SwifDoo PDF

One-stop PDF Solution for Windows

  1. Edit PDF documents as easily as Word;
  2. Convert PDF to any other formats or vice versa;
  3. Annotate, organize, compress, and protect PDFs as needed
Home / News / A Brief Look at the History of PDF

A Brief Look at the History of PDF

By Simpson | Follow twitter | Updated on April 14, 2022 | Deutsch

The last four decades have, without a doubt, given the world some of the most innovative and ground-breaking technological advancements in the history of mankind. What’s even more exciting and perhaps even more daunting, is the fact that technology is only going to improve.

When we think of innovative designs and inventions, we cannot underestimate the importance of PDF files.

PDF is now arguably the most widely utilized and recognized file format, which isn’t surprising really, given the fact that so many people and organizations utilize it, but do you know precisely what PDF is, who invented it, and why? If not, and you’d like to learn more, this is the perfect article for you.


Below, we’ll be taking a brief, yet informative look at the history of PDF, and why SwifDoo PDF is the ideal software for PDF files.

What is PDF?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is a file format which was developed in the early 90s, as a way of conveniently and securely sharing files and documents over a wide range of different devices, hardware, software, and operating systems.

Who Invented PDF?

Despite the internet and email really taking off in the late 1990s, the truth of the matter is that we’ve had the internet for decades before that, as well as email.

Needless to say, email back then would be considered primitive by today’s standards, and the thought of actually being able to send and share a file or image via email would be inconceivable to most people.

Even when we had dial-up and most people had email, if you wanted to share a single image, it would take hours to download, and the quality would be terrible.

As we’re looking at who invented the PDF however, we need to talk about a man named John Warnock. John worked for Adobe, yes, that Adobe, and he began secretly working on an internal project with the aim of creating a file format which would look identical on screen to how it would look when printed.

He created a file format which enabled users to easily and securely send documents to one another without sacrificing quality, taking up heaps of memory, and jeopardizing online security, regardless of which operating system they may have been using.

The World’s First PDF

When talking about PDF history, we of course need to talk about John Warnock and Adobe. In 1993, Adobe released the world’s first PDF, which would surely set the tech world buzzing, right? Actually, no, it didn’t.

If we were to use one word to sum up the release of PDF, it would be ‘underwhelming’. PDF did not catch on because, back then, computers were considered luxuries, rather than necessities.

With the ability to merge PDF files, share documents securely, compress files without losing quality, and more besides, PDF was most certainly ahead of its time. In 1996 however, in the US, the IRS utilized PDF to provide downloadable tax return forms, which made tax season slightly easier. Now, the country took notice.

More and more companies started doing the same as the IRS, and people began warming to PDFs.

PDF in the Modern Era

As the years passed by, the internet grew, more people jumped online and as a result, more people started using PDF files when sending and editing important documents.

Now utilized by virtually every industry in existence, by hundreds of millions of people, PDFs are now most certainly here to stay. In fact, back in 2015, it was found that there were more than 2.5 trillion PDFs out there. Now, with more companies going digital, who knows how many are in existence?

Why SwifDoo PDF is Ideal for PDF Software

PDFs are great because they’re secure, they help to save memory, they allow files to be compressed without sacrificing quality, and they can be opened on a whole variety of different devices.

When it comes to editing and opening PDFs, SwifDoo PDF is ideal for numerous reasons. SwifDoo allows users to open and edit PDFs with minimal effort, regardless of the size of the file in question. Not only that, but the software itself is very user-friendly and is widely recognized as one of the best in the industry today.

Simpson is from London, he is a professional columnist for certain fields of software,E-Commerce content writing. At SwifDoo Software, Simpson’s articles are usually about PDF software.

Related Articles