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Computer Fundamentals – PDF Format – What is a PDF File? How To Use Create & Make PDF Files in Word

Hi and welcome students! In this blog post I’m going to be talking to you about PDF files. I’m gonna talk to you about what they are, what they’re used for and how you can create your own PDF files on your computer. Let’s go ahead and get started. So the first thing that you […]

Written By Javier

On August 24, 2019
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Hi and welcome students! In this blog post I’m going to be talking to you about PDF files.

I’m gonna talk to you about what they are, what they’re used for and how you can create your own PDF files on your computer. Let’s go ahead and get started. So the first thing that you need to know is what it stands for, which is Portable Document format. It’s a very common file type on a computer and it uses the PDF file extension.

Well now that you know, that, what are the documents actually used for?

The main thing is they preserve the layout formatting, like fonts and images within the document. So, basically, why this is good is, you can create a document and you know that that document is going to look the same, regardless of any computer that the person is using. So, they could be using a Windows PC, a Mac and iPad, any other tablet or even a mobile device and the PDF is going to look exactly the same. That’s why it’s really good for sending documents, that you don’t want to be altered. Okay, so PDF is not primarily used for editing content, can’t be changed easily and the good thing is you pretty much don’t need the Adobe program to actually view a PDF file. Most internet browsers have free viewers on them, so, if you’re in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, chances are you’ll be able to open a PDF directly from your internet browser. So, opening PDF files as I said, you can do it straight from your browser or you can use a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Now Adobe Acrobat Reader is free and available to download. Chances are if you’ve been using a computer for a while you know about this and you probably already have it downloaded on your computer, but if not, it’s a free download, that you can go ahead and just do a Google search for and you’ll be able to find it without a problem. So, let’s talk about opening up PDF files. So, whenever you open up a PDF file it’s going to look like the window that you see here. Okay, now this is a slightly older version of Adobe PDF, but the same icons still remain. Now within a PDF you may find that you are able to edit some information, these are called form fields. Then, if you have them and if you see a form field like on this w-4 form, you can see that you could actually fill out certain sections of the form. So, Adobe PDF can be used for editing, but again it’s usually in the form of form fields. Alright, so, the next thing that you need to know about Adobe PDF is that you can create PDF files from your PC or from your Mac. Alright, if you’re using Windows 10, when you go to print out any type of document, you could use PDF as a printer. Got me? It’s the so called screen-printing. You just changed the printer to PDF and and it will create a PDF file within Microsoft Office. You could actually go to the file tab and if you click export it’ll say “create PDF/ XPS” and you can go in and create a PDF file.

Now you might be wondering why would I not just send it in Microsoft Word. Well, the reason for that is well, if you send, say your resume in Microsoft Word, well whoever get your resume, what happens if they don’t have Microsoft Word, then they might not be able to open up that file. Or what is in the case, you want it to be saved from quick alterations? So, instead you sent it as a PDF and you know that they’re gonna be able to open it up. And also it preserves again the document formatting, so you know that your resume is not going to end up with any formatting or font errors. So the last one here that I have is a Mac and you can actually create a PDF on a Mac as well, it’s also within the print dialog box and if you use the PDF menu, then that will allow you to change it to a PDF. So, hopefully this explanation has taught you about that PDF file extension and what it’s used for. Again think of it as a way to preserve your document formatting, so, that your document looks the same, no matter what device anyone is using. If you liked this blog post please, give it a thumbs up and consider sharing it to the followers. Thank you so much for reading and have a great rest of your day!

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