How Much Longer Will the PDF Stay Relevant?

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How much longer will the PDF stay relevant?

Very likely yes. Some PDF files may not render 100% accurately, but PDF/A should. PDF is an ISO standard, completely open, using open technology, not owned by any company in particular. We can open 30-year old TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, MP3 files, there is no reason why we couldn’t open PDF/A 30 years from now. There are dozens of open-source PDF libraries and viewers in so many different programming languages, and t’re not going anywhere. I don’t think we’ll need an emulator, either. Even if Windows and macOS won’t exist anymore, people will just compile and maintain the viewer code. There’s no viable substitute for PDF at the moment. But even if a completely new format emerges, PDF won’t entirely disappear overnight. So you’ll have enough time to convert it to the new format. Just like the new HEIF format didn’t kill JPEG, and H.265 didn’t kill H.264. PDF/A is your best bet for long-term archival. HTML changes all the time, and it doesn’t render in a globally uniform way. DOCX is extremely finicky, even different versions of Word display the same document slightly differently, not to mention OpenOffice / LibreOffice. PDF/A is color-managed, and requires all fonts to be embedded. Even if TrueType fonts disappear in general, t will live for decades inside PDF as embedded subsets. All of the existing open-source applications can easily be maintained even 30 years from now. 50 years is hard to tell, but you’ll have enough time to convert your old files to an equivalent format. On the other hand, magnetic hard drives won’t be around anymore, so you’ll have to copy your files to solid state storage or whatever the mainstream choice of media is at that time.

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  1. Add the document you want to edit — choose any convenient way to do so.
  2. Type, replace, or delete text anywhere in your PDF.
  3. Improve your text’s clarity by annotating it: add sticky notes, comments, or text blogs; black out or highlight the text.
  4. Add fillable fields (name, date, signature, formulas, etc.) to collect information or signatures from the receiving parties quickly.
  5. Assign each field to a specific recipient and set the filling order as you Fill Out PDF.
  6. Prevent third parties from claiming credit for your document by adding a watermark.
  7. Password-protect your PDF with sensitive information.
  8. Notarize documents online or submit your reports.
  9. Save the completed document in any format you need.

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Fill out PDF: All You Need to Know

You can use your old files in PDF/A just as well as in e-book formats. So far, all major technology vendors are backing the standard for the long term. PDF/A might not replace other file formats. But it will be a viable alternative to e-books or other legacy storage systems. In the coming decades, these will be replaced by faster storage options and digital information storage services. The standard is not so much about making PDF/A obsolete as it is about making it more flexible, and more useful. PDF/A is not about a big “e-book revolution.” It is about improving PDF reading experience. It makes it possible to do more, faster, in PDF documents. The standard will allow authors and publishers to improve the reading experience of their e-books, and to make books more easily accessible from everywhere. It will allow anyone using PDF formats to read books.