all these items exactly as you intend them to appear.
 
How Do You Create and Read PDF documents?
 
You can create PDF documents and save files as PDFs using a wide range of software programs. Most office software programs, including those from Microsoft, Google, and Adobe, allow files to be converted and saved as PDFs. You can also scan physical paper documents into PDF files. To easily read PDF documents on your computer, you can download Acrobat Reader DC for free.
 
What Are Additional Capabilities of PDF?
 
With the Acrobat Reader DC software and mobile app, you can password protect your documents, electronically sign them, and redact sensitive information. PDF also supports searchable smart files and forms with fields that can be filled in electronically.
 
Understanding the capabilities and uses of Portable Document Format gives you another powerful tool to use when your developing and sharing data. If you want to add high-quality graphics to your project, Shutterstock gives you access to millions of images that can help your design truly make an impact.
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