Picture Perfect Downloads

What if you needed to be able to download something from the Web that was not only letter-perfect but picture-perfect? Something which looked exactly like the printed paper version would? Such as an IRS form or an application for a replacement Social Security card?

Or what if you wanted to see a map with its original proportions intact or what if you just wanted to read a copyrighted magazine article and see the original illustrations and original page layout, instead of pages and pages of boring text?

Adobe Systems' Portable Document Format (pdf) was developed to meet this need.

Pdf has proven so popular that it has become the de facto standard on the Web for downloading intact documents (that is, ones that print out on your computer's screen or on your printer EXACTLY as they appear in the original).

The best part about pdf is that it doesn't even matter what kind of computer you have! Adobe has pdf versions available for Windows 95 & Windows 98, Macintosh, Sun workstations, etc., even Linux!

Desktop publishing programs, such as PageMaker, have been around since the late 1980's. In its own way, pdf is a way to do its own type of Web publishing. Pdf was developed from Adobe Systems' Postscript printer language (which literally instructs printers as to how to print out what users see on their computer screens) and still has a lot in common with Postscript files.

To make pdf work as a successful (meaning in-demand) format, many Web sites have to offer documents in the pdf format and the average Web user has to be able to quickly install the Adobe Acrobat Reader as a plug-in to his or her Web browser to read (and print) the files.

Adobe has solved this problem by making the basic Acrobat Reader available free of charge to the public and the software needed to create pdf files available for purchase to Web site developers.

More and more sites are offering pdf files everyday, especially state and federal government Web sites which want to make downloadable forms available.

If you don't already have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here today to download it and give it a try!

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Last Modified: 12/20/2000