PDF

PDF format.pdfPDF filePDFsportable document formatPDF filesPDF DocumentPortable Document Format (PDF)Adobe PDFPDF (Portable Document Format)
The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format developed by Adobe in the 1990s to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems.wikipedia
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Vector graphics

vectorvector graphicvector-based
Based on the PostScript language, each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, vector graphics, raster images and other information needed to display it. PDF was standardized as an open format, ISO 32000, in 2008, and no longer requires any royalties for its implementation.
Vector graphics are commonly found today in the SVG, EPS and PDF graphic file formats and are intrinsically different from the more common raster graphics file formats of JPEG, PNG, APNG, GIF, and MPEG4.

Adobe Inc.

AdobeAdobe SystemsAdobe Systems Incorporated
The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format developed by Adobe in the 1990s to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems.
It is best known for its Photoshop image editing software; Acrobat Reader; the Portable Document Format (PDF); and Adobe Creative Suite, as well as its successor, Adobe Creative Cloud.

PRC (file format)

PRC
Today, PDF files may contain a variety of content besides flat text and graphics including logical structuring elements, interactive elements such as annotations and form-fields, layers, rich media (including video content) and three dimensional objects using U3D or PRC, and various other data formats.
PRC (Product Representation Compact) is a 3D file format that can be used to embed 3D data in a PDF file.

JavaScript

JSclient-side JavaScriptserver-side JavaScript
PDF 1.7, the sixth edition of the PDF specification that became ISO 32000-1, includes some proprietary technologies defined only by Adobe, such as Adobe XML Forms Architecture (XFA) and JavaScript extension for Acrobat, which are referenced by ISO 32000-1 as normative and indispensable for the full implementation of the ISO 32000-1 specification.
Initially only implemented client-side in web browsers, JavaScript engines are now embedded in many other types of host software, including server-side in web servers and databases, and in non-web programs such as word processors and PDF software, and in runtime environments that make JavaScript available for writing mobile and desktop applications, including desktop widgets.

PostScript

PS.EPS, .PSPSCRIPT
Based on the PostScript language, each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, vector graphics, raster images and other information needed to display it. PDF was standardized as an open format, ISO 32000, in 2008, and no longer requires any royalties for its implementation. In the early years PDF was popular mainly in desktop publishing workflows, and competed with a variety of formats such as DjVu, Envoy, Common Ground Digital Paper, Farallon Replica and even Adobe's own PostScript format. PostScript is a page description language run in an interpreter to generate an image, a process requiring many resources.
By 2001, few lower-end printer models came with support for PostScript, largely due to growing competition from much cheaper non-PostScript ink jet printers, and new software-based methods to render PostScript images on the computer, making them suitable for any printer; PDF, a descendant of PostScript, provides one such method, and has largely replaced PostScript as de facto standard for electronic document distribution.

DjVu

DjVu formatDjVuLibre
In the early years PDF was popular mainly in desktop publishing workflows, and competed with a variety of formats such as DjVu, Envoy, Common Ground Digital Paper, Farallon Replica and even Adobe's own PostScript format.
DjVu has been promoted as providing smaller files than PDF for most scanned documents.

Font embedding

Embeddedembedded bitmapped fontsembedded font
A font-embedding/replacement system to allow fonts to travel with the documents.
Font embedding has been possible with Portable Document Format (PDF), Microsoft Word for Windows and some other applications for many years.

Universal 3D

U3D3D viewingUniversal 3D File Format
Today, PDF files may contain a variety of content besides flat text and graphics including logical structuring elements, interactive elements such as annotations and form-fields, layers, rich media (including video content) and three dimensional objects using U3D or PRC, and various other data formats.
The format is natively supported by the PDF format and 3D objects in U3D format can be inserted into PDF documents and interactively visualized

Adobe Acrobat

AcrobatAdobe ReaderAcrobat Reader
PDF files may be optimized using Adobe Acrobat software or QPDF. There are many software options for creating PDFs, including the PDF printing capabilities built into macOS, iOS, and most Linux distributions, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office 2007 (if updated to SP2) and later, WordPerfect 9, Scribus, numerous PDF print drivers for Microsoft Windows, the pdfTeX typesetting system, the DocBook PDF tools, applications developed around Ghostscript and Adobe Acrobat itself as well as Adobe InDesign, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop.
Adobe Acrobat is a family of application software and Web services developed by Adobe Inc. to view, create, manipulate, print and manage files in Portable Document Format (PDF).

QPDF

PDF files may be optimized using Adobe Acrobat software or QPDF.
QPDF is a free command-line program that can convert one PDF file to another equivalent PDF file.

Open standard

open standardsopenstandard
PDF was a proprietary format controlled by Adobe until it was released as an open standard on July 1, 2008, and published by the International Organization for Standardization as ISO 32000-1:2008, at which time control of the specification passed to an ISO Committee of volunteer industry experts.
Portable Document Format (PDF/X) (a specification by Adobe Systems Incorporated for formatted documents, later approved by ISO as ISO 15930-1:2001 )

PDF/X

PDF/X-1a:2001, PDF/X-1a:2003, PDF/X-3:2002, PDF/X-3:2003, PDF/X-4, PDF/X-4p, PDF/X-5g and PDF/X-5pgPDF/X-4PDF/X-4 or PDF/X-1a
Standardized subsets of PDF, including PDF/A and PDF/X, prohibit these features.
PDF/X is a subset of the PDF ISO standard.

