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A CDE Definition

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print to PDF

To convert the current document to the PDF format and save it. See PDF.


(Portable Document Format) The de facto standard for electronic document publishing from Adobe. There are billions of brochures, data sheets, white papers, forms and technical manuals on the Web in the PDF format.

PDF Is a Superset of Adobe PostScript
PDF is often the preferred file format for sending documents to commercial print houses. If the commercial printer uses PDF imagesetters, no conversion is necessary. If it uses only PostScript hardware, the PDF files are converted to PostScript first. See PostScript.

The "Portable" in PDF - Font Design Freedom
PDFs solved a chronic problem, in which the target computer may not have all the fonts specified in a document. For a graphic artist, font selection is an important part of page design, but, in the past, only basic fonts were chosen to ensure they were available in every user's computer.

In contrast, PDF files do not rely on the fonts installed in the user's computer. Document designers are free to choose whichever fonts they have at their disposal, and those fonts are embedded within the PDF document. Because the fonts are not distributed for general use, they do not violate copyrights and patents. Most importantly for designers, the page will render correctly on any computer with PDF software; essentially every computer. See PDF/X and font incompatibility.

Rendering PDFs
Adobe Acrobat Reader (formerly Adobe Reader) is Adobe's free download for displaying and printing PDF files, and hundreds of millions of users have downloaded this software from Acrobat Reader lets you view and print PDF files, but not create or edit them.

Create/Edit and Export To
PDF files can be created with Adobe's Acrobat software, which can convert documents created in Microsoft Office and other popular programs. While Acrobat allows editing of any PDF file, many applications can export (save) to PDF, and there are numerous stand-alone utilities that convert documents to PDF. Windows 10 added a "print to PDF" option, which saves whatever the user might print to a PDF file. See PDF/A, PDF/X, WWF, PostScript, DjVu and XML Paper Specification.

Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
print providerprintable CD
print queueprintable DVD
print screenprintable media
print selectionprinted circuit
print serverprinted circuit board
print spoolerprinter
print spoolingprinter buffer
print systemprinter cable
print to diskPrinter Control Language
print to emailprinter description file

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
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Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design