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PDF Anything!

December 1st, 2009 by Carol L. Smith
Using PDF995

Contributed by Courtney Hime ’09 and Emily Riggs ’11

The wait for large file downloads is now over! The HelpDesk Downloads page offers a quick and easy way to convert any document into a PDF file. Why is it beneficial to convert a document to a PDF? PDF stands for portable document format. Saving a document as a PDF file embeds all the formatting of your original file in a new document that can be read by anyone who has a copy of Adobe Reader, a free application also available through the HelpDesk Downloads page. As long as your viewers have a current version of Adobe Reader, they will be able to see exactly what you sent them whether or not they have the software with which you created the original document. Therefore, if you’ve created a document in MS Word, but your colleague or friend does not have MS Word, sharing it as a PDF file allows them to view the document. Or, perhaps your document uses a fancy font that isn’t on your recipients’ computers. Because the font is embedded in the PDF file, they can see what the document actually looks like.

Converting larger files to PDF (such as ones including images and graphics), provides another benefit. Converting these documents to PDF condenses the file size and makes them easier to transmit via e-mail. This not only allows for faster exchanges over the internet, but also saves memory on your computer.

The HelpDesk recommends downloading PDF995, which is a freeware tool that facilitates this conversion. The converter is downloaded as a print driver, so you can convert to PDF directly from your print menu dialog box. The video below gives instructions on how to download and use the converter.

Installing and using PDF995 (2.5MB – requires Flash player)

“Save as PDF” in Microsoft Office 2007

Contributed by David Diedriech, Instructional & Learning Services

Another option for saving PDF files exists for users of Office 2007. Microsoft supplies an add-in that allows you to save Word, Excel and PowerPoint files as PDF’s. In order to install this add-in, you will need to download it from Microsoft’s website. You can find it at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4d951911-3e7e-4ae6-b059-a2e79ed87041&displaylang=en. Once you have downloaded and installed the add-in, you can save any Office document as a PDF by clicking on the Office button in the upper left, scrolling down to Save As, and then selecting “Save as PDF or XPS” from the menu.

Please note: when the Save As dialog box appears, be sure to click on the down arrow next to Save As Type and select PDF.