Converting Documents to a PDF File for FREE Online
They Can’t Open The File? Why Not?
Have you ever had problems emailing documents to other people? The receiver could not open the document. Or the formatting was lost in translation due to different versions of the same program, like Microsoft Word. Or you work from a PC, and your receiver works on a MAC, or visa versa. Well you may have heard about a file format called PDF. PDF is a file format created by Adobe (Acrobat), which simply stated, allows the document to be sent and viewed exactly as you intended.
Most computers come with Adobe Acrobat loaded on your computer. This is the “Reader” part of the program. You may have run across a website that requests you to download the free program in order to view a specific document. Maybe you have even clicked on a document on the web, and your computer has automatically started the program for you to view the document. Adobe Acrobat Reader is a free program that allows you to read documents with the file extension .PDF.
PDF is a great format to use when emailing documents. It will ensure that what you send, is received exactly as you intended. If you have a Microsoft Word program, and your receiver has a slightly different version, (older or newer), you can be certain that the formatting will not be the same. The paragraph spacing may be off, or the fonts will not look the same, or the tabs will be misaligned completely. It can be annoying to say the least, as the receiver will have to take time to reformat the document, if they even know how. If you were emailing your resume to someone, you would not want them to see a skewed crazy looking print out. This is where a .PDF file is perfect for the job. The PDF file literally locks the document so that nothing can be altered by anyone, and it can be viewed by everyone.
You can go to http://www.adobe.com and purchase the program fairly inexpensively. The program can covert a Word (.doc), a web page (.HTML), Power Point (.PPT), Rich Text Format (.rtf). .TIF, .JPG and many others into the desired format .PDF.
Understand that the “Reader” is free and available all over the web, and at http://www.adobe.com. The “Creator” part of the program does require a purchase. If you find yourself sending a lot of documents over the web, then the purchase is a wise move. However, if you are in a pinch, and away from your computer, you can go to http://www.pdfonline.com and convert your documents for FREE!. BCL Technologies provides a Free trial of their program with no catches or hooks or even registration. As they explain on their website, they are doing this for free to promote themselves to companies. They do not retain, use or sell your email address. I have used them for several years now, and have never had any problems or issues. I obviously highly recommend their service.
How to Convert any type of document to a PDF
1. Go to http://www.pdfonline.com, select “Convert to PDF for Free”.
2. Click the “Browse” button, find your document you plan to convert and select it.
3. Type in the title of the filename you wish the document to be saved as in the “Output Filename” box (Do not add any extensions or “dot” anything).
4. Enter your email address you want the document sent to.
5. Your Done! Within a minute you will receive an email with a converted file saved in the .PDF format.
I strongly suggest to review your newly converted .PDF before you send it to anyone. In fact you should print out the new document in order to properly proofread the results. I suggest this as some documents that you may be trying to convert, may need to modified ever so slightly. Sometimes, (very few) during the conversion of a Word document, a line of text may drop down where you did not want it. Or the font may be too small or difficult to read when converted. If any little thing like this should happen, merely go back to the original document and make a slight adjustment, and convert the newly revised document. If for some reason this should happen to you, it only takes a few seconds to tweak, and resubmit. In this case the goal would be to “Tweak twice…Submit Once.”
This has been a lifesaver for me when I have been away from my computer, and I have had clients who were not computer savvy, and could not open what I had sent them. And I have also used this format to send resumes, invoices, layouts and anything else that has to be approved by the client. This is a great way to guarantee what you send, will be seen exactly as you wanted. I don’t know of any other format that can make this claim.
A note about fill-in forms and questionnaires. If you need to send some type of form that requires the receiver to type in information into the .PDF file, you will need to go to Adobe.com and explore the Adobe Acrobat Professional version. The Free PDF conversion from www.pdfonline.com does not allow for fill-in form functions. The Professional version of the Adobe software, allows you to make fill-in types of forms, applications, and questionnaires, without losing any formatting. It is a very professional and clean tool to use if you need to use forms.
And a big Thank You! to BCL Technologies for providing this handy service for FREE!
For more information on Adobe Acrobat family of software go to www.adobe.com
For more information on BCL Technologies and FREE PDF conversion go to www.pdfonline.com
Written by: Colleen Rice Nelson