PDF files have been around for far longer than many people think, with the first proto documents exchanged in 1993. Over the past 20 years and change, PDFs have become part and parcel of the online landscape, the method of choice for delivering documents between businesses and from businesses to customers.
You have almost certainly used PDFs yourself over the course of your life, both for business and professional purposes – but how much do you know about the file format that changed the world? Below, we’ve put together a few PDF facts, to celebrate this often-underappreciated file type in its true glory…
“PDF” stands for “portable document format”
We all use PDFs regularly, but few people actually know what the acronym stands for – until now!
PDFs are “pixel perfect”
PDFs are incredibly flexible in the way that they operate, working across all operating systems and devices. A PDF will always look the same, regardless of the device being used to view the document – from a MacBook Air to an Android phone, you can always rely on PDFs to display correctly. This ability to function across a wide range of different devices and operating systems is due to the fact that PDFs are “pixel perfect”, so they automatically adjust to ensure the display is 100% identical for the viewer as it was for the person who created the document.
PDFs can help reduce paper waste
Paper waste is not the most well-known of environmental issues, but it is arguably one of the most important, with the facts and figures regarding the subject undeniably troubling. In seeking to combat this problem, PDFs have a huge role to play, providing a viable alternative to paper for both businesses and domestic consumers. With apps such as PDFpen on Setapp now allowing PDF files to be edited as simply as one edits documents in a notebook, more and more offices can go paper-free, greatly benefiting the environment as a result.
PDFs are the most common type of file on the internet
It’s true: over 80% of the files currently published online are PDFs, a fact that helps to encapsulate just how important this versatile file type has become to the way we live our lives.
PDFs offer excellent compression
We’ve established that PDFs are highly usable, can help to reduce the burden of high paper usage on the environment, can be edited with the right software, and are the backbone for the internet as we know it – but PDFs have one final trick up their sleeve: incredible compression capabilities. PDFs compress the information they contain by as much as 25%, making them an excellent option for the data-hungry age in which we live.
PDFs undoubtedly have their place in the modern world, having been a part of the digital revolution since the early days. With modern apps now offering new and exciting possibilities in the usage of PDFs, there is one thing we can be sure of: the popularity of this file type is guaranteed to continue long into the future.