PDF File: How to Open and Convert

By Tata Rossi 11 days ago, Photo Editing Tips

pdf file logo

PDF is an acronym for portable document format file that is one of the most frequently-used file types. It appeared in 2008 thanks to Adobe Systems. Developers wanted to create a universal document format that will look identical regardless of the device you use. An internationally-recognized app for viewing and commenting on PDF format documents is Adobe Acrobat Pro. But you need to choose between Adobe Acrobat Standard and Pro versions.

adobe acrobat pro with pdf file interface

What Is a PDF File?

A PDF format is used for storing and transferring text and graphic information on the network, for example, for transferring letterhead to a printing house or posting a questionnaire on a site. It is very helpful if you need to demonstrate your practical developments: easy to show, difficult to edit. Thus, the chances that your intellectual property will be stolen are minimal.

A PDF format allows you to embed the necessary fonts (line-by-line text), vector and raster images, forms and multimedia inserts. It supports RGB, CMYK, Grayscale, Lab, Duotone, Bitmap, and several types of raster information compression.

Such files are initially meant for viewing, nor editing. Users like working with these files, because they don’t distort or change document formatting, meaning it will look the same on different devices. Sharing PDF files books, you can be sure that every person opening them, will see one and the same document and the way you have arranged it.

  • Standard and popular
  • Takes little space on the hard drive
  • Safe to use
  • PDF editor (Adobe Acrobat Pro) is paid
  • Difficult to work with text, as it is recognized as a picture

Find out more about the highest quality image format.

How to Open a PDF File?

It is quite easy to open and view a PDF file. Most modern web browsers open PDF files directly in a browser window, instead of downloading them on a computer. If your browser cannot do this, it will offer you to download the file.

If you need to view a PDF file only once, it is usually more convenient to open it in a web browser. If you are going to work with this file further, you’d better save it on your computer. To make your work stress-free and fast, I have described several programs designed for opening PDF files.

Find out how to get Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Free.

Professional Software to Open a PDF File

Adobe Acrobat Pro. Adobe Acrobat Pro is deservedly called the best PDF reader, as this program features many cool functions and tools to work with this file format. For instance, you can use the Comparison Tool to spot the differences between 2 versions of one and the same document. If you use Acrobat Pro for creating a PDF, you will receive s smart file, which is subject to editing, signing, sharing and searching. If you want to check how your document will look on different devices, you can take advantage of the integrated preview feature.

PhantomPDF. This is a powerful PDF creator and reader with an abundance of handy features, which give you extensive control over the way your PDFs look. For example, you can define who is allowed to work with your document, inform readers about updates, see who has opened your PDF, and send a file request to your colleagues. Moreover, this program contains a variety of helpful editing tools, which can’t but please professional users. Thus, it is possible to alter the layout of a document, change the position and sequence of paragraphs, pages and columns, add headers, stamps, footers, watermarks to give your document an official look. Besides, you can group several PDFs into one file or do the opposite.

Free Software to Open a PDF File

Foxit Reader. If you are looking for the best free PDF reader and editor, Foxit Reader may become your option. Using it, you can create PDF files, share them with other readers and control security issues. If you are interested in creating such a file, you can use documents from other programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and convert them into PDF. Besides, Foxit Reader supports merging several PDFs into 1 file. If there is a whole team engaged in a common project and they need access to a certain PDF file, you can give all member access to the document, track, who has opened it and what changes were made. Similar to the previous program, Foxit Reader also allows notifying your audience about updates of your PDF file.

Your Web Browser.The easiest way to open a PDF file is to use your web browser, as the majority of modern browsers come with this feature. Just click on a PDF link and a file will be opened in a new tab. Simple like that. You can also view PDFs you already have on your computer, by dragging them to an open tab in your browser. Using this way, you can also check rotating, downloading, printing and text resizing features, already integrated into your browser.

Open a PDF File Online

Sejda. Sejda is a PDF free online editor with a set of nice tools and improved security – the files are automatically deleted from the servers after 5 hours. Using this PDF editor, you can insert photos, inscriptions, links, geometric shapes, annotations, as well as sign documents. The embedded “whiteout” feature implies drawing white rectangles, but it doesn’t help to remove data. Besides, the editor lacks OCR, so you can’t alter text in a scanned document.

PDFescape. There are online and desktop versions, with the latter being more feature-packed. Anyway, using an online PDF editor, you can create and add text boxes (no chance to change the text), and insert geometric shapes to cover certain areas of a document when it is printed. It is also possible to add a photo stored on a computer or insert text fields, thus creating simple forms.

How to Convert a PDF?

Using the programs described below, you can convert PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and many other formats. The nature of a PDF file (whether it is scanned, native or password-protected) doesn’t matter.

PDFelement. A truly universal PDF converter. You can convert your PDFs to or from the majority of widely-used formats. PDFelement can also come in handy if you need to create a PDF file or change pages, photos, text. Boasting OCR feature, this program allows you to alter even scanned PDF documents. The security protection is one of the biggest advantages of this software – you can add a password, sign documents, insert bookmarks, watermarks, and more. Give it a try to see its entire capabilities.

Zamzar. Zamzar ensures stable converting not only of PDF files, but of a variety of other formats, including CR2, EPUB, ODP, GIF, HTML, and many more. Taking care of your document’s safety, this program supports adding watermarks and passwords. The biggest shortcoming is the lack of butch PDF converting. Besides, you must be patient as the converted file is sent to your valid email and it typically takes some time.

File to PDF Converter. This application supports many file formats and provides their conversion without Internet access. You can convert such file extensions like PSD, Ai, EPS, JPEG/JPG, PSD to PDF in a quick way.

Canva. You can use this web-based service for converting your JPG files to PDF format and getting unlimited access to digital content. This software lets you create logos, presentations, CVs, and other projects.


  • • What does PDF mean?

PDF stands for “Portable Document Format”. It was developed for people, using different computers and operating systems, to have the possibility to share one and the same document without distorting its look. This file format is also popular because the information it contains can’t be changed.

  • • I downloaded my PDF files to my laptop, but I cannot open them. What should I do?

You can either download a PDR reader, or use your browser to open these files. If you choose the latter option, you can also easily print your documents.

  • • How can I export a PDF file?

OpenOffice.org is aimed at exporting documents to PDF. Once the process’s finished, you can send you PDF file to your colleagues or readers, so they can view it in Foxit or Adobe Reader.

  • • What is PDF format example?

If you have any PDF reader installed on your computer, e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can click the PDF file icon and there will appear an example of a PDF.

  • • What is the purpose of using PDF files?

PDF files are meant for secure information exchange independent of the device you open them on.

  • • Is it possible to password-protect a PDF file?

Yes, it is possible to password-protect a PDF file. This way, you can restrict access to the document by requiring a password to open or make changes to the file's content.

  • • How can you rearrange the order of pages in a PDF file?

You need to use PDF editing software. Typically, you would open the PDF, access the page thumbnails or panel, and then drag and drop pages to the desired positions to rearrange them.