The history of the PDF is that of a technological tool that has not only achieved its aims but exceeded expectations by remaining the leading authority in its spectrum. This has been done through a number of ways and as a toast to Adobe’s fine work – presented to you today is a history of the PDF and an explanation of why it’s the most used document format in the world.
The PDF originated in 1993 with developers Adobe intending to make a platform that could support and create graphics in electronic form. It was to be called Adobe Acrobat and immediately gained recognition, receiving a ‘Best of Comdex’ award at the Comdex Fall of 1992, a year before its actual release. However, the software was pretty steep in price range, thus limiting the growth of Acrobat Reader’s popularity.
It took Adobe three years to introduce their next version to the world, which included device independent colour and the ability to tailor for links and threads, thereby maximising its internet capacity. It was in the same year however that Adobe introduced the next version of their product.
Adobe Acrobat version 1.2 included fill-in forms under the tool AcroForm and interactive page elements such as radio buttons and checkboxes. Electronic form data could now be imported, exported, sent and received around the internet. Superior colour features were also implemented as well as image proxy.
Why it’s so Popular
The next version was released in the year 2000. What is notable with Adobe Acrobat is that through the platform’s upgrades it has taken on a gradual development, with every release slightly touching up on the last.
The reasons why the PDF remains so popular are various. Firstly, PDF files can be viewed, edited or created on any computer platform. This range of versatility allows files to be exchanged willy-nilly, freely, broadly and without hassle. It thus doesn’t matter which particular software or computer you’re using when one looks to open PDFs, as long as the program itself enables it to do so. This is a feature that is exempt from Microsoft Word files, giving Adobe’s innovation a major edge in regards.
Another major benefit is that the software used to view PDF files is completely free. This again gives it an advantage over rivals Microsoft who have always charged a price for Microsoft Word.
In addition, PDF files are made in such a way that it’s extremely difficult for viruses to infiltrate such documents, providing users with a reliably safe means of transferring files.
The only setback with PDF files are limitations and difficulties in them being edited and created. In this sense, Microsoft Word definitely has the edge.
Nevertheless, the ability for PDF files to be exchanged so easily and efficiently has propelled it to being the most used document format in the world.
Adam Richards is an English freelance writer with a passion for technology and computers. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for us?