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Happy 25th birthday, PDF!

Adobe celebrates PDF at 25.

The world has changed since 1993. PDF, introduced 25 years ago today, has become the dominant final-form electronic document format on the planet.


Author: PDF Association
Date: June 15, 2018

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Happy 25th birthday, PDF!

Adobe celebrates PDF at 25.The world’s chosen electronic document format celebrates it’s 25th birthday on June 15, 2018.

In 1993, 25 years ago…

  • There was no world wide web to speak of, and Mosaic was its browser.
  • 8 MB of RAM and a 300 MB hard-drive was top-of-the-line specs for a desktop computer.
  • Microsoft began shipping the first pure 32-bit OS: Windows NT.

Almost all documents were delivered by FedEx, snail-mail or fax.

In 2018…

  • The web dominates the global exchange of information.
  • Individual emails can exceed 8 MB of RAM. 300 MB might be your browser’s cache; you don’t really care.
  • Microsoft is still shipping Windows NT, but it’s now 64-bit. They also dropped the “NT” from the name.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is the globally-accepted means of sharing final-form documents. The world would simply not know what to do without it.

Join us in celebrating 25 years of PDF, perhaps the most visible (and yet, invisible, as it should be) electronic file format ever created.

Adobe Systems, inventor of the technology, recognizes 25 years of PDF with a blog post by EVP Bryan Lamkin.

Some other recognition…

  • The Ghent Workgroup celebrates 25 years of PDF on WhatTheyThink.
  • Stephan Jaeggi, perhaps one of the very first users of PDF, has a blog post on the subject.
  • The Register has posted a feature article; sadly there are numerous errors in the piece, but it’s still an interesting read.