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What is a PDF File: Everything You Need to Know

This guide explains what a PDF file is and everything else you need to know. Click the link to read the full guide.

Author:Daniel BarrettJun 08, 202261637 Shares1284104 Views
A file with the .pdf file extension is a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. They are used to distribute read-only documents like user manuals, eBooks, application forms, and scanned documents, to name a few. This guide explains what a PDF file is and everything else you need to know.

What Is A PDF File?

PDFs can contain text, images, embedded fonts, hyperlinks, videos, interactive buttons, forms, etc. Adobe created it in the 1990s to view the documents on any hardwareor operating systemwithout needing to have the app used to create them. That is, all you need is a PDF reader. Also, wherever you open it, the document’s layout should look the same.
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Opening PDF Files

Several apps can open PDFs. For example, web browsers, Adobe’s official Acrobat Reader, third-party apps, and even word processing apps are capable of viewing PDFs.
If you want to view a PDF file just once, it’s easy to open it in your web browser because most modern web browsers will open PDF files directly in your browser window instead of downloading them to your computer. But If you need to access the PDF later, you’ll have to save a copy to your computer by downloading it.
If the PDF file is already on your computer, you can double-click to open it with the default PDF application.

Editing PDF Files

Some PDFs allow you to enter certain information, like name and address. These PDFs contain several form fields for entering your name, address, and other information.
However, this feature is not supported in all web browsers, so you may have to download PDF-XChange Editor. But, if you need to edit a PDF and still have it stay in PDF format, you can use Adobe’s own Acrobat DC.
The standard version of Adobe’s Acrobat is $12.99 per month and requires an annual commitment. It’s also only available for Windows. The pro version is $14.99 per month and requires an annual commitment. That one is available for both Windows and macOS.
A seven-day free trial period is available for the Pro version, so if you only need to edit a document or two, that might work for you.

Creating PDF Files

Creating PDF files depends on the device you’re using. For example, if you’re using Windows 10, you can go to the Print dialog box, then select PDF from the list of printers at the top. It will allow you to create a PDF of anything you would normally be able to print, including documents, emails, and web pages. If you’re a Mac user, the Print dialog box has a PDF menu that allows you to save a file as a PDF.
If your computer has Windows 8 or earlier, you’ll have to use software that supports a PDF export, such as Microsoft Office or Google Chrome. You can also use a PDF converter like “Smallpdf,” a free app that runs in your web browser.
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Daniel Barrett

Daniel Barrett

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