Friday, July 11, 2008

Week 28 Article 02 - PDFs, The world is talking about these. And now, how you can generate them for free

I still remember the first day when I got introduced to pdfs. Infact it was during my Uni days and I think it would have been one of my assignments that was given out in pdf format. Hardly anyone knew about pdfs or Adobe Acrobat Reader back then but nowadays, referring to pdfs is like referring to a car. Everyone knows what you are talking about(well I do have my doubts about those people that live deep in the amazon)

Anyways, if you have ever wondered, what is good about a pdf compared to a document say generated in word or any other text editing tool, well for starters, the pdf reader (which you can download from Adobe) is available completely free and for different platforms as well. The creator or publisher of the pdf needs to purchase the pdf creator but the viewer doesnt (although adobe has started an online pdf creating site where I think it is free to convert your favorite text formats to pdfs. You can check it out at Adobe If you would like to purchase an offline pdf generator from adobe, you will have to purchase it unfortunately). Secondly, you can restrict permissions of the viewer. A viewer might be able to just view the document but not be able to print it or copy it. A viewer might be restricted from editing the document, as you would want if you are sending out invoices to your clients for example. These are some of the most common reasons you would want to have a pdf instead of a word document for instance.

So how can you get a PDF creator for free? Well there is a non Adobe version that you can download and use. The standard version of this software is free but should you want to upgrade to Professional, you will have to fork out abit of money. The standard version works great for me and is very light footed. After installation, the PDF creator appears as a printer in your Printers and Faxes applet. You can change the output density, along with other attributes of the generated pdf by accessing the properties of this printer. Just print the document you want to put out as a pdf to this printer. You will be prompted for the location where the generated pdf should be kept. Once you have done this, within a few seconds (can take longer depending on the size of the original document), you will be able to get your document in pdf format. I have found the output quality of this software to be very impressive.

Try out this fabulous software by downloading it from CutePDF

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