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Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?

JohnInKansas 09 Aug 06 - 06:58 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Aug 06 - 07:09 PM
Sorcha 09 Aug 06 - 08:13 PM
Howard Kaplan 09 Aug 06 - 08:20 PM
Amos 09 Aug 06 - 08:57 PM
Nick 09 Aug 06 - 10:01 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Aug 06 - 11:53 PM
Acme 10 Aug 06 - 12:12 AM
JohnInKansas 10 Aug 06 - 12:12 AM
The Fooles Troupe 10 Aug 06 - 12:12 AM
Richard Bridge 10 Aug 06 - 02:47 AM
JesseW 10 Aug 06 - 03:27 AM
Paul Burke 10 Aug 06 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,Elfcall 10 Aug 06 - 03:40 AM
JohnInKansas 10 Aug 06 - 05:11 AM
Howard Kaplan 10 Aug 06 - 08:21 AM
The Fooles Troupe 10 Aug 06 - 08:32 AM
EBarnacle 10 Aug 06 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 10 Aug 06 - 01:43 PM
Snuffy 11 Aug 06 - 08:18 AM
JohnInKansas 11 Aug 06 - 04:57 PM
JesseW 16 Aug 06 - 01:31 AM
Bert 16 Aug 06 - 01:39 AM
JohnInKansas 16 Aug 06 - 03:25 AM
Bert 16 Aug 06 - 03:36 AM
JesseW 16 Aug 06 - 03:37 AM
katlaughing 07 Oct 08 - 12:34 PM
Paul Burke 07 Oct 08 - 12:50 PM
Bill D 07 Oct 08 - 12:52 PM
katlaughing 07 Oct 08 - 01:09 PM
M.Ted 07 Oct 08 - 01:35 PM
katlaughing 07 Oct 08 - 03:30 PM
Bernard 08 Oct 08 - 10:00 AM
katlaughing 08 Oct 08 - 11:24 AM
MMario 08 Oct 08 - 11:38 AM
JohnInKansas 08 Oct 08 - 12:00 PM
MMario 08 Oct 08 - 12:18 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Oct 08 - 12:48 PM
treewind 08 Oct 08 - 12:59 PM
katlaughing 08 Oct 08 - 03:18 PM
Bainbo 09 Oct 08 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,cStu 09 Oct 08 - 06:16 PM
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Subject: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 06:58 PM

A newsletter link to DL.TV probably was intended mostly to advertise a new(?) Ziff-Davis (publishers) site. They headlined a video about something called "Nabaztag, the WiFi Technobunny" but my connection's too slow to look at it. (And I don't think I'd be interested.)

What was more interesting, perhaps for some of our guys and gals, was a set of links to three separate free PDF makers. It appears that they ran a user survey, and these three came out on top.

Reported as a "favorite:" CutePDF Writer

Create PDF documents on the fly — for Free!
Portable Document Format (PDF) is the de facto standard for the secure and reliable distribution and exchange of electronic documents and forms around the world. CutePDF Writer (formerly CutePDF Printer) is the free version of commercial PDF creation software. CutePDF Writer installs itself as a "printer subsystem". This enables virtually any Windows applications (must be able to print) to create professional quality PDF documents - with just a push of a button!
FREE for personal and commercial use! No watermarks! No Popup Web Ads!


Free Download (Ver. 2.6; 1.96 MB) (link at the above page)

Requires PS2PDF converter such as Ghostscript (recommended).
You can get the free GPL Ghostscript 8.15: Free Converter (GPLGS8.15; 5.01 MB) at a the above page


Also Available by link from above page:
CutePDF Writer Companion
Easy-to-use PDF utility for Free!

