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Please do not use PDF document files for knowledge sharing.

PDFs are a proprietary format - they are not an open standard. If you want people to be able to access the contents and use it freely, under an open license, the PDF format makes it very difficult for them. (It's possible, but requires suitable software to do it efficiently, and even then it has been a major hindrance to Appropedia's porting efforts, by which we share valuable knowledge which is currently locked up in organizations' documents.)

If you must use PDFs for publishing, it is important to:

  • Develop the document first in a more open format, then convert to PDF and tweak the formatting.
  • Use PDF/A, the ‘archival’ format for PDF. which reduces future migration requirements. See Formats for long term preservation of information.


PDF or Portable Document Format files cannot be viewed natively with a browser. Viewing PDF requires your computer to have Adobe Acrobat Reader or compatible software. Once the PDF viewing software is installed, browser viewing of PDFs is typically enabled via "plug-ins" for popular browsers.

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