Adobe Reader 8.1 vs. Xpdf and Evince


Article from Issue 86/2008

The creator of the PDF format, Adobe, has released Adobe Reader 8.1. Does the proprietary display program offer more than free software alternatives Xpdf and Evince?

The Portable Document Format (PDF), based on the PostScript page description language, has established itself as a standard for crossplatform document publishing, and readers are available for any popular operating system. That said, the PDF format is not designed for publishing documents that anyone can read.

Pre-press is another important area in which PDF is deployed. Professional Postscript printers and CTP machines process PDF documents directly, with the use of preflight to check the layout of a PDF document before publishing. The developers of the PDF format, Adobe Systems, had publishers and printing companies in mind when they designed PDF and the Internet was still new.

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