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Turn Your Docs Into PDF Files For FREE

freelance writingPDF stands for Portable Document Format. It was created, according to wikipedia, in 1993 by Adobe.

The goal was to create a way documents could be read by any computer and, for the most part, it’s worked. For a long long time you had to buy Adobe Acrobat to turn your Word docs into a .pdf. It was expensive. Then Adobe offered online conversion – several for free and after that, as I recall, they began to charge.

I’m not sure when it became possible to get cheaper programs than Acrobat to do the conversion. And shortly after that free conversion programs began to be developed and distributed. Of course if you’re writing on a Mac you don’t have to worry about this – it’s already built in.

I actually purchased one of the early versions of Acrobat and used it for years. I probably should have kept it so I could auction it on ebay as an antique.

Today I use PrimoPDF. I find the free version more than I need, but their paid version, which costs less than $1oo, (significantly less than half of what Adobe charges for their ‘standard’ version) includes forms that can be filled out and other wiz-bang features.

It’s easy to do – you simply “print” to PrimoPDF instead of your usual printer and you’re set.

By the way, I no longer use Adobe Reader. I use Foxit’s free viewer. They also have a pdf creator, but it’s not free.

Your list of writing credits and copies of articles you want to use as clips or tear sheets are good suspects for conversion. Keep in mind, however, that if you’re responding to ads, many state they won’t accept email with attachments. PDFs are just one more tool

How do you use PDFs?

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • And just when I wrote a post about free software that’s gotta rock… I read this on your site… I think birds of a feather flock together always!
    Roy Daniel DSilva recently posted..Five Must Have Free Software for the Home OfficeMy Profile

  • It’s built-in to Word and Pages on a Mac. It works with new versions of Word for Windows too (as Eden said).

    If you have URLs in the document, check them to see if they work. When I did an ebook in Word 2004 Mac (never again!) – the “ugly” URLs (http://www.coolsitename….) worked, but the “pretty” ones (cool site name) were broken.

    • suspect the tech is better now… it is on most things.

  • Thanks Anne. I was wondering why I was having problems opening my pdf documents when I tried converting it from Word.

  • I use OpenOffice; and there’s a button on the toolbar that lets you export as a PDF. It’s multi-platform, I believe for all three systems; I used it when I was a Windows person, and it comes with Ubuntu.

    It’s totally free, though, which is my favorite part. 😀
    Ashley Poland recently posted..Welcome!My Profile

    • OpenOffice… haven’t tried that for years… thanks for the reminder.

  • You can chose to publish your documents to PDFs in Word 2007. When you go to save, just change the type of document to PDF.
    Eden Dukeman recently posted..This freedomthat sinMy Profile

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