Did you know that the PDF format was first developed by Adobe during the early 90s? It may seem odd that a format that is 25 years old is still so popular – but there are good reasons for that.
At the end of the day the popularity of PDF is no fluke, but instead is because it has remained relevant due to the benefits that it provides. In particular there are several reasons why it is so widely-used:
- Preserves the layout and formatting of documents
One of the most common problems that people have with documents is that the layout and formatting tends to go awry when viewed on different devices or platforms. However with PDF there is no risk of that happening, and the document will be reproduced exactly regardless of the device or platform that it is viewed on.
Because PDFs preserve the layout and formatting, they are perfect for distributing documents – as you will be able to rest assured that the recipient will be able to view the document in exactly the same form that you created it.
- Supports compression and has small file sizes
Over the years PDF has developed a reputation for having comparatively small file sizes for documents, and that is largely down to the compression that it supports. It can use JPEG 2000 (or normal JPEG) for color photos and images, JBIG2 for monochrome images, and Flate or LZW for text.
Additionally PDF documents can be optimized further when they are created to improve or discard unnecessary elements. Ultimately that can help you to reduce the file size of PDF documents to values that make them much easier to distribute.
- Can be viewed on practically any device or platform
The popularity of PDF and the fact that it is so widely-used has become an advantage in itself, and nowadays PDFs can be viewed easily on pretty much any device or platform. Not only do many devices and platforms have built-in viewers, but free PDF viewers are widely available as well.
On top of that most modern browsers feature PDF support, making it possible to open and view them within the browser itself rather than using a separate software.
To be honest the only issue that you may have with PDF documents is that finding a good software to edit and manage them can be difficult. However nowadays there are several that are available, and you could try Movavi PDF Editor for Windows or Mac for example.
All said and done you should be able to understand the reasons why PDF remains so widely used and popular to this very day – and is likely to continue to do so in the future. Make no mistake it has lots of other benefits as well, such as security features, access control, and more.
Suffice to say although the fact that PDF has lasted over 25 years is commendable, the fact of the matter is that it is likely to continue to be popular for another 25 years as well.