Simple Options for Creating PDFs
  • Simple Options for Creating PDFs

    Anyone working in today’s environment will have opened many PDF files from email attachments or downloaded from the Internet. PDFs can be opened on any computer using Adobe’s free PDF reader software Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is most likely already on your computer. Reading a PDF is effortless, but what about you want to create one? You might want to create a PDF to distribute a document while making sure no one edits your work. Small file size is another reason to create a PDF. A PDF is usually smaller than the same document would be in Microsoft Word. The process for creating a PDF is different than you might expect, but it’s easy and there are a few different methods depending on what operating system and software you’re using.

    You can create a PDF out of just about anything that is printable, including pages from the Internet. You can convert any file into PDF using familiar software such as Microsoft Word or Publisher, software from the Open Office suite, or Apple’s iWork software to name a few. You can create a PDF by printing to PDF. This may sound strange since printing usually involves creating hard copies of documents on the tray of a printer. It may help if you think about a PDF as a “digital hard copy.” If you created a document, spreadsheet, or presentation, The PDF is the final draft of your work. But, instead of distributing it the old fashioned way, you can distribute it electronically.

    A handy example of printing to PDF is anytime you need to keep a record of something you see on the internet, like a page indicating your receipt for a recent purchase.  Instead of printing the receipt on paper, you can opt to print it as a PDF and keep a digital copy on your designated hard drive.  It is much easier to keep a digital folder of receipts than just a paper folder.

    Adobe Acrobat Professional
    Adobe Acrobat Professional
    (Acrobat Pro) allows you to not only create PDFs but also offers tools for doing more with your PDFs such creating PDF forms. The software is powerful, but expensive. If you have Acrobat Pro installed on your computer, you can easily print to PDF. When you are finished with the document you want to turn into a PDF, go to the File menu and then select Print, or you may “save as” a PDF. (If you are using Microsoft Office 2007, you will go to the Office menu instead.) You will see the usual screen with printer options, including selecting a printer from the drop-down menu. From the drop down menu select “Adobe PDF” and choose where you want to save your PDF. Then click Save. It will take a few seconds or longer to create the PDF depending on the size of your document. When the PDF is created, it will open in Acrobat Pro. If you choose to “save as” a PDF, you will be prompted for a PDF file name similar to printing in PDF.

    Printing to PDF using CutePDF works the same way as using Acrobat Pro. CutePDF is a free application that can be downloaded from the Internet. (NoteAlways check with your Systems Administrator before downloading software from the Internet.) If you are a HouseCall client, CutePDF should already be installed on your computer. When you’re ready, go to the File or Office menu and then select Print. The printer options screen will appear, including a drop-down menu of the printers installed on your PC. From the drop down menu, select “CutePDF Writer” and choose where you want to save your PDF. Then click Save. It will take a few seconds or longer to create the PDF depending on the size of your document. When the PDF is created, you will find it in the folder you selected.

    Office 2007
    With Microsoft Office 2007 installed on your computer you can create PDFs from your Office files using an extension that you can download and install here. Once the extension is installed, creating a PDF from your Office 2007 document is easy. Just go to the Office menu and go to Save As and select Save As PDF or XPS. Select the folder where you would like to save the PDF. Make sure the Save as Type is set to PDF. Click Publish. Your new PDF will automatically open in your default PDF viewer, most likely Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    Mac OS X
    If you use a Mac and have OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or later (this includes Leopard and Snow Leopard) you do not need any additional software to create PDFs. With the document you want to turn into a PDF open, simply go to the File menu and select Print. A window with options will appear. Click the button labeled PDF in the lower left hand corner. From the drop down menu click Save as PDF. Choose where you want to save your PDF and click save. You will find the PDF in the folder you selected.

    Going Green: The more you accomplish your goals by just printing PDF, the less paper you will consume.

    If you have any questions or if you are interested in any of the software mentioned feel free to contact your HouseCall Systems Administrator.