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PDF file format was first introduced in 1993. But only recently on July 1st, 2008 it became an Open Format. It means that now anyone is able to write software which can generate/edit/create PDF files without risk of violating patents. Before this it took quite a significant effort for developers to create an application either reading or writing PDF files.

A good thing for application developers is that Adobe doesn't charge them for using PDF format in their applications. Thus there is a significant number of applications available on the market which work with PDF files.

Please note that only Adobe software supports all the features of PDF format since they design it. Thus using any 3rd party software on your PDF files could lead to some kind of loss of information due to unsupported features. Make sure to back up PDF files you're using somewhere in case they will be corrupted by some 3rd party tool. Here are the most common groups and examples of software applications:

    • PDF File Viewers
      • Sumatra PDF - a free, open source, light-weight PDF viewer
      • Foxit Reader - free basic reader, extended functionality available via purchasable plugins
    • Mobile PDF Viewers
      • PocketXPDF no-frills PDF viewer for Pocket Pc devices (with touchscreen)
      • MobileXpdf free open-source pdf viewer for Smart Phones powered by windows mobile 2003, 5, 6, 6.1
    • PDF Creators
      • CutePDF Professional - commercial PDF editor from Acro Software
      • PDFCreator - open source pdf creation utility
    • PDF Converters
      • deskUNPDF Standard and Professional - commercial PDF converter applications from Docudesk
      • Nuance PDF Converter - a commercial, proprietary PDF viewing, editing & conversion tool from Nuance Communications
    • PDF Content Extractors
      • tool.pdf.Uncompress Java Library
      • Solid Converter PDF

If you are not able to open file with certain file extension make sure to check if extension for the file is correct. It is possible that information in the file doesn't match file extension.


More Information on File Extension PDF:
File Extension PDF
Opening PDF files
Creating PDF files
PDF Tools

Extension Details
  Portable Document Format
Identifying Characters
   Hex: 25 50 44 46 2D 31 2E 
   ASCII: %PDF-1.
Opens with
  Acrobat Reader
  Sumatra PDF
  Foxit Reader
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