Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to create a pdf of virtually anything

Have you ever visited a website and enjoyed the information you found so much that you wanted to keep a copy of it on your computer? But you didn’t know how to do this so instead you printed it out or maybe you bookmarked the page so that you’d have to revisit the page online?

What happens if you lose your internet connection and you really need this information, but you don’t want to kill additional trees by printing? Well, today I’m going to teach you how to create your own free pdf document.

PrimoPDF software
First you need to visit and download their free software. After you do this, PrimoPDF will display as a printer in your selection of printers associated with your various software programs and in your internet browser.

The next time you want to print something you found online, check to see if there’s an option to select a printer-friendly version. If there is, I highly recommend doing this first, although not necessary for it to work. After that, you will click File, click Print, and then click the drop down arrow next to your default printer and select PrimoPDF.

You will be prompted to name the file, and you can also select the actual pages to print. This comes in handy if there are a lot of pages and you know you only need a few. However, you will probably have to do a print preview first to determine this.

Some people have a hard time wrapping their head around this, but printing to a PDF printer is in effect creating a PDF file on your computer. Basically, it’s saving the file under the name that you give it so that you can find it later in the location where you saved it. You can still choose to print it to a real printer at any time in the future if you so choose.

As I mentioned before, PrimoPDF will also display in your various software programs on your computer. Many people do not realize this, but some software programs—such as Microsoft Word—now come with the basic version of Adobe PDF. With that option, you can either select Save As Adobe PDF or you can select it as a printer and save the file via that route.

The advantage of using PrimoPDF, however, is that if you have previously printed a file so that it is saved on your computer, you can append additional information to this same file.

An example of when this may come in handy is a recurring monthly bill. When you visit your account online in, for example, January and print this file with PrimoPDF, when you visit your account again in February, you can add this statement to the existing document so that what was a one-page document, is now a two-page document. This just makes file storage easier to manage so that you don’t have twelve separate files for review.

I actually have Adobe Acrobat Pro because it came with my Adobe Creative Suite software and there are still times that I prefer to use PrimoPDF. For some reason, I have some issues printing web pages in Firefox with Adobe Acrobat Pro, but PrimoPDF seems to work every time. Just like a lot of things, having more than one option is a great thing.

PrimoPDF also offers a pro version (Nitro Pro) that has features comparable to Adobe Acrobat Pro, but I’ve only used the free version. I do greatly enjoy the ability to delete and move pages in Adobe Acrobat Pro, so if you find you need this option and the Adobe product is outside of your budget, you may want to consider Nitro Pro.

PrimoPDF also allows drag and drop PDF creation. This is a really awesome feature. With a shortcut to PrimoPDF on your desktop—I can only speak to how this works with Windows Explorer—navigate to the file you wish to convert to a pdf. You do not have to open the file, just drag it onto the shortcut and instantaneously a pdf file of the same name will be created for you. Impressive! Even Adobe Acrobat Pro can’t do this.

I hope you will download PrimoPDF immediately, and the next time someone sends you some cut and paste version of what they found on the internet, tell them about it, too.

Question: What is the first thing for which you will you create a pdf?

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