PDF was invented by Pdf Converting in the early 1990s to be a portable format for moving documents from one platform to another. This meant you could create a document on a UNIX machine, move it to a Mac and edit it there, then move it to a Windows machine and the document would look the same on each machine. There was no other system at that time that allowed you to do that. While programs such as Word, and Pages have improved a lot since then, t are still operating system specific. Also, there is no guarantee that the document will look the same when you move it from the machine on which it was created to another machine, it will look the same, even if the new machine is using the same operating system as the one where it was created. An example of this is that you can use any font you have rights to for creating a PDF, and you can embed those fonts in the PDF so that when the document gets to another machine, it will look exactly the same. On the other hand you have probably seen the message that one or more fonts are not available on the current machine when opening a Word document. This is because Word and Pages documents are dependent on the fonts available on the current machine. The same thing can happen with images, and other elements of the document, but will not happen with a PDF. One more issue that makes PDF more portable is that the Pdf Converting provides a free Reader for PDF for Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows machines. This means you can always look at a PDF on any machine no matter where the document was created, and because all the elements are embedded in the document. On the other hand Word is only available on Windows (and sometimes Mac), and Pages is only available on Mac, so if you’re using a BSD machine, and someone sends you a document created using Word on a PC, you may have a difficult time reading that document. Note. I am aware that OpenOffice, and LibreOffice are available on a wide range of machines, but since the Word format is proprietary, there are several features not available in these programs. Often documents created in word will not look the same in OpenOffice, or LibreOffice, sometimes, t may not be able to display it at all. Kurt Guntheroth gives some good examples of why OpenOffice does not make Word interchangeable. Question. What is so special about PDF documents? Why is it that the PDF is called a "portable document format" and not Word documents or other formats? What makes PDF so " portable" than other document formats?
This is a question of terminology. Many people use the term “portable document format” to mean the same thing that the term “word processor” means. And because the name format uses the term ’word processor” for all those formats, this is what you are referring to when you say “PDF is a “word processor”.” PDF is indeed a “word processor” format, but not all kinds of word processing software are portable, and certainly not all kinds of word processing programs are portable for all kinds of applications from computers to handheld devices. However, all kinds of documents can be shared on the Internet. And if you send a document to a friend, or family member, that document can be read by that friend's computer, tablet, or mobile device. Also, PDF documents are portable because they only store the information that is needed to create that.