What is PDF?

PDF is a document format developed by Adobe Inc., and stands for 'Portable Document Format'. The intent of PDF was to assure that graphic art was reproduced exactly during the offset press printing process. 

Since its invention, PDF has evolved into a worldwide document format and is an ISO standard (ISO 32000-1).  

There are 3 flavors of PDF file: 

1) PDF documents created from text-based documents like MS-Word documents, contain the source text. 

2) PDF documents created through scanning - which do not contain text.

3) PDF documents created through scanning with OCR (optical character recognition) processing is applied to the PDF to add searchable text.

PDF/A is a variant of the PDF format intended for long-term archiving and is an ISO standard (ISO 19005-1). PDF/A format has certain requirements including font-embedding, and no security attributes are permitted.

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