"CutePDF Writer Companion is a powerful add-on to our award-winning free CutePDF Writer providing must have features including merge/split, security, doc info, stamp and page tools. This free PDF tool can also be used alone for processing your existing PDF documents. "
Free Download (Version: 2.61; Size: 2.10 MB)
Please read note below and then click Free Download to download the software.
This free download bundles with WhenU Save, the only software that provides you with the relevant coupons and ads you want. WhenU Save is not spyware and strictly protects your privacy. WhenU.com, Inc also provides full customer support for its programs.
Besides, WhenU Save can be removed entirely at anytime from Add/Remove programs.
If you don't like the ideal of free software being supported by ads, you may try our CutePDF Professional instead.   


PDF Creator from SoundForge, is another free .pdf maker that acts just like a printer, but lets you "print" a .pdf file on your machine from Windows program (that prints).

Primo PDF is a third free .pdf maker, quite similar. It does indicate some additional "security features" that were not mentioned by the two above, although they may have just omitted discussion. This one has a separate version specifically for Win98 users.

If you might have a need to create .pdf documents, this would be a good chance to try and compare a couple of freeby programs. Ziff-Davis publications are generally "trustable," even if you don't agree with their philosopies.

Note though that I have NOT tried any of these programs, so I can't offer any opinion on how they work, which is best, or on how they compare to the Adobe pdf programs I use.

In other news that probably should be in the BS section (Start your own thread if you need to discuss?):

Apple introduced a couple of really great looking new computers this week. Apple stock immediately dropped a couple of bucks. Apparently the investors would have preferred a new iPod or something else with "commercial appeal." The new Apple machines do look extremely good. (??)

And AOL Screws Up Again with release of data on AOL user searches. People Angry. AOL Apologizes.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 07:09 PM

What about free stuff that lets you crack pdf files and (for example) recover the word docuemnt behind it in order to edit it? That would be really handy...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Sorcha
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 08:13 PM

No.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Howard Kaplan
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 08:20 PM

In response to JohnInKansas, I have tried several Windows .pdf makers in addition to Adobe Acrobat. I have generally found Acrobat better than all of the alternatives, so I'm sticking with it for my work. Here are some of the things interested people might look out for if testing an alternative; Acrobat does all of these right:

1. If a graphic is in the original document is a metafile (an image that can be scaled arbitrarily large without "jaggies", in the same way that a TrueType font can), some alternatives convert it to a bitmap in the process of making the .pdf. This makes the image scale poorly.

2. One alternative retains the scalability, but it doesn't quite retain the proper spacing between adjacent straight lines. I was testing it for music printing, where my notation software sometimes represents a thick line as two parallel thin ones when it exports the notation as a metafile. Adobe Acrobat retains no separation between them in the output file, but the alternative separates the lines slightly.

3. Some alternatives don't even retain text as characters associated with a font; instead, they render the text to a bitmap which is then hard to scale properly.

I suspect that some implementations set as their only goal the ability to produce a decent hardcopy image at the original scale on a 600 DPI or 720 DPI printer. The Adobe Acrobat implementation is more ambitious about scaling up or down, which is something I care about; I'm sure it's also more ambitious in other ways I haven't tested.

In response to Richard Bridge, the free Acrobat Reader 7 can copy the entire document to the clipboard as text with some associated font information. The text has annoying hard line breaks in it, but those are easy to eliminate. Note, however, that some documents may have security settings preventing such export. Also note that the order in which sections appear in the clipboard may not match the logical order of the document. One example of this problem occurs with the .pdf version of the complete lyrics to the Berrymans' recent Some Days CD, where the songwriters needed to do some creative reallocation of page real estate to fit all the songs onto 4 sides of standard paper. This works just fine for printing as intended, but I wanted to extract the lyrics and reprint them in a CD-booklet format, and the extracted file required some work to reconstruct the individual songs as intact entities.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Amos
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 08:57 PM

I've never had a problem using Acrobat or built in print extensions tomake PDFs.
In earlier times we used Acrobat distiller on file-printed PostScript, but that routine has been automated now.

A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Nick
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 10:01 PM

PDF 995


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 11:53 PM

I'll agree with Howard K that Adobe does it best. We don't have the high priced versions that do everything; but have the "Adobe Basic" which meets our needs. ((It's not free.))

