HOW TO EASILY CREATE AND MANAGE PDF DOCUMENTS

Recently several of my clients have come to me for assistance in converting their documents to a pdf format. Pdf documents (Portable Document Format) are the most widely recognized and secure form of electronic documents for reliable storage, sharing and distribution.  You’ll be pleased to know that it’s simple to create and manage pdf documents without any expensive software or special technical skills.

Pdf files can be easily created simply by converting a document that originates in Word, Publisher, Excel, or virtually any other Windows based document creation or graphic design  program. 

ONLINE FILE CONVERSION
For occasional file conversion that’s quick and easy without any registration or download required, try  http://www.zamzar.com/ OR http://www.freepdfconvert.com/#.  Each site supports dozens of file formats, so you should be able to accomplish exactly what you need with very little effort.

LOCAL FILE CONVERSION
There may be times that you need to create a pdf and don’t have access to the internet. That’s when having a conversion program downloaded on your hard drive comes in really handy. For this purpose I recommend either the free or paid version (depending on your technical needs and abilities) ofwww.cutepdf.com Once downloaded, this program is installed as a printer subsystem, allowing your files to instantly be converted into professional quality pdf documents.   Another more powerful option is www.nitroreader.com.  Nitro Reader installs on your hard drive as well, and includes the added ability to create fillable pdf forms. You can even insert an image of your signature to ‘digitally sign’ any pdf document. 

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT
The task of editing pdf documents can be a bit more entailed, but we’ll start with the simplest forms of editing first. 

Splitting and Merging pdf Documents -  Occasionally you may find that you need to combine two pdf documents or split one file into two or more documents. This couldn’t be easier. Simply upload the file(s) to eitherwww.SplitPdf.com or www.pdfmerge.comand follow the simple instructions. The new document(s) are downloaded right to your computer in seconds. 

Text Editing - If you need to actually edit the text of a pdf, and you don’t have access to a more advanced program such as Adobe Acrobat Writer there are a couple of alternatives. If your document is comprised of text only, you have the option to convert it to an editable Word document (www.zamzar.com mentioned above can do this), however don’t be surprised if you find you need to reformat a good portion of the document before reconverting back to pdf.Pdfescape is a fantastic tool that allows you to hide portions of text and add notes and annotations. Another very popular, free alternative is OpenOffice Draw with thePDFImport extensionThis program allows you to make inline editing changes to fix typos or make changes like replacing color, increasing or decreasing the text size, changing fonts, etc.

So you see, pdf documents are not a product of some mystical, advanced design system. Anyone can create them. And once you start using pdfs on a regular basis you’ll continue to find new ways to take your file management capabilities beyond what you had imagined.  What are some beneficial or creative ways that you have used pdf documents for your business?

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Progressive Business Solutions is owned by Carol M. Aldridge, an Administrative Consultant & Support Specialist with 25 years experience in small business management. For additional articles and information, visit: www.ProgressiveBusinessSolutions.net.

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