Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Creating PDF files

Portable Document Format, or PDF is a file format created by Adobe Systems early in the last decade to help save documents.

As for casual users like us, PDF is a good way to archive our documents, whether it is a web page, reports, spreadsheets, and presentations. I usually use the format to archive web pages because it will only create one complete file instead of creating a html page with an accompanying folder as with the "save" option. A PDF file will also retain it's looks wherever it is viewed on, which is important for obvious reasons. We won't want our documents to change it's looks and formating when we take them out for printing (disasterous when your hard created 100 page thesis gets skewed at the printing shop :P, happens with Word files all the time).

To create PDF files, we will first need to install a PDF creation software, a popular one is the PDF Creator. There is of course the allmighty Adobe Acrobat Professional, but the software is usually out of our (wallet's) reach. Mac OSX users are lucky because they will have PDF creation capabilites built into the operating system. Install the related software and you will notice a new "printer" installed into your system. This is the main way to create PDF files, you "print" them.

To create a PDF file, open the "print" dialog from the related document that you are working on and select the PDF printer. Note that the name of the printer will differ by software. It will be known as PDF Creator if that is the software installed. For Mac OSX users, click on the PDF button (shown to the left) from the print dialog to do the same thing. Click on ok and you will get a "save" dialog.

From the save dialog you can save your to-be-created PDF file to anywhere in your system. Save it and (usually) the PDF file will open by itself in your PDF reader program (My favourite PDF reader software remains Foxit Reader).

That's all for today's guide. Till next time ;)



  1. Hmm... means must install another software to create .pdf files?

  2. Yeah, the botched printing has definitely happened before...once we didn't even have time to salvage our report (for a group project), so we had to hand up the "spoilt" version.

    Besides, I like Foxit Reader too! ^_^

  3. @ Day-dreamer: for windows users, yes
    @ WP: ouch :P that is not too good hehe

  4. Duh. To create PDF file now is alot easier if you use genuine microsoft vista with office 2007.

    use the microsoft words then save directly as PDF.

    Owh,at least that's what me and my frens do for our assignments.


    Share some photos about Xmas in German!!!! Heard that it's alot fun there~~~

  5. @Xon: well, with a pdf printer you can print pdf files systemwide as well, not only MS Office