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Monday, 21 January 2013

Portable Document Format (PDF) Files

Everyone is familiar with PDF (Portable Document Format) files because of the free Adobe PDF reader program installed on computers. Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format specification and related software products developed by Adobe. The true benefit of PDF files is that they display and print documents that look exactly the same on all computers. The PDF standard permits people in different locations to work on the same documents. This is essential when I work as a Real Estate agent. Contracts and other legal documents need to be shared among many parties. It is essential that ever party view the documents exactly as do all the other parties to the Real Estate transaction. How can you effectively create and use PDF documents? Read on for the answers. There are many software tools for creating and manipulating PDF documents. Some tools are free tools and others are not. Some important tools are the tools that can create PDF files from Microsoft Word documents. With Word 2007 Microsoft provides a free software add-on that saves the Word and other Office documents as PDF files. This free software can be downloaded from the Microsoft web site. Microsoft Office 2010 has the save as PDF feature built-in. For the 2003 version of Microsoft Office other software is needed to create PDF documents from Office files. One program is Cute PDF Writer. This is a free for personal use program that depends upon Ghostscript software to produce PDF files. Generally, you can find both Cute PDF Writer and the companion Ghostscript programs at the same download location. When you search using these keywords listed in order of importance: "CutePDF Writer download free," you find the link to the CutePDF official site and the links to download the CutePDF Writer software. CutePDF Writer permits any program to print data as a PDF file. Microsoft Office 2003 and earlier can create PDF files by printing to the CutePDF Writer printer. The Open Office GNU (GNU's is Not Unix) General Public License office suite also has the ability to create PDF files. General Public License software is free for everyone to use and is generally very competitive with Microsoft Office Products in performance and features. Open Office opens and works on Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Power Point, and other documents. Then Open Office can save them in a PDF or any of the Office formats you choose. Most scanners also scan and save data as PDF files. In some cases the scanner can create PDF files or JPG images. Later the scanner software can take the JPG images and convert them into PDF files. This is a very useful capability because you can add, delete, and reorder the JPG images and finally convert them into a single PDF file. Cheap Canon all-in-one printer scanners and Fujitsu scanners come with this software. There are other All-In-One (AIO) printers that provide similar functions. Just check the detailed software functions or product reviews to determine what functions are provided. Creating PDF files is a great software feature, but converting PDF files into Microsoft Word DOC files that can be edited by Word is even better. There are PDF to Word conversion programs. Some work well once you understand how to use them. Searching for "PDF to Word converter freeware" leads so sites that convert and email the word document to you or to some newer free PDF to Word conversion software. You may need to look at several links and test a program or two to find an acceptable free program. However, while the converting PDF to Word approach is helpful, editing PDF documents directly is somewhat more effective. PDF editing is performed by Adobe Acrobat which comes with some scanners. Otherwise Acrobat must be purchased. It is not necessary to purchase the latest and greatest version of Acrobat. The version that comes with scanners has sufficient features to perform most PDF document edits. The Acrobat Version 9.0 which accompanies many new scanners has several useful features including: 1. Breaking PDF files into separate files for each page of the document, 2. Re-combining the files into a single document, 3. Rearranging the pages before recombining the pages into a single document, 4. Rotating individual pages or the entire PDF document, 5. Deleting pages from a document, 6. Creating a form from a document that can be completed using a PDF reader program, and more. Creating forms from a PDF document is a terrific feature particularly when you work with many forms from diverse sources. A Real Estate agent uses forms specific to each locality. In Maryland there are specific forms for each county in the state. Additionally, bank foreclosures require different forms for each bank or government agency. Often they are sent as PDF files. The Acrobat forms wizard permits these PDF files to be turned into forms that can be completed using PDF readers on any computer. For a person whose handwriting skills are almost non-existent and whose typing skills are marginally better, this is a real boon. Another useful Acrobat feature is reducing the size of PDF files. It is easy for a 40 plus page PDF document to exceed an e-mail size limit of 10 MB or 16 MB. Acrobat has a file size reduction feature that sometimes solves this problem. When documents are scanned as full color documents they often are large files that cannot be e-mailed. The simple solution is to scan text documents as Black and White documents to reduce the file size. Color documents are the largest size, grey scale documents are smaller, and black and white documents are the smallest size documents. Scanning documents at a resolution of 150 dots per inch (dpi) rather than a resolution of 600 dpi or a 300 dpi reduces the document size helping it fit e-mail size limits. Reading or viewing and printing PDF files is performed using a PDF viewer such as the Acrobat Viewer provided by Adobe or the Foxit Software reader. A search using the keywords: "PDF reader free download" leads to the download locations for Foxit. Wow! This search also shows a new LuLu.com 3D PDF reader. Anything 3D is the current rage with Nerds. This new 3D reader begs to be tested. Freeware always has strings attached that sell something. Sometimes these strings are a polite sales pitch. More commonly free products come with an aggressive sales pitch similar to that used to sell used cars. The sales pitch here is a polite sales pitch. This implies that the Soda 3D PDF viewer is safe software to use on your computer. When you read PDF files with the Soda 3D viewer, they can be viewed as though they are an open book. You turn the 3D pages. It is most impressive. Looks like continued testing of this free 3D viewer using a PDF fill-in-the-blanks form file is in order. The PDF form works! When you work with computers, new technology and products pop up every day. Please pardon my surprise with this new free 3D PDF viewer. It looks good, but using it over an extended time period is the true test. When working with PDF files creating them from MS Word or Excel files is important. However, after the files are created, you need to manipulate them. This means importing pages into a single PDF file, adding pages, deleting pages, and exporting pages. Then turning a PDF file into a fill-in form is essential for many users particularly those that do not write well like myself. Finally tools for reading and printing PDF files are the most essential. Many tools can be found for free, but more serious users may wish to purchase the more advanced PDF editing and manipulation tools. Pete the Nerd "Your Friend on a Technically Challenged Planet©" ©P D Moulton
Pete is the original Dial-A-Nerd (http://www.DialANerd.com). Advertised in the 1990 USA Today classifieds, Dial-A-Nerd concept was created in the late 1980's to provide telephone computer help. Dial-A-Nerd became the Dial-A-Nerd Radio show on WJFK Radio and then the Technically Correct TV Show on WMAR ABC Channel 2 in Baltimore. Pete has worked on computer before the earliest days of personal computers. In his early years working in data communications he personally met some pioneers of the Internet, but he never met Al Gore. Pete wrote several books for Prentice-Hall Publishers including "A+ Certification and PC Repair Guide", "The Telecommunications Survival Guide", and "SOHO Networking." Pete's PC support and troubleshooting experience comes from building and supporting PCs, and training non-technical users to maintain and troubleshoot PCs over the last 30 years. His work continues today and has led to writing and publishing "Pete the Nerd's Do It Yourself Virus Removal" at Amazon.com.
 

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