Friday, December 11, 2009

Working with PDF files

For those who work on PDF documents, here are some useful tips. Creating PDF files or converting files of almost any extension to PDF files can be easily done with freely download-able tools or even using free online tools. Also refer my earlier post on "Extracting text from scanned documents and copy protected pdfs".

Creating PDF files/ Converting files to PDF
PDF files comes in handy, when you don't want someone to edit a file (say a Word document) that you have shared. You can use free tools such as Cute PDF Writer or Primo PDF Writer for creating PDF files or for converting files of almost any extension to PDF files. These tools are installed as a printer and can be chosen for printing the file. The output will be a PDF document of the file.

The steps to be followed are simple:
  1. Download and install the PDF writer
  2. Print the document (when asked to chose the printer, select the PDF writer, instead of the regular printer, and then select the location to save the printed file)
  3. Open/ view the PDF document from the saved location
Converting to PDF files is also useful, when the Word document or Powerpoint file is heavy (with pictures, etc.). These files when converted to PDF files, becomes light in file size and can easily be shared/ sent as email. Web pages can also be converted to PDF files using the same method.

Online tools such as Express PDF and Nitro PDF can convert any file to PDF files without installing any tools. There are also browser add-ons that can convert HTML pages to PDF files from the browser itself.

Extracting few pages out of a bigger PDF file
This is yet another problem, when all that you need is 1 or 2 pages out of a 200 page PDF. Here again the best option is to print the required pages using PDF writer. You need to select only the required pages and print the PDF file. It will create a new PDF file with just the selected pages.

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