How to Open Files with the .pdf File Extension

What does the .PDF extension file stand for?

PDF is an acronym for Portable Document Format. It is one of the most popular document formats present on the web. The reason for PDF?s popularity is its compactness and platform independence. This is a proprietary format owned and marketed by Adobe.

What kind of documents can have the .PDF file extension?

PDF files have the ability to store text, pictures and hyperlinks in a single document. As text, pictures and hyperlinks are the preferred formats on the web, PDF is sometimes called as the superficial HTML.

What are the advantages of using PDF?

The main advantages of the PDF file format are listed below

  1. Multiplatform Ability ? PDF files can be viewed and printed on any platform be it UNIX, Windows, Linux or Mac. ?These can also be viewed on any mobile platforms.
  2. Reliability ? PDF?s are reliable so they are a preferred format in government and commercial organizations around the globe.
  3. Rich File Integrity ? They retain the original source file information even when they are embedded with text, drawings, 3D, Maps etc despite creating them using different applications.
  4. Secure ? Security aspect of PDF documents is the favored form of document by Governments and Financial Institutions. Digital Signature and Password protect features of PDF are the best in the industry.
  5. Accessible ? Documents created in PDF are designed to be accessible to people with disabilities.

Which programs can open PDF files?

You can view PDF files either with Adobe Acrobat Reader or by using a PDF Viewer plug-in on a web browser. Adobe provides free Acrobat reader which allows users to read, navigate and print files in the PDF format.

Documents cannot be created with the free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. For this you will need the Adobe Acrobat Professional software to create files. This again is proprietary paid software provided by Adobe.

Google also supports the PDF format in their popular web-based document viewer and converter called Google Docs. There are also several third-party software present on the web that help with opening, editing and printing PDF files and are present for Windows, Linux and Mac platforms. Some of the commercial and free software are listed below.


  1. Foxit Reader
  2. Nitro PDF
  3. PDF Sign&Seal


  1. PDFedit
  2. Pdftk

MAC OS – This creates PDF natively

  1. deskUNPDF

Several other third-party providers have taken advantage of this PDF trend for documents. They have started making customized software for people requiring PDF documents. You can use one of the popular file extension software called FileCure which helps you open any type of file on your system including PDF files.