What you see is what you get! Don’t you wish that were always true especially when you are emailing a document to someone who may be receiving it into a different email system, using different software and maybe even having a completely different type of computer (MAC vs. PC for example)?
One of my clients was emailing her traditional Christmas Newsletter to family and friends and started getting feedback from some that the pictures were misplaced or incorrectly sized and the whole process seemed to be badly confused. She was sending the newsletter in the form of a Word document and not all the recipients had the same version of Word installed and some didn’t use word at all. What was she to do?
One easy and elegant solution is to convert the document to a PDF file, short for Portable Document Format. Adobe Systems invented this format about 17 years ago and it has become the global standard for capturing and transmitting all kinds of computer information so that it can be shared by virtually anyone, anywhere on any kind of computer system. Individuals, businesses and even governments use PDF to share and encrypt information. A properly prepared PDF will maintain the original fonts, images, graphics as well as the exact layout of the file (think of it as an electronic image or snapshot). It was developed as an open standard and is available for development by others outside of Adobe Systems.
Most computer systems have some sort of PDF reading software installed whether it be a version of Acrobat Reader (by Adobe Systems) or some other software like the Foxit Reader that I have recommended in a previous column. Adobe Reader and others are available as free downloads from the owners sites as a well as download sites like filehippo.com. (More about Download Sites next week).
All my client needed was software to convert her Word document to PDF since she could assume that all who read her letter would have the capability to read a PDF. I have been using a free PDF converter called PrimoPDF for 10 or more years and highly recommend it to my readers. There are many other free ones available but PrimoPDF has a long track record and has logged about twenty million downloads worldwide.
PrimoPDF can convert documents like Word, WordPerfect and Open Office Writer as well as Excel and graphics formats like JPEG, PNG and GIF. Most any format you can print can be converted by PrimoPDF.
A new and neat function of PrimoPDF is that you can drag and drop files to its desktop icon and they are converted in one easy step. The PDF is automatically stored in the same folder as your original document, with the same name and the file extension .pdf. Get PrimoPDF and take charge of your document sharing for good!