A Brief History of the PDF Format

A Brief History of the PDF Format

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เมษายน 18, 2022

The PDF is the world’s most popular file format but, like most technology, it hasn’t been with us long.

Prior to its invention sending a document filled with text and graphics through email and having it arrive on the other side in one piece and ready to print, was, well – impossible. The thought of sending secure documents without the fear of alteration was absurd.

Today we live in a world where the convenience of PDF attachments has streamlined the sales and contracting process. That is for everyone except you, the person tedious filling out large stacks of documents and individually emailing them to each recipient.

Well, we’ve got good news. The PDF has continued to evolve over the years making it possible to automatically fill PDFs and mail merge in only a few steps.

What does PDF mean?

PDF is an abbreviation that stands for Portable Document Format. It’s a versatile file format created by Adobe that gives people an easy, reliable way to present and exchange documents – regardless of how the end-user plans to view the document.

The PDF format is an open standard maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). A PDF file can have text, links, buttons, form fields, audio, video, etc. They can be signed electronically and encrypted. Anyone can open them, regardless if they are a Windows or macOS user, as long as they have a PDF reader on their machine. Adobe Acrobat Reader is the most commonly used reader on the market today.

Adobe created the PDF.

In 1991, Adobe cofounder Dr. John Warnock came up with the idea of The Camelot Project. The project’s goal was to enable anyone to capture documents from any application and view and print them on any machine they have available.

Eventually, The Camelot Project became the PDF that is now the most trusted document format by businesses worldwide.

PDFs have standards

PDF files meet several standards, including ISO 32000 standards for electronic document exchange, special-purpose standards such as PDF/A for archiving, PDF/E for engineering, and PDF/X for printing.

It is also possible to create PDFs that meet accessibility standards, making them more accessible to people with disabilities. To permanently remove confidential information from files, they can be password-protected and redacted.

Who Uses PDF and Why?

Since PDF files can be read anywhere on any device, they are ultra-portable. A professional can convert any document into a PDF while keeping the layout and quality of the original file.

You can merge multiple types of documents into one PDF file and make it searchable, which is helpful if you have quite a few pages but don’t need to read everything in the file.

You can also lock down a PDF so that another user can’t modify it after conversion.

Autofill Forms

Fillable forms can streamline the process of getting information out faster without the tedious task of creating and filling out the same form multiple times.

Using automation, PDF mail merger makes it possible to fill out 1000s of documents in mere minutes.  allowing you to focus on more important tasks.

Now with MailMergic you can streamline the workflow even further and send customized emails with PDF attachments to thousands of recipients with only one click.

PDFs Are Here To Stay

While Adobe used to corner the market on PDF viewing and editing software, other companies have started to show up to support viewing and editing PDFs, including Bluebeam, Kofax, Google Drive, and more.

With the ability to merge multiple types of documents into one and keep all links, videos, and photos intact, it’s easy to see why PDFs are a popular way of sharing information securely knowing that the information in the file will not be modified without consent.

Now with MailMergic, you can streamline the entire workflow process. No more long days at the office spent filling in the same form over and over again when you can do it all in just a few minutes.

Try MailMergic for free today. Automate the repetitive tasks so you can get back to doing what you’re best at!

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