Portable Document Format

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The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a digital file format originally developed by Adobe used to represent documents independently of software, operating system, and hardware. The PDF files are designed to contain all information needed to consistently present text, fonts, graphics, and other elements to the user.

The PDF specification has been available to use without licensing fees since 1993, but only became and open standard on July 1, 2008, when control of the specification passed from Adobe to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).