Notes on creating and reading PDF files

 PDF (Portable Document Format)

This is a "standard for document exchange" that was first defined in 1993 by a computer software company called Adobe Systems.  In 2008 it became completely "open" - free of proprietary copyright constraints.

Using this standard means that such documents can be opened, or read, on any personal computer that has appropriate "reader" software installed, regardless of the software that was used to create the original document.   PDFs are used in various parts of this website, so if you have difficulty opening one - read on.

Reading PDFs

Reader software is freely available for download from the internet.  It can be downloaded to your computer by going to the Adobe Systems website or click on the icon below, and following the simple instructions found there.

Creating PDFs

There are a number of organisations offering either free or very cheap software that can be used to create PDF files.  The best one I have found is "PDF24" from a company in Berlin called "Geek Software".  It is very reliable and easy to use - click on their sheep logo(!) below to go to their website (it's in English).

However, if you are using MS Word 2007 (or later) as a word-processor, you can simply save your document as a PDF from the "Save As" menu.  There may well be PDF creation facilities in other word-processors, so check out yours first.