A PDF — or Portable Document Format — file is a type of document that can contain text, illustrations, images, photos, or other types of content. Created by Adobe in 1993, the PDF file is an open format file that can evolve and be adapted to multiple platforms. To read PDF files on any machine, you simply need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free.
PDF files have as a principal function to preserve the initial format imposed by the document's creator. The original format, including fonts and images, stay the same no matter the OS or program used to open the file. It also "fixes" the elements in the document so that they may not be altered without the consent of the document's creator.
This is not always the case with Microsoft Word documents, for example, which may experience the shifting or editing of elements in the document between the moment it is created and the moment that its recipient opens it.
Adobe has provided a paid app, Adobe Acrobat Writer, which allows you to create and edit PDF files. However, you may also use the following free software to do the same:
Additionally, most word processing software allows you to export text documents to PDF format.
If you already have a PDF file but you would like to edit it, you can find the procedure in our article on how to edit PDF files.