In partial reply to Richard Bridge - a PDF file records only how a document appears when printed. The same document could be printed identically from many different programs, and the PDF file doesn't care or know where the original document came from. All it knows, and the only information it contains, is where the dots are.

There are "converter" programs that can produce a Word document, or another program might produce a Wordperfect document, or an Excel spreadsheet, or a Project or Power Point presentation – all from the same PDF document. None of these is likely to closely resemble the original "document" that produced the input to the PDF creation.

Most such programs, so far as ones I've seen, work badly; although they may be good enough for some uses. You can copy the text and images from most PDF files and paste them into any program you wish, and do about as good a job as most of the converters I've looked at. There probably are better ones around; but I'd expect them to be more expensive than what I've checked.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Acme
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 12:12 AM

Adobe does it best but you have to cough up a heckuva lot of money to do it Adobe's way. PDF995 isn't seamless, but it works pretty well. I had to keep downloading new little programs to do this and that to finally get the whole thing. I do find, however, that my workplace can buy a double license for me to use Adobe on my work and home computer (I telecommute). I'm going to pursue that because as was pointed out, Adobe set the standard and there are some things they do best. I can do without them, but if I don't have to, I won't.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 12:12 AM

A very minor quibble with Harold K:

If a graphic is in the original document is a metafile (an image that can be scaled arbitrarily large without "jaggies",

A METAFILE is a file that can or does contain information in more than one format.

The "image that can be scaled arbitrarily large without jaggies" usually is a VECTOR GRAPHIC file, and does not necessarily have to be a metafile.

Since many printers and monitors cannot handle vector graphics, nearly all VECTOR GRAPHIC file formats allow an embedded "preview bitmap" for use by monitors and printers that are not vector capable, while the vector graphic portion of the file, when present, can be used by printers and monitors (and programs) with that capability. It is the presence of information in a second format that makes a file a "metafile."

Some TIFF files (there are at least 7 common specifications for TIFF) can have an embedded BMP preview. This makes them metafiles, but doesn't make them any more scalable than other raster-graphic files.

Since the purpose of a PDF file is to make a document visible and printable on all kinds of machines, a PDF file always contains a "bitmap" (rasterized) representation of the document. It should always contain a vector graphic representation of the document. Thus, quite obviously, a PDF is itself intended to be a METAFILE format.

Since all printers and monitors generally can use the "bitmap part," but only PostScript printers for the most part can use the vector part, a simplified converter might discard the vector part, which would prevent scaling over any very wide range. Discarding the vector part, which is usually quite large compared to the rasterized page image, may also be done to make a PDF more "web friendly" by reducing the file size.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 12:12 AM

My main interest with PDF files is trying to read them. The original PDF readers consume huge resources - there are a multitude of free (and that consume tiny amounts of resources) ones that allow me to see what's in them. The hassle can then be that some of these 'readers' can't handle the printing very well, or don't allow 'cut and paste'.

Frankly, I think PDF is an over engineered expensive 'standard' - mostly all I want can be handled by a simple ASCII text file, or as a simple RTF file.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 02:47 AM

There is more than one paid for product that claims to be able to generate a word file from a text in .pdf.


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Subject: RTF is nothing close to "simple" ;-)
From: JesseW
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 03:27 AM

While I deeply sympathize with Foolestroupe about how plain text, maybe with a "simple" formatting commands, is plenty for a vast array of uses, I must correct the claim that the words "RTF" and "simple" could go together.

RTF is basically Microsoft Word format, but slightly more structured than Word native format. It has no published standard (although there are various semi-official docs about various versions of it available); from this, support for it in different programs varies highly, and it's not even close to easy to parse it fully. If anyone is interested, or wants to challaenge me on this, I'll dredge up some citations and URLs.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 03:37 AM

Open Office 2 has a built in "export PDF" option. Open office is free, too, if you have broadband for the huge download.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: GUEST,Elfcall
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 03:40 AM

I have used Scansoft's (now Nuance I think) PDF converter to convert PDF to word documents - Not bad - has its glitches but I have managed to convert Legal Services Commission forms with it (with a little tidying up afterwards. It is not cheap though - £50 +

Elfcall


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 05:11 AM

Richard -

Your original request was -

recover the word docuemnt behind it in order to edit it?

