Portable Document Format (PDF) is a popular file format for providing government information online. PDF was created by Adobe Systems as a proprietary format in 1993 and released as an open standard in 2008. In the past, many Australian Government websites have simply linked to Adobe’s own Adobe Reader product and provided no alternatives when advising website visitors on how to access PDF files.

Why should I?

Since the release of PDF as an open standard, a number of non-Adobe PDF readers have become available to the public. In the interest of supporting the wider market, it is appropriate that Australian Government agencies should make the public aware of alternatives available to them.

What should I do?

Wikipedia has a list of PDF Viewers (Readers). Agencies may choose to link to this page instead of the Adobe Reader website when providing information to the public on how to access PDF documents.

The Web Guide provides advice regarding the accessibility of PDF documents; agencies have an obligation to make their PDF documents accessible.

Last Reviewed: 2012-09-07