How to: Create a PDF

If you don’t already have a PDF creator on your computer, this simple installation will make such a difference in your professional, and non-professional, life. You can should use PDFs to send any documentation, rather than sending by an editable application. Sending by PDF insures that no wording will be edited and all formating will remain.

Sending as a PDF is ideal for forms (so if you’re planning a PTO function or need to create an enrollment form, the extra half-step will save your formatting, meaning you won’t have to worry about page breaks, line breaks and margins flustering when your file is re-opened on someone else’s computer.

Teachers should PDF every classroom worksheet and paper they create. Again, your margins, line breaks and page breaks will stay the same, no matter what computer opens it. And there’s no chance your copy center will accidentally delete something from your worksheet.

Bloggers, marketers, business people should use PDFs for documents as well. Not only can they not be doctored, but the presentation is much more professional.

Creating a PDF is simple.

  • On a PC, go to the CutePDF website and install the freeware (its free and takes just a few seconds.)
  • Select and open the file that you want to PDF (this works with every printable software I’ve tried it with, including webpages)
  • Select Print (not the auto-print, but Print so that the print control box opens. Its best to open on your toolbar but clicking File, Print or on your keyboard by hitting Ctrl+P.)
  • Under Printer: Name, use the drop-down menu to select CutePDF Writer.
  • This will open a Save As file. Name and save as you would a regular file. Make sure you also do a Save As so that you are able to edit the original when you need to. Remember, a PDF is uneditable.
  • When you open the PDF to view it, open directly through the document folder where it is saved, not as a file in the original software. For example, if you originally created the file in Microsoft Word, do not open the PDF in Word, as it will not read correctly and you’ll see coding instead of your file.

And you’re done!

Sidenote: I was shocked to hear that a friend who was looking for a job was recently informed that many companies do not accept PDFs and request the resumes only in Word. I really am not understanding this. PDFs freeze your formatting and make it so that you can send any version of a file to be read, even if the receiver does not have the same software on his computer. Anyone have any insight on why a company wouldn’t accept a PDF resume?

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mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel (jewelryverse.com) and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2010, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.

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