Everything you Wanted to Know About PDFs


Documents play a crucial role in today’s technology-driven world. Every major establishment, right from government offices and multinational companies, to academic and health institutions, use the digital information storage medium to store and manage information. Thanks to the popularity of the medium, there are tons of formats that are extensively popular all around the globe. For example, when it comes to textual information, most individuals use a word document to store and manage it. Similarly, other popular document types include spreadsheets, presentation formats, etc. However, the most popular document format that stands out from the rest of the competition both in terms of popularity and usage is the PDF format. This article will cover what a PDF file is, and shed light on numerous aspects related to it, including how users can create PDF files, open or access PDF documents, edit or redact them on different platforms, etc. Let us dive right into it:

What is a PDF File?

According to Wikipedia, the term PDF stands for Portable Document Format, standardized as ISO 32000. It is a file format that the multinational company Adobe developed in 1992. The popular document format facilitates individuals to present documents, which includes text formatting and images. It allows users to present documents without depending on any specific application software, hardware, or operating platform. PDF is based on the PostScript language. Each PDF file or document contains a complete description of a fixed-layout flat file, that also comprises text, fonts, graphics, images, etc. Besides containing flat text paired with graphics, PDF files may also contain logical structural elements, interactive elements, etc.

How to Access or Open PDF Files:

PDF is deemed a universally standard format, and thus, there are numerous ways following which users of all platforms can open and view a PDF file. The majority of modern web browsers including the likes of Safari and Chrome offer users to directly open PDF files in a separate tab. Besides this, users can also view or access PDF files using PDF viewers. For example, Adobe Reader is one of the most popular applications that facilitates users to access or view a PDF file. All the user needs to do is download the app and install it on their device, and open the PDF file they wish to access using the app. Besides Adobe Reader, there are numerous PDF readers readily available using which users can conveniently access PDF files.

How to Edit PDF Files:

The best part about the PDF format is that it is easily editable on all platforms. All users need is a compatible PDF editor that features the right set of tools and functionalities using which they can get the job done conveniently. There are tons of PDF editors readily available for all major platforms including macOS and Windows. Here is a detailed look at some of them:

macOS – If you are a macOS user and are wondering how to redact PDF files, there are numerous apps using which you can easily get the job done. For starters, you can use your Mac’s native Preview utility to get the job done. All you need to do to redact a PDF document using Preview is open the document in the app, navigate to the Tools section, click on “Redact”, select the text you wish to redact, and save the document. Besides Preview, you can also use third-party utilities like Nitro PDF Pro or PDF Squeezer to get the job done in a more effortless manner.

Windows – If you are a Windows user and are wondering how to redact text or images from a PDF file, you can easily do it using the popular Adobe Acrobat tool, All you need to do is open the PDF file in the app, select the redaction type, mark the redactions, click on the “Apply” button, and save the document as a separate PDF file.

How to Create PDF Files:

Since PDF is a universal format, there are multiple ways following which individuals can create PDF files. However, the method of creation significantly depends on the device the individual is using. For instance, if an individual is using a Windows PC and they wish to create a PDF file, they can do it using the Print dialog box. All they need to do is open the document they wish to save as PDF, press the “Control” and “P” keys together, and select the “Print as a PDF” option present in the dropdown menu labeled “Printer”. This option facilitates individuals to create a PDF of any file that they can print, including documents, webpages, emails, etc. Similarly, a macOS user can also create PDF files using the Print dialog box. They can easily get the job done by using the PDF menu present in the print dialog box.

PDF is the universal document format that is used by millions of people all around the globe. If you wish to know more about the format, refer to the points mentioned above.

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