Celebrating three decades of portable document tech

Jul 12, 2023 at 01:36 am by admin

Is it really 30 years since the introduction of Acrobat?

The portable document format (PDF) which was to be Adobe’s gift to the world, while at the same time remaining a proprietary product has been around a while.

In the days when we at GXpress hated writing about anything we couldn’t understand, I recall a headbanging presentation during which the company’s boffins explained the elements which had evolved from PostScript and other desktop-related technologies.

We know better now, but still like to comprehend the relationship between tech and profit which was the raison d’être of this publication.

And Adobe – one of the core contributors to the desktop publishing revolution – has somehow managed to retain a profitable branded product on which it continues to build, while making PDF intrinsically open-source.

Hence the celebration ads. While the technologies spawned a revolution at every level of the graphic arts and beyond, the money’s still in the “office” as it was when the PostScript page description language was the enabler for Paul Brainerd’s PageMaker and Apple’s Mac and LaserWriter… and eventually Acrobat.

A lighthearted TV commercial, Acrobat's Got It | I Love You, Acrobat, featuring Hasan Minhaj sends the message.

Happy birthday Acrobat!

–Peter Coleman


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