Pdf Tools

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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When you create documents with common applications, such as MS Word, you can easily combine data from separate files into a new document with a few simple cut-and-paste edits. However, PDF files can be much more tricky to reconfigure, especially when it comes to authoring a new document comprised of segments from several others. PDF files are intended to be easily accessed by applications commonly found on any computer or operating system. However, they are specifically designed to prevent those same applications from being able to edit or alter them in any way. This poses a problem for users who need to create a PDF file that incorporates portions of other PDF-encoded documents.

Adobe Acrobat is a comprehensive PDF authoring, editing, and conversion application, offered by the originators of the Portable Document Format. Unlike the Adobe Acrobat Viewer application, which the company offers as freeware to allow users to open and view PDF documents, Adobe Acrobat carries a professional price tag that is only reasonable for those who plan on continual, extensive use of the application. In addition, while Adobe Acrobat provides a wide array of PDF management, editing, and authoring tools, it does not offer the same user-friendly, intuitive interface found in most common document-related applications.

Choosing PDF Tools

If your particular PDF needs don't seem to require the investment or training necessitated by the purchase of Adobe Acrobat software, you can probably find a more suitable solution. You can purchase PDF conversion software online that will give you the ability to create PDF documents from Word or Excel files, if that's your main need. Such programs are installed as a virtual print driver, which means it enables you to convert a document to PDF by selecting an option from the print dialog, which "prints" the file to your hard drive, as opposed to printing a hard copy from your printer.

The virtual PDF printer application is great for simple conversions, as it can instantly translate a visual impression of your document to PDF format. It also offers a basic solution to the problem of compiling new documents from portions of hard-to-edit PDF files. While PDF files are difficult to alter, word processing programs, such as MS Word, are designed to allow you maximum control over the text and layout of your document. Since the virtual print driver lets you quickly convert Word documents to PDF, a simple solution would be to do all editing and compiling while the files can still be easily manipulated in Word. Once the new file is complete, the virtual print driver can secure the data in PDF format.

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