The point here is that recovering an original document and making a new document from a PDF are two different things.

You cannot, in general, recover or even re-create the original document, even assuming that you know that it was a Word or Wordperfect document to begin with. A whole bunch of stuff in the document gets "interpreted" and the original document input thrown away when the PDF is created.

As an example, you don't know, and cannot determine from the PDF whether an indent in the original was is in a paragraph format, a tab, a series of spaces, a paragraph style, a margin change, or the result of placing part of the text in a text box or a frame. All the PDF knows is that the line starts at a specific place in page coordinates.

The original document may have had "variables" that were filled in from information in a whole bunch of external files. The PDF cannot even tell you that a particular item is a linked item or a field result. It can only incorporate the current value of the item at the time of the PDF creation.

It is relatively easy to create a new document that will print something that looks like what the PDF prints. You can also create a new spreadsheet in Excel that prints something that looks like what the PDF prints, or a new html doc that displays on the web just like the PDF looks. You cannot "back engineer" your way to re-create the original document, because the information to do so is not contained in the PDF file.

With newer versions of the Adobe PDF maker, the person who does the conversion can allow persons reading the file, using only the Adobe Reader to insert comments, and in some cases to "edit" to make corrections or changes. With older versions, only persons who used one of the more advanced Adobe programs could do these things. In most cases a PDF is used specifically to prevent readers from changing it, so the edit feature is seldom turned on except for members of a production group.

There are a lot of programs that can produce a document in another program that will "look like" the PDF. Some of them do a fair job, and some are rather disappointing. This is a much different thing than "extracting the original file," which is what you asked about.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Howard Kaplan
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 08:21 AM

I would like to respond to two different messages from JohnInKansas, clarifying some minor details that both he and I will find fascinating but which may exceed the trivia threshold of some other readers.

First, he wrote that "All it knows, and the only information it contains, is where the dots are." This is an oversimplification. A pdf document produced by Adobe knows where the characters are, and it knows in what fonts they are intended to be represented. It is the existence of the original characters as characters, not as their dot representation, that allows text to be extracted from a .pdf for pasting into other formats.

Second, he wrote that I was confusing "metafile" with "vector graphics". In the Windows world, "metafile" generally means either "Windows Metafile" (wmf) or "Enhanced Metafile" (emf). According to the Wikipedia, both wmf and emf are essentially vector graphics formats which also allow the optional inclusion of raster (bitmap) graphics. In this context, "vector graphics" does not mean only geometric shapes such as circles and squares but also text renderable by a TrueType font, where the characters are defined by shapes such as lines and curves. I agree that the term "metafile" could be used more generally, but I am rarely aware of such usage under Windows.

I also disagree with the assertion 'Discarding the vector part, which is usually quite large compared to the rasterized page image, may also be done to make a PDF more "web friendly" by reducing the file size.' A pdf document may assume that common fonts, such as Arial, are present on the displaying/printing device, or it may embed the definition of every font in the document. In either case, but especially in the former case, the pdf representation should be considerably more compact than the bitmap representation. To define the shape of the letter "e" once and then represent it evermore as an 8-bit character is more efficient than to repeat the shape every time the letter "e" is used in text. Even though the bitmap of a page of text is somewhat compressible (as happens in formats such as TIFF and GIF), I would be very surprised if this compression was as efficient as the compression of representing each character with its ASCII code. Perhaps I can find the time later today to run an experiment with a suitable sample document and to post some results.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 08:32 AM

Keep it up guys - I love a good bunfight! :-)

"RTF is basically Microsoft Word format, but slightly more structured than Word native format. It has no published standard [snip] If anyone is interested, or wants to challaenge me on this, I'll dredge up some citations and URLs. "

