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File Extension PDF

File Type: Portable Document Format

What is a PDF file?

The file extension PDF (.pdf) refers to the popular PDF file format that was first created by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDFs allow the various elements of a document (including text, images, fonts, outlines and two-dimensional vector graphics) to be packaged together in a single file. PDF files are identified by the .pdf file extensions.

As PDFs retain their formatting so there are no errors when viewing files with PDF file extensions on different computers, the PDF has become the standard for file sharing. Files with file extensions .pdf are widely used to send files over email or view documents online.

Users can create a file extension PDF with many kinds of programs, such as Adobe InDesign or Adobe Acrobat. The strength of the Portable Document Format is that file extension PDF files can be viewed without error without the program that created it.

You can open file extension PDFs by using the free Adobe Reader or paid programs such Adobe Acrobat. Files with PDF file extensions can also be viewed online without error with a free Adobe browser plug-in. Please see below for a complete list of software that open file extension PDF files.

A PDF combines:

  • PostScript (file extension .ps) -like code to create the graphics and layout.
  • Embedding and/or replacing fonts so there is no font or PDF error.
  • A storage system that wraps the above and the file's contents in one PDF file.

File extension PDF files are searchable. You can use features in Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat and other programs to find specific words or phrases. As well, Google, Bing and other Internet search engines can index documents with PDF file extensions for search purposes.

If an error is found, you often cannot open file extension PDF files and fix it. Some software can be used to edit documents with PDF file extensions without error. For example, programs like PDF Hammer and Foxit PDF Editor and plug-ins such as PitStop Professional and Quite Imposing can be used to correct an error in a file extension PDF file.

John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe Systems, outlined a system called Camelot that became the PDF file format. Until 2008, PDFs were a proprietary file format of Adobe Systems. But, on July 1, 2008, PDF was released as an open standard. Adobe still holds the patents to the PDF file format technology but provides royalty-free licensing to compliant software.

While the file extension PDF is common now, the PDF file format originally was slow to gain acceptance. There were a few factors in the delayed growth of the PDF file format. Adobe Acrobat was not freely available at the time and the PDF file size meant long waits for slow modems. As well, there were a number of competing formats and file extensions, such Envoy, Common Ground Digital Paper, Farallon Replica and, in some ways, Adobe's PostScript format. Early on, the Adobe PDF was mostly embraced by desktop publishers. Because files with the PDF file extensions will print without error as they appear on screen, PDF files became a valuable tool in the printing industry. Adobe's decision to distribute the Adobe Acrobat Reader (which is now called Adobe Reader) helped the PDF format become more popular.

Common PDF (file extension .pdf) Error Codes

  • Error code 110
  • Error code 126
  • Error code 131


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