The Portable Document Format (PDF) is the most common way we share our finished layouts. Anyone with Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader application can open a PDF and consume its content. And that’s just about everyone. Those who want to edit PDFs or add extra functionality to them can use Adobe Acrobat Pro, the powerful sibling to Reader. Adobe has been very effective at making PDF and these apps nearly ubiquitous. Maybe a little too effective: my training company often gets calls from prospective students who want to learn how to use “Adobe.” With some gentle questioning we confirm they’re trying to learn more about Adobe Acrobat.

The advantage of sharing a document as an Acrobat PDF rather than a Word or InDesign document is that PDFs retain ...

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