Have you ever tried to open a file on your computer, but your computer doesn’t recognize the file type or you don’t have the program that created the file? Saving a document or file as a PDF file can easily solve this problem. PDF stands for Portable Document Format and was first created by Adobe. This format was designed so people could create a file that could easily be shared between different computers (PC, MAC, Linux) and operating systems (Windows, Vista, Mac) and it would always look exactly the same. This format is a great way to share digital versions of brochures, posters and other documents with people and it doesn’t require them to buy new software to view it.
Create a PDF using a PC
If you have Microsoft Office 2007 then Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the other Office applications have an option under the “Save As” menu to create a PDF. If you are using an earlier version of Office or want to create a PDF in a different program then you can download a free software program called CutePDF Writer. CutePDF Writer allows you to create a PDF out of anything that can be printed on the computer.
Simply download and install CutePDF Writer on your computer. CutePDF will become one of your printer choices when you go to print a document. After you have installed CutePDF, find a document you would like to save as a PDF. Next act like you are going to print the document and when the computer asks you which printer to use you can select CutePDF Writer from the printer list. Give your file a name and save and you have successfully created a PDF version of your document.
Create a PDF using a Mac
Apple made a deal with Adobe to include PDF creation in every version of Mac OS 10.
Similar to CutePDF Writer you open your document and choose File- Print. On the menu that appears you will see a special button marked PDF. Select this button and choose “Save As PDF.” On the Mac you can even set a password to protect who can access the PDF.
So you might be saying “Wow, this is great! Why don’t we just make every document into a PDF?” There are a few draw backs. Creating PDFs is free but once they are in that format, they can not be edited without purchasing expensive software. Text can be copied and pasted into a new document but the text cannot be changed on the original PDF document. To open any PDF file, including the ones you now know how to make, on both a PC and a Mac users will need a PDF viewer such as Adobe Acrobat or Foxit Reader. Mac computers come pre-loaded with Preview which can read PDF files.