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In the early 1990s, many users consistently encountered difficulties sharing documents with others, as those documents were more than likely in incompatible formats. Workers at a company that used Word-Perfect could not easily exchange information with other workers at companies that relied on Microsoft Word. Adobe created the Portable Document Format, or PDF, as a solution: While the WordPerfect users could not send an editable document to the Word users, they could at least send one that was readable.

Today, format incompatibility, particularly in office environments using word processors, is much less of a concern, mostly due to the total dominance of the market that Microsoft Word now enjoys. Even still, those few offices (mostly in the legal realm) that use WordPerfect no longer have to worry about incompatibility, because for the most part Word and WordPerfect can now read each other's documents. PDF still has a role to play in those situations, but its primary use today is in protecting documents: The very noneditability that was initially perceived as a drawback to the format is now one of its biggest advantages.


  

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