Open PDF File

Information, tips and instructions

Open PDF File

Initial PDF file format specification and implementation was released by Adobe on June 15th, 1993. PDF which stands for Portable Document Format was created as a rich document format independent on platform it is used on. PDF document is created in a way that its representation adapts to different hardware and software environments it is open on. This and availability of Adobe Acrobat Reader on all popular PC and mobile platforms made PDF de-facto standard for portable documents. Another important factor which made PDF format so popular is that Adobe was not charging money for 3rd party developers using the PDF specification.

Today PDF is used as a primary document format for distributing files over the internet. PDF file stores all representation data in text format which allows effective compression and makes PDF format very efficient when transferring information over the internet.

Another important feature of PDF file format is its ability to embed different types of content like raster images, rich vector graphics and even fonts. This made PDF an important file format for prepress document preparation and transfer. With PDF every detail of the prepress document could be sent it one file instead of multiple working files specific to certain software packages.

Recent versions of PDF files also introduced encryption and digital signature support. This allowed to use PDF file format for document signing over the internet. Multiple software vendors including Adobe now provide services for e-signing documents for individuals and teams of various size. PDF files could also be used for workflows in larger organization and out-of-box integration with other software packages.

If your operating system does not opening support PDF files, you can read how to open PDF files on older operating systems. If you want to change default PDF viewing application read our guide on how to switch PDF viewing application.

Open PDF File on Windows OS

  • Try double clicking on a PDF file in Windows File Explorer.
  • If the PDF reading software is associated correctly then the file will open
  • If the file did not open you should install Adobe Acrobat Reader software
  • To open PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader you need to launch it and then select File->Open in the main menu
  • In the File Open dialog select PDF file and click "Open"

PDF files are transferred over e-mail or internet using following file multipurpose internet mail extensions (MIME) types: application/pdf, application/x-pdf, text/x-pdf.

Read how to open PDF file on Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android.

Quick helpful links related to PDF (for full list of links go to our links page):

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PDF Quick Info
Portable Document Format
MIME Types
  • application/pdf
  • application/x-pdf
  • text/x-pdf
Identifying Characters
Hex: 25 50 44 46 2D 31 2E 
PDF File Opens with
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Sumatra PDF
  • Foxit Reader

Open PDF File Translations: