Save as PDF in Microsoft Office
Over the years, Microsoft Office has grown in sophistication. Each major component has its own file format (*.doc,*.xls,*.ppt) but these are not fully fledged publication formats. Over the years, the Acrobat format has become the publishing format of choice. It offers much greater control over access rights, it practically guarantees that the document is seen by the reader in the format that you intend as the publisher, and the reader software is available on almost every computer, including non-PC platforms such as Mac and Linux.
In more recent years, it has become the publication medium of choice first on the Web within browsers and more recently on mobile platforms such as smartphones, including the iPhone and iPod touch platforms. Most recently, the Acrobat format has become a lingua franca for new platforms such as eBook Readers and on-screen publishing applications such as issue.com.
In the build up to the release of Microsoft Office 2007, open source alternatives such as OpenOffice version 2 offered the ability to generate Acrobat files direct from either their own file formats or Microsoft Office 2003 formats. At launch, Microsoft Office 2007 offered a free downloadable add-in to allow the generation of Acrobat files.
Although this was a full-blown integration of Acrobat files, it was one of the developments viewed positively in what was otherwise a controversial release not least because of its use of new file formats that were incompatible with both previous Microsoft Office file formats and previous open formats. The PDF file format was offered as an alternative file format, but there was no apparent recognition of the different demands of the Acrobat format as a publication medium rather than a document file format.