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why pdf is popular?

ankur rathi
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Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 3830
Why pdf format is popular?
Is that because people can't change the content, easily?
Why corporations spent so much on another tool (Adobe PDF reader)? What's an issue with using MS word?
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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Joined: May 26, 2003
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I think it is popular because it was the first widespread format that everyone had. It was the same file across different operating systems. And possible for third parties to create writers for (word is not). It also prints in a predictable manner.

Adobe PDF Reader is free. People aren't paying for it. One could argue that Microsoft Word Reader is free too. But it isn't as widespread.


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Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
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    9

Once upon a time, M$ came out with "password protected doc files". Unfortunately they could be opened with wordpad without any password!

One of the projects I worked on, included generating reports for the client. The fact that pdf could not be easily "edited" was one of the plus points. Also the fact that pdfs could be generated via Java (using iText). Add to it the cost factor Jeanne mentioned.


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Muse Ran
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Joined: Sep 17, 2008
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pdf - popular document format (thats why it is famous)


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Jesper de Jong
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  22

Microsoft tried to create their own PDF-like format (named XPS) but it has not caught on, because the whole world already uses PDF.

Word documents are not a good replacement for PDF, because Word is not free and not everybody has Word or even Microsoft Windows. Also, Word documents are normally editable, and I'd argue that one of the advantages of PDF is that it's normally read-only. And as Jeanne says, it prints in a predictable manner, and documents on screen look (almost) exactly as how they are printed.

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Muse Ran
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Joined: Sep 17, 2008
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but google also giving free office documents rite, why those also not popular
fred rosenberger
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
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  16

There are issues about privacy. I work in healthcare, and we generate a LOT of .pdf files. Storing them in the cloud has all kinds of legal restrictions due to privacy laws.


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Ulf Dittmer
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Joined: Mar 22, 2005
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  65
but google also giving free office documents rite, why those also not popular

Google Docs is only free once you've paid for always-on internet connectivity. And you get no guarantees as to uptime and data availability (I think, haven't checked the SLA if you pay for the service). The recently publicized hacking of Google Mail probably won't help, either.


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Greg Charles
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2861
    
  11

People get locked into certain technologies, and then stick with them, partly because of comfort, and partly because of what Bill Gates has called "positive feedback loops". Frankly, this helps Microsoft more than it hurts them, but in the case of PDF, Adobe came up with a system of creating read-only documents and blasting free readers out to everyone in Christendom. Now you can get free readers for Word, but it's too late. Everyone has the Adobe reader already, so why change? Also, people are used to PDF being read-only or read-mostly documents (like forms).
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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Does Microsoft offer a Word viewer for Mac/Linux? If not, that is a huge disadvantage. It's also too late. Adobe has the market and one has to offer something new to upset it.

I do not view Google Office as a replacement for Word/Open Office let alone a replacement for PDF. If I can't view my document on a plane/subway/when the net is down, it is not useful to me as a portable/storage format.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
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  22

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Does Microsoft offer a Word viewer for Mac/Linux?

Certainly not for Linux, I'm not sure for Mac (there is MS Office for Mac). You can open Word documents with OpenOffice on Linux, however.
Bear Bibeault
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  67

There are many programs that will view Word documents on the Mac. That does not make Word any better of a document interchange format.


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
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  34

Word's kerning is awful; its layout capabilities are sad in general. Word documents just generally look like crap. It's possible to make PDFs that look like crap, too, of course, but it's possible to make PDFs that don't, and that's the key. Reading Word documents for any period of time is just plain painful on the eyes.


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Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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Bear Bibeault wrote:There are many programs that will view Word documents on the Mac. That does not make Word any better of a document interchange format.

Of course there are. As are there many third party PDF tools. I meant that if you have a company that keeps changing the format, those tools will be one step behind.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  67

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
Bear Bibeault wrote:I meant that if you have a company that keeps changing the format, those tools will be one step behind.

Absolutely!

My post was not in reply to your, by the way.
dennis deems
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Joined: Mar 12, 2011
Posts: 808
ankur rathi wrote:Why pdf format is popular?
Is that because people can't change the content, easily?


No, it's because no matter what platform you're using, the pdf will look the same. Back in the day, font installations could vary drastically, and if the application that created your document couldn't find its fonts on the machine where the document was opened, it was UnHappyLand. pdf allows you to embed the font in the document, so it doesn't matter whether it's installed on the viewer's machine.
 
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