What is a PDF?

What is a PDF?

Invented by Adobe Systems and perfected over 15 years, Portable Document Format (PDF) lets you capture and view robust information — from almost any application, on any computer system — and share it with virtually anyone, anywhere. Individuals, businesses, and government agencies around the world trust and rely on PDF to communicate their ideas and vision.

Now an open standard — PDF is now a formal open standard known as ISO 32000. Maintained by the International Organization for Standardization, ISO 32000 will continue to be developed with the objective of protecting the integrity and longevity of PDF, providing an open standard for the more than one billion PDF files in existence today.

Multiplatform — PDF files are viewable and printable on virtually any platform — Mac OS, Microsoft® Windows®, UNIX®, and many mobile platforms.


Trusted and reliable — More than 250 million PDF documents on the web today, along with countless PDF files in governments and businesses around the world, serve as evidence of the number of organizations that rely on PDF to capture information.