How was the PDF format created?
We recently released an e-book about all things PDF, and our PDF expert with over 20 years experience with Adobe Systems helped us answer many questions. Please feel free to download the e-book here http://register.snowbound.com/LP... or check out our website Imaging SDK and Imaging SoftwarePDF was the vision of John Warnock, one of the founders of Adobe Systems. With years of PostScript programming language experience, John sought to build a solution to the problem of document interchange—something that would allow two or more people (perhaps in two different countries)—to exchange documents by adhering to the same standard. At the time, the Web was in its infancy. People were exchanging ideas via email, bulletin boards and chat rooms. Business documents were shared as email attachments. However, these methods of collaboration were not completely foolproof and problems arose.Differences between platforms and software revisions prevented individuals from seamlessly sharing documents. If someone sent a Windows-created Word file to a colleague who had an older version of Word, the latter would not be able to open it. Likewise, if the receiver had a Mac, the file wouldn’t display the same way. Or, in some cases, the recipient might not even have the software that could read the format. This is where Adobe stepped in, providing a world standard and making documents available on any operating system. Initially, Adobe gave away the readers for multiple platforms, making money on only the creation product. Today, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader are the most prominent consumers of PDF files. Early on, Adobe Distiller was the primary creator, taking PostScript files in and producing PDF output. The marking operators in the pages of a PDF file are PostScript-like, though the programming flexibility of PostScript is minimized in PDF. Adobe wrote PDF printer drivers to make it possible for users to "print to PDF" directly. Currently, there are many different PDF producers generating PDF files. Though we take PDF for granted now, it took over five years for Acrobat and PDF to be accepted in the marketplace.Here is a look at the evolution of PDF and Acrobat/Reader over the years:1991 – John Warnock writes the Camelot memo, describing technology to enable exchange and delivery of documents1993 – Acrobat 1.0 ships1994 – Acrobat 2.0 ships (enhancements include article threads, device independent color, links to external files and the ability to embed multimedia elements, Reader free)1995 – Acrobat Capture ships (enables PDF creation from scanned documents)1995 – Acrobat 2.1 ships (first version of Acrobat with an API and SDK. The most popular API was the call that allowed applications to render PDFs into their own window. Automatic font substitution allowed PDF files to be rendered without carrying the entire font)1996 - Acrobat 3.0 ships (including PDF 1.2, a browser plug-in that enables PDF rendering in the browser, Japanese text, IRS adoption, URL links)1996 – Enfocus ships PitStop and CheckUp1996 – Agfa promotes PDF with Apogee1999 – Acrobat 4.0 ships (including PDF 1.3, which features DeviceN colorspace, smooth shades, highlight, strikethrough annotations, document compare facility, simple touch-up, digital signatures, encryption, web capture to create PDF from HTML content, and support for larger page sizes)2001 - Acrobat 5.0 ships (with the addition of PDF 1.4, which offers transparency, color management, support for OpenType fonts, XML and XMP, 128 bit encryption, structure-tagged PDF, overprint display, and web-based annotating). This marks the first time in its history that PDF was profitable.2003 - Acrobat 6.0 ships (featuring PDF 1.5, including layers, compressed object streams, JPEG 2000, rulers & guides, separation preview, transparency flattener, PDF Optimizer, PDF/X support, and built-in preflight)2005 - Acrobat 7.0 ships (with PDF 1.6, which facilitates direct OpenType font embedding, 3-D data)2006 - Acrobat 8.0 ships with many minor enhancements included in PDF 1.72008 - PDF becomes an ISO standard2008 - Acrobat 9.0 ships (featuring PDF 1.8, which includes plugins load on demand, Portfolios, geospatial data)2010 – PDF/VT becomes an ISO standard (VT means variable & transactional. PDF/VT is part of the variable data printing world, an adaptation of PDF to reuse page elements to improve print times for large jobs)2010 - Acrobat X (UI designers take over Acrobat’s menu structure, moving most menu items to new locations and making more use of Flash, improvements to Portfolios, improved document compare, many security fixes, PDF/VT)2012 - Acrobat XI (featuring tablet support, the ability to export to PowerPoint, improved text editing, and cloud services)