Have you noticed how many documents you encounter online end in “PDF”? The increasing prevalence of this file format is a testimony to the success of Adobe’s “portable document format.” Indeed, it’s ubiquity and the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files has led some Web projects to standardize around Acrobat, the product suite that produces PDF files.
One of the primary reasons that PDFs became popular in the first place was the fidelity to the printed page of presenting on the screen what was formerly only available on paper format.
... Alternatives or Complements to PDFs?
While Adobe has exceeded Wall Street expectations in its recent quarterly report, other file formats are being presented to address perceived weaknesses, including advocates restricting the use of the PDF format altogether.
Autodesk, makers of AutoCAD design software, have an open file standard called Design Web Format (DWF), that claims to create, display, and print multi-sheet computer-aided design drawings faster, with higher resolution, and in smaller file sizes, than can be done with PDFs. It’s limited currently to design documents, but if you need to work with them, you’re probably already working with AutoCAD files. Others can view them with the Autodesk Express Viewer or the Autodesk Volo View application. Read