PDF : History, Functions and Benefits

When you’re working with files, you’re bound to see files in PDF format. What is a PDF? PDF is becoming very familiar to millennials because it is widely used by them. Even when downloading a file from the internet, it often ends in a .pdf extension.

Although you may have heard of the term PDF, not many people understand it. Understand the meaning, history, and purpose of making PDF files. PDF stands for Portable Document Format and will be synonymous with data processing.

Understanding of PDF (Portable Document Format)

From various available sources, PDF has a brief meaning, namely digital documents. PDF is created by Adobe Systems to support people’s work. Now PDF has been used for document presentation in two-dimensional form. The use of PDF is also increasingly recognized.

The existence of documents in PDF format makes it easier to create and store documents that contain text, images, and links. At first, PDF files have not been integrated with the internet. So that users still share files more often in other ways, such as using a Flashdisk.

Even its use is more difficult to obtain because it cannot be accessed by everyone. However, users can access it without having to pay royalties to the developer so using this can be free. In contrast to the format of Microsoft Word which can be edited directly and will risk being messy when opened with other devices, PDF makes a document more consistent and less cluttered.

This is the reason why most students and workers prefer to use PDF files in sending them to each other. Another advantage is that PDF files can be locked to further maintain the security of the data in them.

History of PDF

The history of PDF begins when it was first introduced in 1993 and its usage rate is still relatively low. At that time, the software to create (Adobe Acrobat) and read it (Acrobat Reader which turned into Adobe Reader) was not distributed for free or was only available commercially.

As already explained, initially PDF was not intended for the public. This made PDFs ultimately less integrated with the World Wide Web thus making them slower to download or download at the modem speeds of those days. The long history to be as popular as it is today also tells about the format having to compete with other formats.

Envoy, Common Ground Digital Paper, and Postscript (.ps) are the reasons that make PDF is not well known. Back then, PostScript is also a format created by Adobe, and some of its functions were implemented in PDF. The beginning of the increase in PDF users was when the distribution of its reader software, namely Acrobat Reader, is opened for free.

Benefits and Advantages of Using PDF for People

PDF which is now more and more used by people has great benefits. The benefit of using PDF is to create and save documents. The PDF format is a special format that can be opened with special computer programs. Below are clearer benefits and advantages of using PDF.

  1. More Flexible to Use

The reason many people like the PDF format is that it is flexible or can be opened on any device. Users can share and open it from a computer or smartphone that has a dedicated opening installed. Even data shared on different versions of the device will not damage and alter the contents of the file.

Its nature will remain and does not change without special software to change the contents of the text in it. This is an advantage compared to using Microsoft Word, which tends to change its shape and structure if it is opened in a different version.

  1. Has a Lock Feature

When going to share files, often the first person to feel worried if the contents can be changed because it is confidential. PDF developers answered these fears by creating a key feature in PDF. All confidential secrets can use this feature and share passwords with certain people only.

  1. Can Edit Data

Even though it has been converted into a PDF form, all data can still be edited again and the arrangement will not change. Use the help of software called PDF reader to solve the problem.

  1. Can Save Images

The main benefit of PDF is that it can share files that can contain text, links, and images. Therefore, users can also save graphic forms which can later reduce the size of the file.

  1. Compatible with Various Computers

If Microsoft Word can only be opened on computers that have special Microsoft Office software installed, then PDF is very compatible with various computer operating systems. Users can open it on Windows OS, Linux, macOS, and so on.

How to Create, Edit, and Open PDF Files


After recognizing and understanding the important parts of PDF and their benefits, then the user should also know how to create, edit, and open files. All the steps will be quite easy if the main requirement is that the software is installed.

  1. Open PDF File

Opening and viewing PDF files can be done with very simple steps. Most search engines can even open files directly in them without having to download them to your computer first. However, if you can’t, then the file must be downloaded first.

The use of opening a PDF file will be done repeatedly or at a certain time in the future, so downloading it to a computer is a mandatory step. To download, it can vary greatly depending on the web browser used.

But generally, if the PDS file is already open on the web, then press the “Save PDF” button or with the hot down icon located at the top right. Next, install special software to open PDF files for free, namely Adobe Reader.

  1. Editing or Converting PDF Files

Editing or converting a PDF file there are various ways and purposes for the user. If the information from the PDF file that you want to convert is the name and address fields, then the use of the special feature is the “Form Field”. The section can be filled with some new entries into the file and saved information.

To edit or change the contents of a PDF file, you do not have to use Adobe Reader. Users can do this in a web browser. But not all support this feature.

  1. Creating PDF Files

Finally, creating a PDF file is what most people will do. There are several ways to create a PDF file depending on the device. If you are using the Windows operating system, you can access the existing Print menu and then select the PDF format from the list.

For users who use a device with a Mac operating system, the print menu will provide the option to print the document into PDF format. Another alternative way is to use Microsoft Word. The software provides a feature to convert documents into PDF files by “Save as PDF”.

If still confused, users can use the online conversion method provided in the web browser. Many sites specifically provide this

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