PDF is everywhere. Job applications, invoices, brochures, contracts, official documents with sensitive data - the list of content that we share as PDF is endless. But why are we actually using PDF? What makes it so reliable that it is still one of the most used file types since its origin in the early Nineties, with new tools continuously being designed for it to suit the latest developments in the digital world?
The most defining aspect of PDF (Portable Document Format) is clearly its portability. Regardless of the device or operating system you are using, the original layout, including fonts and pictures will look the same to you, on screen and printed on paper. It also makes no difference which software was used to write the file, you can rely on the result to look the same - everywhere.
Another aspect which makes PDF one of the most popular formats is its security. PDF files can be secured with a password and it can be defined whether a user can open, print or edit a file. This helps you to keep control over your data and to protect sensitive information.
The PDF format is much more flexible than you may think
While almost everyone is familiar with how to convert Office files to PDF, some people think that this is all the format has to offer. But PDF is far from being a one-way street!
With a PDF converter tool like the original PDFCreator you have many more possibilities than simply saving files as PDF. It lets you preselect where your files are going to be auto-saved and which email address they will be sent to. Furthermore, you can use tokens to predefine certain values like today's date, your user name or a counter that increases each time you print a document. This can be very helpful when you print a lot of documents of the same sort, like for example invoices.
Furthermore, PDFCreator lets you merge multiple PDF files and re-arrange their order. Can it get any better? (Hint, it can...read on to find out!)
Editing PDF files and using e-signature
You see, despite its seemingly solid format PDF is actually very flexible. You may think "But I cannot edit a PDF file like a Word document!" Well, you actually can! A PDF editing tool like PDF Architect lets you convert PDF into Word or you can use its 'Edit Feature' to make modifications directly within your PDF file.
But that is not where things end. PDF Architect even allows you to quickly and safely send, request and track documents for electronic signature directly within the application. These electronic signatures are subject to the same legal scrutiny and authenticity that applies to any written agreement and thus makes them as valid as their paper equivalents.
With these main advantages of the PDF format in mind, it is easy to understand why PDF also plays a huge part in the professional world. The security features as well as the 'portable' aspect make it an easy and safe way to share content with business partners.
For more information about the possibilties to modify PDFs, check out our article How to edit PDF files.