This is a PDF file tutorial about "What is a PDF file?" and how to obtain the Adobe Acrobat Reader software used to read the PDF files or to get the Adobe Acrobat Reader Full Version to create PDF files. PDF Files end with the .pdf extension are cross platform files meaning they can be read by any computer operating system. A PDF file can be locked against unauthorized editing. I have tried to include a few additional Web resources for those of you wishing more information.
PDF is the Adobe technology of "Portable Document Format" which lets any platform or operating system of computer be able to read your document.. I can make a document in Microsoft Word, and on my computer, because I have one of the current versions of Adobe Acrobat which makes PDF files, I can save my Word document as a .pdf file... I can send it to you and if you already downloaded Adobe's free Acrobat Reader, you can open my PDF file and not have to have Microsoft Word on your computer in order to read the PDF file I sent to you.
Summary: The software you download to your computer in order to be able to open any PDF file is called Adobe Acrobat Read. It is free. Get Adobe Acrobat Reader software here.
The software you use to make full versions of a PDF file is called Adobe Acrobat and the current version is version X called "ten", so with version 10 of Adobe Acrobat X Pro, you can convert files such as Word documents, Mac Pages documents, Excel or other Microsoft Office Documents and many other types of documents into PDF files so your readers without having that software, can open and read the PDF file you sent them, because they downloaded the "free reader" software linked in the paragraph above. Adobe.com's page about Adobe Acrobat where you can learn more about the software, different levels or "models, flavors" that it comes in, when you don't need a full Professional version, but you need some of the features... the full featured version for creating the files is the Acrobat X Pro. Adobe has links on this page to more information about it, so I don't have to repeat it here and kill you with details.
Adobe's Article about Portable Document Format
Census Bureau explains Portable Document Format and why they use it
Amit's Abobe PDF Guide, and What You Can Do With a PDF File
Create an Electronic Thesis or Dissertation Using Adobe Acrobat PDF File
Creating a Navigable PDF Portfolio (Adobe.com)
Learn Acrobat X with videos at Adobe.com
Google Search for additional information.