What is PDF?

A PDF describes a file format. It’s not Adobe, or Acrobat – though Adobe, and it’s Acrobat product, are huge players in the PDF world. Typically, its file name has a suffix of “pdf”.

What is PDF good for?

PDF stands for “Portable Document Format”. It is an open standard embraced by the International Standards Organization (ISO) for long-term storage, and it provides a means to present a document independent of platform. The file encapsulates a complete description of the document: its content; fonts; graphics and layout.  That makes viewing a documents across many platforms consistent. It may even contain additional meta-data that can be really useful.

Not all PDF’s are created equal

The PDF specification is thousands of pages long. Its very broad. This leaves lots of room for software developers to interpret how things might be done. Most PDF’s are produced in a reasonably consistent manner. But because of this latitude, you might find a few that are oddly constructed. We see this rarely, but on occasion some odd-ball isn’t readable with our tools. You can learn more about the PDF standard on the ISO web site: https://www.iso.org/standard/63534.html

How does PDF fit into Document Management

While Dash’s DDX can handle most any document format, PDF is the most popular among our users. That’s because its so well designed for long-term archival, and consistent display across multiple devices.

Because of the popularity, we’ve concentrated on continued enhancement of the tools and applications to support PDF in the Document Management world. We produce PDF. We display PDF. We can even mine many PDF’s for valuable information and content. And we’re working to embed even more information in the PDF’s we create to make them a meaningful point of interface with other systems.

Stay tune though. This file format continues to emerge as a powerful player in documents. And we’re right there with it.