Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)©
FAQs, Basics, Helpful Hints and Links


Contents of this Page

What is PDF?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. This format was developed by Adobe® and is a unique cross-platform file format. The PDF documents will look exactly as you intended and can be viewed by anyone using the freely distributed Adobe Acrobat® Reader™ across a broad range of hardware and software.

What tools or software do I need to convert my file to PDF ?

Some word processors when installed, integrate Adobe® products at the time of installation so that files can be output directly into PDF format. You should first take a look at the word processing software you are using to see if this option exists. If it does not, you will need to have one of the following:

  • Adobe Acrobat® — software that allows conversion of any document into a PDF format.
  • Acrobat® Distiller — software that allows the creation of PDF files with sophisticated, high-end print publishing features. Adobe Distiller interprets PostScript files (.ps, .eps) into PDF file format.
  • Acrobat® Capture — software that takes a scanned document and converts it to PDF format.
  • Other PDF Tools — this site offers other conversion tools, tips, latest techniques in the PDF arena.

What if I don't have Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Distiller, or any other tool to use for conversion?

Adobe offers the use of their PDF conversion hosting service for free. You can sign up for a free trial and create 5 Adobe PDF files for free. The URL to this site is

How do I fine tune/compress/optimize my PDF file?

Here are some helpful links to learn how to make your PDF file as small as possible and still functional and readable.


[ About the AMS | Atmospheric Policy Program | Conferences, Meetings, and Symposia ]
[ Education Programs and Resources ]
[Journals and Publications | Local Chapter Information | Member Services ]
[ News and Information | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) ]

[ Disclaimer | Contacts at AMS | Email AMS Web Administrator ]

Return to AMS Home Page Click on Logo to Return to AMS Home Page
© 2000 American Meteorological Society
Headquarters: 45 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-3693
Phone: 617-227-2425; Fax: 617-742-8718