There is perhaps no file type more ubiquitous (by design) than the Portable Document Format (PDF). Capable of holding an impressive variety of content/object types and working seamlessly on any operating system you can think of, PDFs dominate personal and professional project landscapes as a destination format for bulky and/or specially formatted files. File types like PowerPoint’s PPTX, for example, are often so large that exporting the file as a PDF is the only efficient way to make the project shareable; PDF’s vector and raster graphics capabilities offer an ideal solution, maintaining a perfect representation of the original document while achieving much better compression for sharing. Formats like Microsoft Word DOCX simply can’t be opened as intended on many operating systems; the PDF version easily retains the same fonts and formatting edits included in the original, allowing the end viewer to see an exact visual representation of the document as it was intended. The list of *insert document* to PDF conveniences goes on and on.

If there is one major drawback to PDF documents, it is that they are notoriously difficult to edit. In fact, almost everything that makes PDFs such an ideal solution for reformatting externally/manually generated material conversely makes them one of the more challenging formats to manipulate. Because PDFs handle so many different content types in one file, they go through extensive compression to achieve an easily portable size, which means opening a PDF document and changing its contents is never a straightforward task. It doesn’t help that they are designed and programmed to be difficult to edit in the first place; it’s part of what makes PDFs a secure and reliable format in the first place.

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