As we discussed yesterday, purchasing software can be very expensive. While for professional reasons, you may need to opt for the full-price deal in some cases, for casual home use, and for the purpose of blogging as a hobby, you may have a free web-based software option. Yesterday, we talked about photo-editing. Today, let's talk about converting documents to .PDFs.
Portable Document Files (.PDFs) were created by Adobe Acrobat several years ago, as way to transfer documents while retaining or protecting the original formatting. A .pdf file maintains and preserves the integrity of the original document when e-mailing or posting to the web. If a document is another application such as Word or Excel, the formatting is often lost between versions of the software and browsers. Also, legal or sensitive documents can be less-easily manipulated using .pdf formatting.
While Adobe provides a free online reader, which allows you to read .pdf documents, if you want to convert your documents to .pdf files using the original Adobe software, you need to be prepared to spend at least $300. Of course, Adobe Acrobat has a lot of other features, too, including file sharing and form creation assistance.
But wait! If all you really need to do is occasionally convert a copy of your resume or a white paper to .pdf format so you can e-mail it or post it to your blog, you might want to try PDF Online (pdfonline.com/convert-pdf). This will convert a Word document (maximum 2MB) to .pdf format for free. You simply upload your document, then receive an e-mailed copy of it after a few minutes. I have used this software several times, and really like how easy it is to use, and how accurate the results have been. You can also convert a .pdf file to a Word document or to an HTML file (for web pages) for free. There's also a free trial (or purchase at $29.00) for a download to convert any Excel, Powerpoint, or Word document to a .pdf file.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.