Yes, please, but only just a few, for a start...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 01:09 PM

As far as the security feature goes, Word has a security lock available. Once a file is password protected, it is generally relatively safe from corruption.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 01:43 PM

I confess that I don't understand any of the technical stuff, and none of the software on my computer was 'free' as such. But my Hewlett Packard scanner came with software which seems to do a pretty good job of converting documents to PDF format. In addition my OmniPage Pro OCR program (definitely not free) can convert PDFs to editable text ... does that help? ... probably not ... I'll get me coat ...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Aug 06 - 08:18 AM

That's a double conversion each way though:

PDF through printer to paper through scanner/OCR to Word/text
Word through printer to paper through scanner to PDF.

I can make a PDF that way, but the quality isn't very good, and you have to align the sheet in the scanner very accurately or it shows up skewed. What people would like to do is just open a Word file and "save as" PDF or vice versa


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 11 Aug 06 - 04:57 PM

Snuffy -

I don't know whether it's true of all scanners, but the ones I've seen make a PDF only as a "graphic image" and a text document scanned-to-PDF is just pictures. You can't search for text in one of these, so far as I know. This is also what you get from image editing programs like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements that allow you to "Save As PDF." Even if you type text in one character at a time, the PDF is just a "picture" and the individual characters are not identifiable in the PDF - (except via OCR).

The method is commonly used by people who sell technical publications and university theses. They scan each page to get an image and then just make each image a "page" in the PDF. The PDF files they sell are too expensive for me, so I've seen very few of them to experiment with. This also often results in extremely large files. A "text based PDF" of a dozen pages could rarely be more than 300 KB - 500 KB if there's a lot of "formatting," while a dozen pages of one of these "image PDFs" might run to a couple of MB or more.

An example is at Geneva Bible where you can download a separate PDF of each book; but they're "image PDFs" that are not searchable in any "look for text" manner.

When the document is converted directly from a word processor to PDF the characters in the text remain text, and you usually can copy the text from the PDF and paste it into a another word processor, and you'll have a text-based PDF document that you can edit and search in.

The freeware programs listed in the first post here, and many others, use a "print to PDF" method that should preserve the text. You install a "PDF printer." Any program that can print, can be used to print to that "printer" and the result is a PDF file "printed to" your drive instead of a bunch of paper that comes out of a physical printer. Since the program sends character names to the printer the "dot" that gets printed remains an identifiable character in the file that's produced. When an image is sent, the "dot" is a whole image, that is embedded in the PDF.

If you get the "real Adobe" program, even in the simplest PDF making versions, you should get an entry in your Office programs, on toolbars and in menus, that allow you to create PDFs directly from the program just by clicking. With one of the free programs, you usually click on Print, and then select the "PDF Printer" that does the conversion to a PDF file. (You can also set up a "PDF Printer" with the Adobe programs, for programs that can print but that can't add the menu items.)

Conversion from PDF to something else, without a program, depends on whether the person who created the PDF blocked copying. If you can select text (with the text tool) in the PDF you usually can copy text from the PDF and paste into a word processor. You may need to separately use the "graphic select" tool to copy pictures, which can be separately pasted into another program. IF you use the graphics selection tool to copy and paste into another program, all you'll paste usually(?) is "pictures of the text" even if the original PDF contained "character based" text that was copied.

Photoshop Elements, and probably many other graphic editing programs, can import a page from a PDF, but only one page at a time, and all you get is a "picture" of the page, which is not easily editable.

John


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Subject: RTF related links
From: JesseW
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 01:31 AM

Well,
here's the most recent specification from MS
. (this is according to the Wikipedia article, I haven't checked myself)

The Wikipedia article lists 5 different versions, from 1.0 to 1.8 (some seem to have been left out, or not have specs...)

This is a HTMLized version of the 1.5 spec.

