Technology

What Is a PDF Document? And Why Use It Anyway?

PDF Document

PDF is the acronym for “Portable Document Format.” The .pdf file extension on these documents makes them read-only for easy distribution. PDFs are commonly used for documents that do not require edits, such as application forms, scanned documents, and business proposals.

Adobe created the file format in the 1990s to achieve two things:

  1. Opening important documents on any operating system or hardware using a PDF reader, including most web browsers
  2. Maintaining the layout of the document wherever the receiver opens the PDF file

In 2008, Adobe relinquished control of PDF development to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Since then, PDF has become an open standard.

Benefits of PDFs

PDF is an excellent file format for most business documents. It offers users several distinct benefits, including:

  • Maintaining graphic integrity – PDF files show the exact content and layout no matter the software app, device, or operating system someone is using to view it.
  • Multi-dimensionality – PDF allows the integration of various content in a document. These include images, text, videos, audio files, hyperlinks, vector graphics, buttons, and more.
  • Convenience – PDFs are easy to create, read, and use.
  • Security – The file format offers options for setting up different access levels to protect document content, such as digital signatures, passwords, and watermarks.
  • Compactness – PDF can theoretically hold an unlimited amount of information and be compressed into file sizes that are easy to exchange with retaining control over the image quality.

Types of PDFs

PDFs are categorized into three basic types depending on their origination. The file’s origin also defines if the content is accessible or “locked” into an image.

Digitally Created or “True” PDFs

These are PDFs created using software, such as the Microsoft Office Suite, Google Docs, or through the print function of a virtual printer. Digitally created PDFs can comprise images and text.

Characters in the text and file meta-information contain electronic character designation. This makes it easy to use software to search, select, edit, or delete text in the document. You can also move, resize, or delete the images.

Scanned or “Image-Only” PDFs

Scanning hard copy documents on office scanners and multi-functional printers (MFPs) or converting images into a PDF “locks” the content in a snapshot-like picture. These files contain the photographed images of pages without the underlying text layer.

Scanned PDFs are not searchable, and you can’t modify the text. Image-only PDFs can be made searchable by applying optical character recognition (OCR), adding a text layer under the page image.

Searchable PDFs

Searchable PDFs result from applying OCR to scanned PDFs or any other image-based documents. A text recognition process involves analyzing and “reading” characters and the structure of the document.

A text layer is usually added under the image layer. Searchable PDFs are almost indistinguishable from their source documents but are fully searchable. The text can also be selected, copied, and marked.

Text recognition technology is applied in various ways during the document conversion process. These include:

  • Through a desktop OCR software, web-based service, or mobile app
  • Using a server-based OCR solution
  • Integrating into the scanning device
  • Using a PDF tool, scanning, or opening the document
  • What Is a PDF Converter and What Does It Do?
  • The market has many PDF readers and apps that let users open and view PDF files. But making changes to the PDF files requires something more advanced. PDF editors allow adding electronic signatures, watermarks, text modification, and several other changes.

PDF conversion takes editing to a new level. A PDF converter automatically converts different file formats to PDF files. For example, from DOCX-to-PDF, Excel spreadsheet tables to PDF, and others.

Benefits of a Free PDF Converter

A PDF converter is a critical tool for any business going digital. It is important business users get a document conversion tool that offers many features to get the job done and save time. Here are a few benefits of high-quality PDF converters.

Secure Business Data Storage

A PDF converter quickly transforms documents to PDF and vice versa. The security options built into PDFs make them an excellent choice for long-term file storage.

Businesses can keep their financial records safe and secure in password-protected PDFs with advanced encryption. Plus, administrators can choose who they share the information with and can access the records.

Easy Paper-to-Digital Conversion

Abrir com Soda PDF can make adding paper documents into digital storage faster. Instead of typing things by hand, scanning the documents is more convenient. Plus, OCR adds the capability to recognize text in seconds and allows businesses to enter the digital age quickly.

Increased Versatility

PDF files are compatible universally. So, keeping documents usually required in PDF format enables quick sending and sharing through email.

However, PDF readers usually cannot support rich text. A PDF converter allows fast editing of a document in Word or Excel formats.

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