Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Creating PDF Documents

PDF's are a form of document that makes sharing very easy. Many people send files in DOC format, but not everyone has (or wants to have) Microsoft Word. Moreover, the format of your document can change when it is opened on someone else's computer depending upon their fonts, print settings etc. On the other hand, a PDF is like a scan or photo of a document, it looks the same on every machine or device, is very efficient, and generally allows you to cut and paste the text.

PDF's are usually viewed using a free program called Adobe Reader, although it is an open standard format and read by many programs. However, not all programs allow you to save a document as a PDF.

On a Mac, you can just use Preview to "Save as" or when you Print, select PDF. But if you're unlucky enough to use a PC then your options are more limited.

One of my favorite little programs that I've used for years is called CutePDF. Once you've installed it, it creates a Print Queue called CutePDF. Whenever you want to create a PDF file just print your document selecting this print queue. You will then be prompted to select a location and filename. Voila, you're done.

To get this program, visit CutePDF and download your free version (you don't need the Pro version and if it prompts you, uncheck the option to install a browser toolbar, you don't want that either).

If you want to save websites or documents as PDF's (e.g. recipes) from a smartphone, it's a little more complicated. You'll need an app such as PDF Printer. It's pretty cool and can convert documents, photos, and web pages, but it's not free ($5.99 from the App Store).

Happy PDF'ing.