A Format Design Case Study: PDF

James C. King, Adobe Systems

The Portable Document Format, or PDF, was first introduced by Adobe® Systems Incorporated in June 1993 with the announcement of a suite of products under the name of Adobe Acrobat®. Since then, PDF has become the focus of great attention as a key electronic format within the professional publishing industry and as the way to present printable material on the World Wide Web. In this keynote I discuss the design points and circumstances that guided the development of PDF in the early 1990's. PDF was designed to complement the PostScript® Language and to have key attributes that PostScript lacked.

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