Here's a (google HTMLized copy) of some misc thoughts by an implementer or RTF

Some relevant quotes: "This document contains a few scribblings about things which don't seem to be covered in the RTF specification. "
and
"I have seen an RTF specification (non-Microsoft) which claimed that justifications apply to the last specified tab position. My experience is that the opposite is true. (The Microsoft spec seems to be silent on this point.)"
and
"Also, it has been reported that in Germany, "Standard" is used rather than "Normal" by some programs. "
and
"Style number 222 is special — it means "no style". (Why 222? I dunno.)"

Hope this is informative, and/or interesting... ;-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Bert
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 01:39 AM

I'm with Sorcha on this, I just don't want to make PDF files, they are slow and clunky.

HTML works fine for me.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 03:25 AM

If html works for you, then there's no particular reason you should use anything else - unless ... it might matter that:

PDF files on the web usually are much more convenient for visitors to your web site who may want to save information they find there.

IF you put up a "document" that you expect others to read and perhaps take with them for future reference, html gives you virtually no control over what the document looks like on their browser, since they can choose their own fonts - which may or may not have all the characters you include in the document, they can put funky backgrounds on it, change the colors, etc.

If a user "saves" an html page that has any embedded objects such as graphic headers, images, etc., the user gets a file with the name of the page and a separate folder with the same name that contains all the linked objects. Since the links are local links, the user cannot change the name of the file to make it more accessible on his own machine except by opening it in a browser and doing a "save as" with a new file name. First - this doesn't always work, and Secondly it requires the user to keep track of two copies of your page. Any "file management" such as copying to a different folder or different drive requires that the document and it's associated folder full of objects be kept together in exactly the same relationship as existed for the first save. Files saved as html with accompanying folders full of linked objects tend to be rather brittle, and break easily.

Because saved html files are a pain in the netherend to manage, I usually resort to copy and paste. When you encourage copy/paste notes on your work, you encourage the taking of bits and pieces, possibly out of context.

If you provide the "document" as a PDF, everything needed to display the document is contained in a single file, that can be moved and/or renamed freely. If you embed the fonts used, you know EXACTLY what the document will look like on the user's machine. You also know that the user who saves it will save the entire document. You can specify whether a user is allowed to save it, whether and to what extent a user can edit it, and whether the user can or cannot extract bits and pieces of it to use in other programs.

If you only want to be sure your file "looks nice" when someone saves it, it would be courteous and thoughtful of you, and usually pretty simple, to link a Word .doc that they can save. If you want any control over whether they can easily mangle what you allow them to save, a PDF gives you, as the creator, much more control over whether they do only the things you are willing to have them do.

Even though the files are often a little larger, and downloads may take a little longer, when I find something I'd really like to keep in my own ref files, I greatly appreciate being offered a PDF. It's immaterial for sites that have little content that's interesting to me, of course, or for "short pages" that are easily copied and pasted into Word.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Bert
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 03:36 AM

...a little longer... a little longer
you must be joking, with most PDF downloads I usually give up before they are finished.

If I want to keep anything in HTML it is simple, just highlight it and Control C, then past it into notepad.

But then, I am usually more interested in content than styling.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: JesseW
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 03:37 AM

The real answer is what the major open source documentation projects, such as the Linux Documentation Project, do: write documents in a format (tldp uses DocBook, there are others out there) for which there are automated tools to convert it to all proper formats. TLDP example. The formats include HTML (both in multiple and single page formats - for quick loading, or ease of reading in a browser, offline, respectivly), PDF(for printing) and many other formats. They offer the various formats for download, with the multiple page ones (like HTML with images, or divided into multiple pages) as ZIP archives (and maybe also as tar.gz archives, for tradition's sake), all created automatically.

That's the real answer, but it's less easy than just hacking together a HTML or (shudder) Word doc.

/me gets off my soapbox...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 12:34 PM

John,

I downloaded the sound forge creator to which you provided a link in your first posting. When I went to install it, my PC told me it didn't like the non-recognisable certificate, did I really want to do that? Question, to any of you, anyone use the soundforge downloads and did you have any problems with that?

