Graphic Design Terminology: PDF

PDF: Originally created by Adobe in 1991, PDF is short for “Portable Document Format”. A pdf is a file format that works on Windows, Mac,  Linux, IOS and Android operating systems. In other words, it’s a universal file format, so it’s great for sharing between operating systems and devices. PDFs are how designers typically send proofs to you, our clients. Much to the dismay of FedEx, UPS and the USPS, the pdf has revolutionized desktop publishing. In a time not that long ago “pre-pdf”, image files would need to be printed, mounted and shared via snail mail. The process of proofing could take days. Today, pdfs allow nearly instantaneous sharing of proofs. When approved, many printers even accept pdf documents for quick and easy printing.

Tip: Did you know you can save a copy of most documents in pdf format? If you’re using software that’s specific to your industry (such as graphic design) you can typically share that document by saving as a pdf and sending via email.

It’s 3thought’s goal to be a resource, educate and promote professional graphic design. If there’s a design term you’re not familiar with, or have more info to add to our definition, please do so in the comments section below. For more design terminology view 3thought’s ongoing “Graphic Design Terminology” page.

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