Monday, September 8, 2008

Ebook Formats: PDF (Portable Document Format)

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format created by Adobe Systems, initially to provide a standard form for storing and editing printed publishable documents. Because documents in .pdf format can easily be seen and printed by users on a variety of computer and platform types, they are very common on the World Wide Web, but since they are designed to reproduce page images, and the text cannot be re-flowed to fit the screen width, PDF files designed for printing on standard paper sizes are hard to view on screens with limited size or resolution. Adobe has addressed the issue of people viewing PDF files on smaller screens as are found on PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). Adobe's Acrobat Reader for the PDA now has a re-flow facility.

PDF files are created mainly using Adobe Acrobat, but Acrobat Capture and other Adobe products also support their creation, as do third-party products such as PDFCreator, OpenOffice.org, and FOP. Acrobat Reader (now simply called Adobe Reader) is Adobe's product used to view PDF files. PDF files typically contain product manuals, brochures, magazine articles, or flyers as they can embed fonts, images, and other documents. A PDF file contains one or more page images, each of which you can zoom in on or out from. The PDF format can include interactive elements such as buttons for forms entry and for triggering sound and Quicktime or AVI movies. Acrobat PDF files are optimized for the Web by rendering text before graphic images and hypertext links. Adobe's PDF-like e-book format is incorporated into their reader.

PDF files are supported on the following e-book readers: Sony Reader, Bookeen Cybook and indirectly also Amazon Kindle.

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