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 12:50 PM

Microsoft whinging. Ignore it. Sourceforge is as safe as anything.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 12:52 PM

Soundforge is a quite reputable place. They are sort of the ultimate freeware-with-sourcecode site. You may find some programs you don't like or ones you like better elsewhere, but there is little danger there.. "signed certificates" are nice, but not everyone bothers to do that.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 01:09 PM

Thanks, guys! On to install!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 01:35 PM

I save everything as a PDF, you can do that when you pull down the print menu on a Mac--it saves cutting, pasting, and editing documents that I may or may not ever use.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 03:30 PM

Dumb question, probably:

Do I have to size a document before I save it as a pdf? I am setting up my second book and it has to be a certain size pdf to go to the printer. (I know I did this for the first book, but that was over four years ago and ya know, if ya don't use it, ya lose it, which applies to my tech memory!)

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Bernard
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 10:00 AM

Erm... Bill... Soundforge is an audio editor (now owned by Sony)... I know you meant Sourceforge, but I just felt like being pedantic and having a whinge...!!

;o)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 11:24 AM

Bernard, it was JohninKansas who made the initial post with "SoundForge" Following his link, it says "SourceForge" so maybe they are related?:-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: MMario
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 11:38 AM

Kat - I'm not sure what program you are using but I can do **some*** resizing AS I save it to PDF. But for ease, I tend to work to the size I want and then not resize on save.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 12:00 PM

Gosh whatta bunch of slackers. Takes y'all two years to find my typo in the first post! (Sorry 'bout that, all the same.)

The number of programs that can "print to pdf" has blossomed, and it's now pretty easy to find basic methods. Even Microsoft has an optional download for Office 2007 that lets you have a "pdf printer."

I haven't tried the Office pdf driver, as I have an obsolete Adobe program that works well enough; but it might well be about the only beneficial change they made in Office 2007.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: MMario
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 12:18 PM

I used the pdf printer portion of office to make some files - but no one could read them (except other office2007 users) - so I went back to pdfcreator.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 12:48 PM

In default mode, Office 2007 saves documents in .docx, a "new format" that older versions can't read without downloading new "import/export filters." (Each of the other Office programs has multiple "new formats.")

You can set the defaults to have Office 2007 save as the older formats. Whether this might affect the pdf that's produced with the Microsoft pdf printer isn't something I've looked at. If the pdf printer attempts to included "new functions" that aren't in the older Office versions, it's possible that it might make a .docx-based pdf that requires "new Office" to be readable; but that defeats the whole purpose of the .pdf format.

Since nothing else works very well in Office 2007, I guess it's reasonable to expect that the pdf writer came from the same bunch of monkeys.

Office 2007 also adds the .xps format, which Microsoft claims is "better than .pdf," but which also requires "add-on readers" and/or "format translators" to be used by older Office versions. That's another "feature" that I haven't really looked at much.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: treewind
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 12:59 PM

It's worth mentioning that all the programs in the Open Office suite can export directly to PDF. Not as universal as a printer-driver type of converter, but very handy when there's simply a PDF button on the toolbar, and it seems to produce good output.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 03:18 PM

Thanks, fellahs!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: Bainbo
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 03:22 PM

There were a load of court cases on the radio where I thought people had been sent to jail for downloading photos for PDF files.




Then I realised it was spelt different.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: GUEST,cStu
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 06:16 PM

It was spelt different on the radio??


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 09:35 PM

It's the difference between "P - D - files" downloading pictures and "P-D-F files" with pictures.

You just missed the "F-ing" in the pronunciation.

Easy enough to do on the radio ???

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wanna Make PDF files?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 12:23 PM

Well, I gave up just before NaNoWriMo started, so here I am again. I guess I am a real dunce when it comes to this. I have read Amazon's info and I know, when I actually start to do it, it will probably make sense, but right now I want to throw up my hands and say "Forget it! I want to remain a Luddite!"**bg** Off to try to understand it, again. (Oh, my aching head!:->)


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