PDF/A

ISO 19005 standardtagged PDFs
Standardized subsets of PDF, including PDF/A and PDF/X, prohibit these features.
PDF/A is an ISO-standardized version of the Portable Document Format (PDF) specialized for use in the archiving and long-term preservation of electronic documents.

Transparency (graphic)

transparencytransparentalphamap
PDF (from version 1.4) supports graphic transparency; PostScript does not.
This includes SVG and PDF.

Document Structuring Conventions

DSCDSC comments
PostScript is an interpreted programming language with an implicit global state, so instructions accompanying the description of one page can affect the appearance of any following page. Therefore, all preceding pages in a PostScript document must be processed to determine the correct appearance of a given page, whereas each page in a PDF document is unaffected by the others. As a result, PDF viewers allow the user to quickly jump to the final pages of a long document, whereas a PostScript viewer needs to process all pages sequentially before being able to display the destination page (unless the optional PostScript Document Structuring Conventions have been carefully complied with).
In order for a PostScript print file to properly distill to PDF using Adobe tools, it should conform to basic DSC standards.

Envoy (WordPerfect)

Envoy
In the early years PDF was popular mainly in desktop publishing workflows, and competed with a variety of formats such as DjVu, Envoy, Common Ground Digital Paper, Farallon Replica and even Adobe's own PostScript format.
Unlike Adobe PDF, the file format was not publicly documented.

File format

formatformatsfile formats
The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format developed by Adobe in the 1990s to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems.
Some common and standard types use a domain called public (e.g. public.png for a Portable Network Graphics image), while other domains can be used for third-party types (e.g. com.adobe.pdf for Portable Document Format).

XFA

Adobe XML Forms Architecture
PDF 1.7, the sixth edition of the PDF specification that became ISO 32000-1, includes some proprietary technologies defined only by Adobe, such as Adobe XML Forms Architecture (XFA) and JavaScript extension for Acrobat, which are referenced by ISO 32000-1 as normative and indispensable for the full implementation of the ISO 32000-1 specification.
It can be also used in PDF files starting with the PDF 1.5 specification.

Extensible Metadata Platform

XMPXMP metadataAdobe XMP
In PDF 1.4, support was added for Metadata Streams, using the Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) to add XML standards-based extensible metadata as used in other file formats.
It also provides guidelines for embedding XMP information into popular image, video and document file formats, such as JPEG and PDF, without breaking their readability by applications that do not support XMP.

Page description language

printer control languagePCLPDL
PostScript is a page description language run in an interpreter to generate an image, a process requiring many resources.
PDF, Portable Document Format (Adobe Systems), now ISO 32000

PDF/UA

An ISO-standardized subset of PDF specifically targeted at accessibility; PDF/UA, was first published in 2012.
PDF/UA (PDF/Universal Accessibility) is the informal name for ISO 14289, the International Standard for accessible PDF technology.

Proprietary format

proprietaryproprietary file formatproprietary file formats
PDF was a proprietary format controlled by Adobe until it was released as an open standard on July 1, 2008, and published by the International Organization for Standardization as ISO 32000-1:2008, at which time control of the specification passed to an ISO Committee of volunteer industry experts.
PDF – Adobe's Portable Document Format (open since 2008 - ISO 32000-1), but there are still some technologies indispensable for the application of ISO 32000-1 that are defined only by Adobe and remain proprietary (e.g. Adobe XML Forms Architecture, Adobe JavaScript).

Desktop publishing

DTPdigital typographydesktop publisher
In the early years PDF was popular mainly in desktop publishing workflows, and competed with a variety of formats such as DjVu, Envoy, Common Ground Digital Paper, Farallon Replica and even Adobe's own PostScript format.
The design industry standard is PDF.

Ghostscript

Ghostviewgsgsview
There are many software options for creating PDFs, including the PDF printing capabilities built into macOS, iOS, and most Linux distributions, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office 2007 (if updated to SP2) and later, WordPerfect 9, Scribus, numerous PDF print drivers for Microsoft Windows, the pdfTeX typesetting system, the DocBook PDF tools, applications developed around Ghostscript and Adobe Acrobat itself as well as Adobe InDesign, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop.
Ghostscript is a suite of software based on an interpreter for Adobe Systems' PostScript and Portable Document Format (PDF) page description languages.

Digital rights management

DRMDRM-freedigital rights management (DRM)
PDF files may also contain embedded DRM restrictions that provide further controls that limit copying, editing or printing.
Enterprise digital rights management (E-DRM or ERM) is the application of DRM technology to the control of access to corporate documents such as Microsoft Word, PDF, and AutoCAD files, emails, and intranet web pages rather than to the control of consumer media.