Monday, March 4, 2013

Tech Tips: Making a PDF

Tech Tips
Issue 14

This Tech Tip will look into making current documents into a sharable format: PDF.  PDFs are the universal means of emailing, uploading, and sharing documents that are intended to be read and not edited. 

What is a PDF?
A PDF, or Portable Document Format, is a file format that provides an image of text and graphics that looks like a printed document and can be viewed, printed, and electronically transmitted.  This is the best way to have parents, students, or others see files as you meant for them to look.  With the huge array of word processing programs out there (Word, Word Perfect, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, OpenOffice, Google Docs, etc.) files are being created every day.  The problem we run into is when you try to send one of these files to another person who does not have the same program (not to mention same version) that you created it in.  Upon opening, if their program allows this to occur, fonts are changed, pictures are moved/resized, links are changed, and information is lost.  Nothing is more frustrating than getting files of importance that you cannot open/read.  In addition there is a huge amount of users who are now reading emails/attachments on mobile devices.  This is where a PDF comes into play.  If a file is converted to PDF, it can be opened on ANY computer, ANY mobile device, in ANY language and it will look like you intended it to look.

So…How do you make a PD?
There are a couple of ways this can be done.  In the newer versions of Microsoft Office (07 & and up) it is an option under “Save As”.  If you are working in Microsoft Office older than 07 you will need a PDF writer installed.  If you are on a school computer, one is already installed (PrimoPDF).  All you need to do is listed below:

1.         Finish your document and save.
2.       Click Print
3.      Choose “printer” PrimoPDF.
4.       A box will come up.  In PDF Settings select  “Screen”
5.      In “Save as” choose a location to save the file (I always choose desktop to move later.
6.      Click “OK”.
7.       Your PDF will open and it will be saved in the location you chose.

Screencast Link here:

Need a PDF Writer for Home?  I use: