PDF is short for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems. PDF/X meanwhile serves as an umbrella term for several ISO standards that define a subset of the format. The purpose of PDF/X is to facilitate graphics exchange.

 PDFs capture formatting information from a variety of desktop publishing applications, making it possible to send documents and have them appear on recipients’ monitors or as print-outs as they were intended. A PDF file represents an ordered sequence of fixed pages. The planned appearance of everything that each page contains is completely specified, down to the smallest detail. All the text, graphics, and images are specified to appear at precise spots on the page in a particular color, of a given and fixed size. The creator of the PDF file determines the exact appearance that the viewer will see and PDF renderers like Adobe Reader display the page contents exactly as specified.

 Creating a PDF is like painting a picture. The paintbrush is the result of a combination of the software used to create the source document and the software used to convert the source document into the universal electronic document format (PDF). Like the painter’s brushstrokes, each character, each line, and each image is fundamentally independent, but they can interact with each other to produce specific visual effects.


In this section, GlobalVision describes best practices regarding the creation of PDF files.