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PDF files: what are they and how do I open them?

pdf file icon Are you facing difficulties opening unknown files on your computer, or wondering exactly what this file is?
We've got the information and best software solutions for opening these files effortlessly.

.pdf file type #1: Adobe's PDF (Portable Document Format)

The extension .pdf is primarily associated with Adobe's Portable Document Format, often abbreviated as PDF. Most software that allows you to create documents or projects also provides the option to save these files in PDF format. Adobe provides a free PDF viewer - Adobe Acrobat Reader that can be downloaded from their website.

Further details:

PDF stands for Portable Document Format, a format developed by Adobe Systems. It is used to present and exchange documents reliably, independent of software, hardware, or operating system. PDF files can contain not only text and images but also interactive buttons, hyperlinks, embedded fonts, video, and more. You can also encrypt and digitally sign your PDFs, add comments, and export PDFs to other formats, such as Word or Excel. It is widely used for its convenience and versatility.

Open file with:

Adobe Acrobat Reader icon

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Free reader for viewing PDF files

Adobe Acrobat icon

Adobe Acrobat

A dedicated software for handling PDF documents

Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac icon

Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac

Mac version of Adobe's free PDF viewer

Adobe Acrobat for Mac icon

Adobe Acrobat for Mac

Mac version of Adobe's PDF handling software

PDF Architect icon

PDF Architect

A PDF making and editing software

Nitro Pro icon

Nitro Pro

Professional editor of PDF documents

Microsoft Edge icon

Microsoft Edge

The faster, safer browser designed from Microsoft Windows 10 and above

Foxit Reader icon

Foxit Reader

A PDF viewer for Windows

Hamster Free eBook Converter icon

Hamster Free eBook Converter

A free eBook converter

Epubor Ultimate Converter

A popular ebook converter

.pdf file type #2: ArcView preferences definition data

Rarely, files with pdf file extension might also be found as preferences definition files for ArcView program.

Further details:

File extension pdf is associated with the ArcView, a GIS software for Microsoft Windows operating system that allows users to view and edit GIS data.

This type of pdf files stores preference definitions.

Open file with:

ArcGIS for Desktop Basic (ArcView) icon

ArcGIS for Desktop Basic (ArcView)

A GIS application used to work with geographic data

What is the meaning of a file extension?

File extensions are characters that appear after the dot in a computer file's name. For example, the file "unknown-file.pdf" has the file extension "pdf". This is used to identify which program should open the file or what file type it is.
File extensions help you organize and manage files. They provide a quick and easy way to identify and associate the file type with the appropriate software.

We can help you open your file

In our database, we have collected a huge number of different file extensions, detailed descriptions, and programs that can be used to open or otherwise work with the file extensions listed in our database.
This database is an invaluable resource for users who want to understand better file extensions and what they can do with them. It also allows users to know different file types with the same purpose.

Only verified software links are provided

We have verified every software listed in our database. The software listed in our database includes links to the developer's or software's website. These links should allow you to download the right program for each file type. Using verified software from reputable sources helps minimize the risk of malware and viruses infecting your computer.