What is a PDF Anyway?

First Some History

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. The format was created by Adobe, in the early 1990s, as a way to completely store a document in one file. At first, the PDF format was mainly used for desktop publishing of documents for print. Companies used PDFs to save posters, flyers, and other similar types of files for physical printing.

The PDF format was not always as popular as it is now was it was controlled by Adobe. In fact, Microsoft Word was the defacto document sharing format. Things however started to change in 2008 when Adobe dropped this ownership of the format and PDF became an open standard. PDFs still have a basic set of properties, but these are independent of Adobe. 

Why is PDF better?

The reason PDF was such a revolution when it arrived, is becuase at the time, professional software that was used to create graphics and documents resulted in unbearably large files, especially when they had pictures, fonts, and other graphical elements embedded. They also required a lot of processing power to produce.

The PDF format changed this as Adobe found a way to gather all the parts of a file and make it into a smaller whole.

The portable in PDF is significant: The format is platform agnostic and therefore PDFs look the same no matter what device they’re viewed on. Whether you’re using Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome OS, or even Windows XP — on any software and hardware, PDFs stay consistent. The data contained in a PDF is not dependent on the creator’s or the viewer’s device. Including fonts, pictures, charts, and the like is no struggle for a PDF.


Compared to other documents formats such as Microsoft Word, what happens if your recipient doesn’t have Microsoft Word on their computer? Sure, they could open it in Google Docs or Apple Pages, but it might look a lot different since they all render files differently. If you spent a lot of time getting tables, images, and other elements just right, it might all go out the window. And what if they try to open the Word document on their phone?

In addition to the portability described above, PDFs have several other features that have contributed to their continued popularity.

For one, PDFs allow for fine-tuned security settings. When you create a PDF, you can disable viewers’ ability to print the document, leave comments on it, or copy its text. You can even password protect PDF files. Thus, when governments and businesses put forms online, they can heavily restrict them to prevent abuse. 

The Missing Piece

While its easy to view PDFs files on virtually any platform, the same can't be said when it comes to manipulating them. If you need to merge PDF files together, split them or remove pages, you usually have to buy expensive software to handle the task or upload to untrusted third party server online.

Until now.

We have created All-About-PDF to help you manipulate PDFs at a reasonable cost without the need to upload your files to a third-party server or paying a monthly fee. 

Give All-About-PDf a try buy downloading the trial now.