What Is The Portable Document Format, or PDF?
What is PDF? | Using a PDF Document | Getting a PDF Reader
What is PDF?
Portable Document Format, or PDF, is a type of electronic document used frequently on the Web. It was developed to help people share the information in documents created with different types of software. It is an increasingly common standard for online documents, and Placer County makes many of its forms available online for review and printing using PDF.
Software can be expensive and not everyone may own, say, a copy of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or WordPerfect 2000. Yet it may be important to share information in documents created with that or other software. While a PDF document looks almost identical to a document created in Word or Excel or WordPerfect, you don't need a copy of the original software to use a PDF document. It can be opened, read and printed using a PDF reader, a small software program which often comes as part of your Web browser. You may also download the free software and install on your computer.
Using a PDF Document
All you need to do to use a PDF document is to click on the link to the document. If you have a PDF reader already on your computer, the document will open and you can read it, save it to your PC, or print it. If you don't have a PDF reader installed on your computer, see below for further information. If you are not comfortable installing the PDF reader on your computer, call the county department which provides the form you need and the staff will be happy to mail you a copy of the form.
Getting a PDF Reader
Adobe provides convenient access to free software to read PDF documents, their Adobe Acrobat reader, with detailed instructions on downloading and installing it. (In January, 2002, Adobe estimated that about 72% of the people using the Web were able to use the free Adobe Acrobat reader, to open, read and print PDF files.) More technical information about PDF documents is available.