Everything you need to know about pdf documents and how to create them

Whether official texts, reports, books, or simply business records, almost all documents used today are in PDF format. Very convenient and versatile, it is often favored over other file types.

PDF format history

In 1992, the founder of Adobe created the “Portable Document Format” known by the acronym PDF. This page description language was originally intended to facilitate the circulation of internal company files in the face of various compatibility problems from one computer to another. Widely used since its appearance, PDF became an ISO standard in 2008.

What are the advantages of the PDF format?

Retain document formatting

The PDF format displays exactly the content as well as the layout of the original document, regardless of the operating system used (Windows, Mac, or Linux) or the software used to view it. Texts, images, and tables are all in the right place. This is not the case for other formats where these elements change and intertwine when the processing tool is different from that used during its creation. The PDF is, therefore, more practical for the exchange of information in companies or between individuals, especially for companies relying largely on administration.

Versatile and easy to use file

The PDF can be consulted everywhere, whether on computers, tablets, or smartphones with the Adobe Reader application. Other free software such as Xpdf and Foxit also allow you to view them. You can therefore access your documents at any time, regardless of the device you have.

In addition, compared to other formats such as Word or PowerPoint, PDF is easier to handle and send thanks to its reduced size.

Reliable and secure

Some documents may contain more sensitive information and require protection in order to avoid any modification or copying of their contents. For greater security of your data, you can affix a signature or put a password on your PDF documents. These functionalities thus make it possible to keep the copyright or not to distort the information communicated. This is what makes the indications coming from PDF files much more reliable than those coming from easily editable formats.

How to create PDF files?

Creating PDFs with Online Converters

An easy way to create PDF files is to use converters available online. Many platforms offer this service. For example, we can cite Adobe PDF converter, Ilovepdf, or PDF compressor.

Using these tools, you can quickly convert files from Microsoft Office to the Portable Document Format. It is also the best way to convert PNG or JPEG to PDF and vice versa with good quality images. No complicated steps to follow, just drag the documents to the site and download the created PDF version.

PDF creation with Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013

Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013 Word, PowerPoint, and Excel applications can easily generate PDF documents with just a few clicks in a variety of ways. For example, you can use the “Save as”, “Export” or “Print” option.

With “Save as”

  • Go to the FILE tab.
  • Click on the text “Save as”.
  • In the window that appears, click on the drop-down menu next to “Type” to get to “PDF”.
  • In “Options” you can customize some parameters of the document to be created.
  • Validate your choices with “OK”, then “Save”.

With “Export”

  • In the FILE tab, click on “Export”.
  • Then go to “create PDF/XPS”.
  • In the window that opens, choose the desired location and validate with “Publish”.

With “Print”

  • In FILE, click on “Print”
  • A pane appears, then in the drop-down list of the printer, choose the PDF creation software installed on your computer (Nitro PDF, PDF Architect…).
  • Validate with “Print”.

Creating PDFs with LibreOffice

If you are more comfortable with LibreOffice, the procedure remains similar to that of Microsoft with the Writer, Calc, and Impress applications which are the equivalents of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 

  • Go to the menu then click on “Export to PDF”.
  • A window opens with all the creation parameters.
  • Click on “Export”, then complete the operation and choose the desired location.

The Drawing tool Draw also offers this possibility of conversion.

Creating PDFs with Google Docs

The Google Docs app is a handy tool for sending or sharing documents online. The files created can be downloaded in PDF format whether it is a question of text documents, Spreadsheet, or Presentation.

Here’s how:

  • Go to Drive.
  • Click “Create” or “New,” then select the type of file you want to use.
  • Process your content.
  • When done, click “File” – “Download as” – “PDF Document”.

Create PDF from the webpage

Did you know that pages on the web can also be saved in PDF format? It is extremely useful when you need to collect information from the internet. The advantage of this procedure is that all the elements associated with the HTML language of the page (images, texts, mappings, forms, etc.) remain intact after conversion. That is to say, the resulting PDF remains identical to the original page, except for the animations which become fixed images. 

For this operation, it is necessary to use online converters or use plugins on browsers. For example, you can use the services of Adobe, Web2PDF or even HTM2PDF.

How to edit PDF files?

As with its creation, editing a PDF document can be done in many ways, such as with Adobe Acrobat DC, Nitro Pro 12, PDF Element, etc. These tools all work pretty much the same way, but we’ll explain them one by one.

Edit PDF with Adobe Acrobat DC

This platform allows you to directly modify the texts and images on your PDF documents. Also available as a mobile app, you can access your files anywhere with Acrobat Reader. With this tool, the layout remains the same, because the inserted elements automatically adopt the characteristics of those already present in the PDF. The process is simple:

  • Open the file in Acrobat.
  • Click on “Modify” or “Edit PDF”.

Editing PDFs with Nitro Pro 12

Nitro Pro 12 also makes it easy to edit a PDF. To use it:

  • Go to the “Open” button and select the file to edit
  • In the “Home” tab, you will find several commands that will allow you to edit your document according to your preferences. You can even change the font colors and size.

Edit PDF with PDF Element

PDF Element is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems. It uses fast and advanced techniques for editing your documents. As before, just open the PDF, click “Edit”, then make the desired adjustments.


I'm a content writer and writing for 5 years for multinational companies.

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