Portable Document Format


May 19, 2022

Portable Document Format (PDF) is an electronic document file that was developed to display texts and plates on digital devices regardless of application, OS, or hardware, and was internationally standardized by ISO 32000. The format. Developed by Adobe based on PostScript, it was first adopted by Adobe Acrobat in 1993.


It has the characteristic that sentences, images, etc. can be viewed in almost the same state in all environments without being influenced by a specific environment. Adobe has released the PDF specification free of charge since 1993, but the PDF standard was still a proprietary format developed by Adobe. In July 2008, it was standardized as ISO 32000-1 by the International Organization for Standardization. Adobe has made the patent for ISO 32000-1 available free of charge, but XFA (Adobe XML Forms Architecture) and Adobe JavaScript remain as Adobe's proprietary parts.

PDF features

PDF files can be generated from any printable document, and display and printing use software distributed by each company for free and for a fee. The main product is Acrobat Reader (formerly Adobe Reader), which is distributed free of charge by Adobe.


PDF has the following features. The created document can be displayed and printed according to the original layout on a computer in a different environment. Document security can be set File size can be reduced by compressing and storing data You can set useful functions such as bookmarks, links, and annotations when displaying a document on the screen. You can use the form function to create a formatted document that receives the user's input field. You can create accessibility-friendly documents such as voice. Supports multimedia

Keep layout

PDF can be displayed and printed according to the original layout on a computer on which a PDF viewer (display software) such as Acrobat Reader is installed. Acrobat Reader is distributed free of charge for various operating systems (OS) such as Windows, macOS, and Linux, and there are many other PDF viewing software, so PDF files can be viewed and printed in many environments. It is difficult to display and print electronic documents in text formats other than PDF on other computers while maintaining the original layout. For example, Microsoft Office documents such as Word and Excel can be viewed by installing the corresponding software, but the layout is maintained as the editor intended due to different versions and settings, and the presence or absence of fonts. It may not be. HTML documents can be viewed on many computers. However, there are many restrictions on the layout, and the layout is likely to change depending on the type and settings of the OS and web browser. Therefore, documents that need to maintain the layout strictly are often converted to PDF. However, depending on the font settings, the original layout may not be retained even in PDF. This problem can be avoided by embedding fonts.

PDF usage

Publication and distribution of electronic documents

The feature of PDF is that it can display and print the layout and format of the source document faithfully in a computer environment different from the source of the PDF file. Due to its nature, it is often used in the form of widespread disclosure and distribution of documents on web pages and software manuals. Also