want to share documents over the
I'm looking for a way to share documents without having to worry about whether the end user has a particular software package, operating system, or set of fonts.
I want to post fliers, documents, and books on the Internet, but I'm concerned about download speed.
There are many considerations when sharing documents over the Internet. To reduce some of the frustrations, consider using a tool for "universal document exchange." For example, with Adobe Acrobat you can publish virtually any document in Portable Document Format (PDF). Anyone with the freeware Adobe Acrobat Reader software can view your document. The advantage of PDF is that it preserves the look and content of the original including the fonts, colors, and graphics. The documents are small and easy to distribute. They can be shared by email or stored on a web server, network server, hard drive, or CD for others to use across platforms (such as Windows, Mac, UNIX). Although some software provides the option to "save as a PDF" file, the Adobe Acrobat software provides an easy way to manipulate and convert practically any type of file to PDF.
If you don't have the Adobe Acrobat software, download the Abode Acrobat Reader software. This will allow you to read documents that you download or view on the web.
If you're new to PDF, look at a few of the following examples to see what a PDF file looks like.
- Technology Snacks - PDF files
Select a Topic
- Click on Teacher's Guides
- Free Ebooks - Choose a Book
- What support do they provide for downloading the Adobe Reader software?
- What directions do they provide?
- How do they introduce the links?
- What other information do they provide such as the document name, size, and description?
Designing PDF Documents
If you're interested
in designing PDF documents, you can read articles at
Read the PDF document titled, How to Create Adobe PDF Files for eBooks if you want to create a book that contains a table of contents, thumbnails, etc. A few areas to consider in designing your document include:
- If you have Mac OSX, you have everything built right into your system. When you choose Print, notice the button for Save as PDF. Read the Open a Word Document in Mac OSX and Save it as PDF article (PDF document).
- If you own Adobe products, you probably already have the Adobe Distiller available. Check your printer list. If you see Adobe PDF, you're ready to go.
- In Microsoft Publisher 2000 you can save a file as a PDF by going to the File menu and selecting Print. In the Name box, select a Printer. Then choose Print to File. When you name your file, use the .ps file extension. For more directions, go to Microsoft Knowledge Base article. Then, open Adobe Distiller and save as PDF. Follow the directions at How to Save a WORD document to PDF.
- The PDFWriter is used for converting simple documents such as Microsoft Word and Excel. For example, the Geese document was made from Microsoft Word.
- The Adobe Distiller is used for converting complex documents such as PageMaker and QuarkXPress. For example, the Web Whacker document was made from PageMaker. If you have a PostScript printer, you can generally create a .ps file that can be converted using Adobe Distiller.
- Acrobat has three job options: ScreenOptimized (will look best on the screen), PrintOptimized (will look good on screen or printed), and PressOptimized (is intended to be printed).
- Acrobat can be used to create forms, add bookmarks, and combine documents.
- Read Adobe Acrobat to learn how to create PDF files using the "Drag and Drop" method.
- There are a number of online servers that will convert Word to a PDF file if you don't have any Adobe products installed on your computer. You can also do a Google search for Convert Word to PDF.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are pros and
cons of using PDF files for sharing
- The Adobe Acrobat Reader software is easy to download and use.
- The documents are small in size.
- The fonts, colors, and graphics look like the original document.
- Overcome software and platform incompatibility
- The Adobe Acrobat Reader software must be downloaded.
- You need to convert the documents to PDF.
- The documents can't be edited, although forms can be completed by end users.
Making the Decision to Use PDF
When making the
decision whether or not to use the PDF format,
consider the following issues:
PDF it if...
- you want the user to have a high quality file with the same fonts, colors, and graphics as the original.
- you want the user to complete a form, but not manipulate the rest of the document.
- you want a document that can easily be read off the screen and printer in high quality.
- you want a document that is small in size and easy to share.
- you want a
document that is can be viewed
- you want to keep it very simple. You have the hassle of converting the file and downloading the reader software.
- you want the user to edit the document. Instead, create the document in a shared application such as Microsoft Word.
- you don't care about formatting or printing. Instead, just create a web page.
PDF has become a very standard format. Most computers already have the Adobe Acrobat Reader downloaded, so it's easy to user PDF documents.