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PDF Files

Sooner or later, almost everyone with a personal computer encounters PDF (portable document format) files. Many a software manual, Read Me file, and downloadable “white paper” comes in this format. Until recently, you needed the free program called Acrobat Reader if you hoped to open or print these files. Windows users still do.

PDF files, however, are one of Mac OS X’s common forms of currency. In fact, you can turn any document (in any program with a Print command) into a PDF file—a trick that once required the $250 program called Adobe Acrobat Distiller. (Maybe Apple should advertise: “Buy Acrobat for $250, get Mac OS X free—and $120 cash back!”)

But why would you want to do so? What’s the big deal about PDF in Mac OS X? Consider these advantages:


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