Hey Adobe, Remember PDF is an Open Standard!

August 22, 2012

2 minute read

Being a long-time supporter of open standards, I was thrilled when Adobe decided to officially release the PDF as an open standard as ISO 32000-1 on July 1, 2008. This move seemed to setup PDF for unprecedented wide adoption and use. Fast forward to today and adoption and usage of the PDF has indeed grown and has even seen staggering growth of use on today's latest devices including ultrabooks, smartphones and tablets spanning iOS, Android, OSX, Windows and more.

REMEMBER the promise? Portable Document Format - a format for document exchange regardless of the hardware, software or OS.

HOWEVER... More recently, not only has the Adobe LiveCycle business unit seen a lot of turmoil, more importantly it seems the gang at Adobe has their LiveCycle product producing quite a few PDF's with unique features that can ONLY be opened with Adobe products such as Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. What's worse, you also need to install the latest versions meaning costly upgrades.

A PDF that is created in an Adobe product and can only be opened and fully experienced in an Adobe product is not portable and depending on how you define it, definitely not open.

As an active member of PDF standards organizations like The PDF Association, Adlib believes that a PDF should be accessible to virtually anyone, on any device. That's why Adlib created PDF's are the highest fidelity renditions of the original document that are standards-based and therefore designed to be viewable on virtually any device with PDF support. In addition to the growing number of PDF apps on vendor app stores (like iTunes), there are a lot of great free PDF viewers available for your desktop as well. I came across an article called "Not an Acrobat fan? 10 Free PDF Readers You should Try" that offers some interesting Acrobat alternatives.

Perhaps when evaluating your unique PDF conversion and viewing needs, it maybe a good idea to shop around for the right combination of features and price that meet your unique requirements and not just default to Adobe. Plus, your Windows update notification box will appreciate the rest (Acrobat updates very frequently) and OS X users won't need to get their guard up and check if the update is really is from Adobe or malware pretending to be. :)

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