About PDFs and Adobe
What is a PDF?  And why do I need to know?
PDF stands for portable document format. A portable document format (PDF) can be read on any computer and any platform (Windows, Mac, Unix). There are a variety of programs which read PDFs, the most common being Adobe applications such as Adobe Acrobat Professional, Adobe Reader, Adobe Designer, etc.

PDFs are particularly useful for those in the information fields.  Once a file or document is converted to a PDF, the “look” is preserved exactly as it was intended.  This includes fonts, spacing, marginal notes, etc.   Another positive function of PDFs is the ability to compress the files.  This function is handy in the case that you are putting together a large document with text and graphs and which needs to be emailed to fellow classmates.  Hey, nobody likes one document to take up a large portion of email space!

What are the uses of the different Adobe products?
There are many different Adobe products. Adobe Acrobat Reader is a product that can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website,  In this program, you can read and print PDFs. Adobe Acrobat Professional is the most versatile program for the beginning user.  In this program, you can create static PDFs.  You can also edit or add comments to PDFs.


  1. You will learn several ways to create static PDFs.  You can:
    • create a PDF by converting a file
    • create PDF by converting multiple files
    • create PDF by converting a website
    • create PDF by scanning a document
  2. You will learn basic editing tools in Adobe Acrobat Pro.

PDF:  Portable Document Format.  A document that can be read on any type of computer and on any platform as long as the reading software is available.  Example:  Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Professional
Freeware:  This is software that is free to download.  However, users are not allowed to access or change the program code.  Example:  Adobe Acrobat Reader
Static:  Unchanging.  Example: the text of a scanned file


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