An in-Depth Look at the History of PDF

Did you know that over 16% of Americans work in administrational or “office work” roles?

If you are one of these workers then you likely use PDF file types on a daily basis. You may use them for storage, to prevent changes to documents, or even for contracts.

Have you ever thought about the history of PDF files? Why were they created and when? Why not take a minute to learn more about this in our in-depth article?

Who Invented the PDF?

Not many people know that the PDF will be celebrating its 30 year anniversary this year. Adobe created the PDF in 1991 as part of something called the “Camelot Project”.

the Camelot project was the brainchild of Dr. John Warnock, an adobe founder, who had the goal of achieving the “paperless office”.

He wanted to create file formats that could capture data from any application, have a small file size, and be viewed on any device. Within one year he had created the first iteration of the file type we know as PDF.

His invention was a great success and is now used around the world every day by office professionals.

Why Use PDF?

The Adobe file format we know as PDF has come a long way since 1991. And along the way has developed into a powerful tool.

Warnock ensured that PDF would retain the image quality, font choice, and general appearance of the original document. This is, of course, affected by your choice of settings for PDF quality.

Adobe has worked to meet the challenges of a changing world. You can create PDFs from a dizzying array of data types including text, graphics, spreadsheets, and more.

You can create PDFs from almost all types of files. You can also use programs such as activepdf to harness programming languages such as C# to create PDFs from complex data sets.

Nowadays you can do this very cheaply, however, this was not always the case.

PDFs for Everyone!

PDFs are created and copied every day millions of times as part of company file organization systems. Most of the time you probably do this for free. However, PDFs did not originally come cheap.

When PDFs were first released, you needed to have powerful software such as Acrobat Distiller to create them. To be able to read an Adobe PDF you need to pay for Adobe Acrobat reader software which would have cost you $50.

However, thankfully this is also something that has changed over time. Acrobat reader is one of many free readers that allow you to work with PDFs without charge.

The Full History of PDF files types and Much More

PDF Files are the handy tool that we use every day of our lives. Now you know the history of PDF files and that this file is not going away anytime soon.

If you would like to learn more about these subjects and more, we can help. Simply head over to our blog page for more of the same.