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Creating a PDF File

You've probably downloaded PDFs of articles or user manuals. PDF is a file format which preserves your document's layout no matter what platform it is viewed on. It can be read by anyone who has Adobe Acrobat or OS X's Preview installed. If you are concerned about preserving your document's layout, saving it as a PDF file may be the most effective means to ensure that it looks the same no matter what machine it is viewed on.

Pick a platform:

Making PDFs Using Macintosh OS X

  1. While in a native OS X application, go to Print...
  2. At the bottom left of the Print... dialog, select PDF from among the file formats listed.
  3. Save the file in a location of your choice in PDF format.
    Print Dialog

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Creating PDFs in Windows

No version of Windows as of 2006 has the ability to create PDFs natively, however, limited solutions exist. You may use Adobe's online PDF creation service (5-day trial available), or download a program such as PDF Creator or PrimoPDF, which install drivers that allow you to print a file to PDF format.

Once installed, these programs will list a new printer in the print selection dialog (see Figure) which will write your document in PDF format.

Print to PDF

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Using PDFs

The following are tips and tricks for use in Adobe Acrobat/Reader:

  • To select text, go up to the top of the toolbar and activate text select mode Text Select Tool .
  • Similarly, the Image Select button allows you to select images Image Select Tool .
  • You can view a list of pages in the PDF by toggling the Pages tab, located on the extreme left hand side of the window.
  • There are three ways to scroll through an article: Single page (when you reach the end of page one, the top of page two jumps to the top of the window), Continuous (what it sounds like), and Continuous Facing (smoother scrolling and with two pages side by side). Try them all and decide which you like best.
  • You can search the document for a word by clicking on the button with the binoculars.
  • If you can't see some of these toolbar buttons, click the Windows menu and go to Toolbars. Make sure that Basic Tools, File, and Navigation are checked.

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