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All About PDF Files

Increasingly has used files of various kinds “converted” for the PDF format (Portable Document Format). Thanks to the Internet, it has become possible and necessary to conduct the distribution and exchange of electronic documents between individuals and companies and, at this point, the PDF technology is the most predominant. This article will show you some of the history in this format, why you have become so popular and how it is possible to convert files of various types to the PDF format.

How was the PDF format

The PDF has emerged thanks to the efforts of one of the founders of the the company Adobe Systems, John Warnock. The initial idea was to create a technology that would allow the visualization of files on any computer, independent platform, and which could be printed on any printer.

The PDF technology ended up being launched based on the technology PostScript. The first version of PDF was released officially in 1993, being composed of two programs: the Acrobat and the Reader. The first allows you to the creation of PDF files from another file, while the second one is a viewer of PDF files and is distributed free of charge (the first version of Reader was paid for).

How works technology PDF

The PDF is a file type that it represents in the computer screen pages of electronic documents. It is possible to convert to PDF many types of files from the based in the text to documents with tables, graphics, images, etc. For this, the PDF generates files using the essential principles technology PostScript, which is a kind of language used to make up pages for various purposes.

In general, it is possible to transform to PDF any file it can be printed. It is at this point that there is usually confusion. A good part of the programs that convert files to the PDF format work as follows: you install the software on your computer and it will be listed as a printer. Then, when you want to convert a file to PDF, you should open it through the program that handle it, go in the functions print and there select the program. Then just click on the Print button and the file will be printed in the format PDF.

See this example for better understand: it was installed on a computer with Windows the free program PDFCreator to generate files in PDF (there are several programs for this purpose, but the most well known is Adobe Acrobat). To be installed, it “adds” to the list of printers from the computer, as shown in the following figure:

Notice that the program has been installed as if it were a printer. From hence, in every program in which it is possible to print, just select the printer from the PDF (instead of a printer of truth) that it will convert the file in question to this format. In our example, we will use the program Paint.NET and print to PDF a tofografia. For this, the image has been loaded in program, and then was fired the print feature in File / Print. The Paint.NET the wizard uses the Windows print, that asks which printer choose:

Depending on the program, you will see a screen similar to what is shown below:

After the selection of the printer (in our case, PDFCreator), all it took was to follow the following steps, give a name to the PDF file and click in Save. The following figure shows the PDF being displayed by the program Adobe Reader:

You can view this file by clicking here. If you want more detail on how to generate PDF files, read the tutorial How to create PDFs quickly.

Which allows the PDF to work with many file formats do not it is as well a compatibility with related programs, but yes work with the format that is sent to the printers. When you send out your computer to print to a file, the data are transmitted to the printer in a way that this print the file as faithful as possible to the electronic version. Wholesale mode, it is as if your computer would take a picture of the file and then sent to the printer in a way that she understands. What the PDF does is precisely to capture this “picture file” and instead of printing on paper, prints in a display format electronic.

With the evolution of technology PDF, it is possible to that this to work accurately with figures, links, fonts and even with sound files and video. It all depends on the program that generates the file in PDF. The Acrobat Reader, for example, can work integrated the various most well-known programs, especially with the line Microsoft Office. Working jointly with other programs, it is possible to let the generated PDF file more compact, as best preview and with highest fidelity to the version original.

Something important to be mentioned is that the PDF is able to distinguish sources for the use of the texts. Thus, in the conversion, it is not necessarily the text of the file as if they were an image. Instead, the PDF recognizes the text and try to format it the most similar thing possible with the source file. It is for that’s what some PDF files come out different than the version original. If you use a specific font in the file, it needs to be installed on the target computer, otherwise the font of the text can be different. To deal with this, it is possible to to embed fonts, and other resources to the PDF file before its generation. Just explore the features of the program that you use.

Currently, there are other ways to create a PDF file, but the method that works as a printer is the most common. Worth mentioning that the PDF files can be generated and read on any platform (Linux, Mac, Windows, etc.).

When a file is converted to PDF, all of your content it is made available as if it were an image. Thus, the format does not allows the text to be changed, pictures are taken, or until even if the file is printed (this last requires enabling this feature in the program generator). It is even possible edit PDF files with the help of the programs generating PDF, but it is very limited (since the file does nothas protection features). This is one of the reasons the popularity of this format: it is possible to distribute documents maintaining the integrity of the files, including formatting, default fonts, etc. Because of this, the PDF format also it is very used for the distribution of electronic books.

The PDF format is so secure that even is difficult to corrupt you. In addition, in the act of conversiona PDF file, this is packed. Thus, files with 1 MB size may have 100 or 200 KB. As this is not a the format of “heavy”, the distribution of files in PDF the Internet has already become common. Companies who need to provide its financial statements, for example, usually do so using the PDF format.


The PDF technology became a standard for the distribution of documents, mainly to allow the integrity of files and an efficient compression. Another point of great influence is the fact that people are working with the most different types programs. The variety is so great that it is impossible to a person have all the software installed on your computer. Imagine the following situation: an individual uses a program editing of texts developed by the company in which you work and need to send a report to a particular person. This the person, however, uses only the OpenOffice.org for Linux, that does not reads files of the programme of such company. To resolve the problem and deliver the report, just convert it to PDF and send to the recipient, who will surely have a program to view PDFs.

Thanks to all these advantages, the PDF format is each more and more popular. So much, that today it is possible to even integrate sound files and video to PDF documents. In a moment in which the spread of viruses and other pest digital is increasingly larger, the PDF is the right choice for the exchange of documents, after all even in this he has the advantage: it is virtually impossible to add viruses or programs malicious PDF files.

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