What is PDF?
It is an acronym for Portable Document Format developed by Adobe Systems. It is an industry-standard for the secure and reliable distribution and exchange of electronic documents around the world. PDF is a universal file format that preserves the fonts, images, graphics, and layout of any source document, regardless of the application and platform used to create it. PDF files are compact and complete, and can be shared, viewed, edited, annotated and printed by anyone with PDF related software (http://www.novapdf.com/kb/what-is-pdf-4.html).
To view a file in PDF format, you need Adobe Reader, a free application distributed by Adobe Systems and free download is available at http://get.adobe.com/reader/ .
How PDF is Used Today
It is becoming increasingly easy to create PDF files as (from a user’s stand-point) the process is almost as simple as printing. Essentially, anything that can be done with a sheet of paper can be done with a PDF. PDF technology is being used more frequently to produce offset printed documents (provided the designer properly embeds fonts and images). In desktop publishing, the offset is the amount of space along the edge of the paper. Its purpose is to allow room for the binding. The offset is sometimes called the gutter
Adding to mainstream adoption, of course, is the fact that many applications allow users to save, import or export a document as a PDF (including popular publishing programs like QuarkXPress and CorelDraw), and you can also find a variety of third-party PDF conversion software tools available. With the capability to embed metadata (data about data) in a PDF file, along with the use of security options and electronic signatures PDF is also becoming a standard for data archiving. It may have taken a few years to perfect — and years of dedication by the development team at Adobe, but today more and more people are turning to PDF as the solution for something not even thought of in 1993(http://www.webopedia.com/DidYouKnow/Computer_Science/2005/pdf.asp).