Portable Document Format (PDF) is an open standard for document exchange. Since PDF is based on a variant of PostScript, each PDF file contains the information inside a single file, including the text, fonts, graphics. That's why PDF format can preserve the original appearance in different computer operation system, monitor, or printer, everything looks the way they were intended.
- As a formal open standard, PDF are viewable and printable on different platform, for example, Mac OS, Windows OS, Mobile platform such as ios or Android, and even the Internet.
- PDF format allows the reliable reproduction of published material on multiplatform. It is self-contained, everything is packed into a single file including text, tables and graphics, which makes it viewable anywhere, anytime without losing any information.
- PDF can be protected by password or digital signature, and embed the meta information within PDF to protect your rights.
- Unlike many other document formats, PDF format can carry not only text, font, graphic information, but also video, 3D, audio and many other multimedia information. If you have Adobe Acrobat, you can combine multiple document formats into a single PDF portfolio.
Since Microsoft Office integrates the function of creating PDF file into Office software, more PDFs are created and exchanged nowadays, business and individual, even the government rely on this document format because of the advantages listed above.
However, PDF has its own disadvantages.
- Unlike other flowable document formats like .epub, .txt, the fixed formatting makes PDF never fits well on different screen. For example, if you view a large PDF within iPad, you will have to spend a lot of time scrolling through the pages in order to view the full document.
Difficult to edit
- You can easily to find a PDF creator, PDF reader, but hard to find a perfect PDF editor. The content within PDF seem to be frozen, even the Adobe Acrobat can't edit the PDF file perfectly. And if you have a scanned PDF document, it's hard to get access the uneditable image unless you purchase the expensive OCR software.
PDF has its own powerful feature, but also come with a few drawbacks. But none of us can live without PDF document in our daily life, isn't it?