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Creating PDFs for document sharing

From: Computer Literacy for the Mac

Video: Creating PDFs for document sharing

One of the most common problems that occur when trying to share documents between computers and operating systems is that one or more of the recipients may not have the software used by the creator of the document. For example, many people still don't have Microsoft Word, so when their friends or coworkers send them over a Word document, they might not have any way to view it. Even if they do have Word, they still need to have all the same fonts used in the document in order to see the document exactly as the creator intended. There is also the possibility that they're using a version of Word that's too old to read a document created by the latest version of Word.

Creating PDFs for document sharing

One of the most common problems that occur when trying to share documents between computers and operating systems is that one or more of the recipients may not have the software used by the creator of the document. For example, many people still don't have Microsoft Word, so when their friends or coworkers send them over a Word document, they might not have any way to view it. Even if they do have Word, they still need to have all the same fonts used in the document in order to see the document exactly as the creator intended. There is also the possibility that they're using a version of Word that's too old to read a document created by the latest version of Word.

So there are many things that can stand in the way of this seemingly simple act of trying to send a document to someone so they can read it or review it. The solution to this problem is the Adobe PDF, or Portable Document Format. You've most likely come across PDF documents before. PDFs ensure that documents look exactly the way their creators intended, with the exact fonts, layout, and appearance. PDFs can be viewed by anyone using a Mac, or anyone on a PC with a copy of the free Adobe Reader application, which can be downloaded from Adobe's web site.

The Adobe Reader application is available for both Windows and Mac OS X, but you don't absolutely have to download it, since all Mac's have PDF reading capabilities built-in, through the application called Preview. Another advantage of being on a Mac, in this case, is that all Macs can generate PDFs from any application that can print. So you don't need any additional software to create a PDF on a Mac. Let's take a look at how it's done. So I have this document open in Microsoft Word. It's an Employee Manual. As you can see, it's been formatted with colors, various fonts, and the layout is fairly stylized.

Now as the creator of this document, I want to make sure it looks just like this when it's received by my employees. But right now, it's a Word document, and not everyone is guaranteed to have Word. Now on a Mac, you can open a Word documents in TextEdit, but watch what happens. As you can see, none of the formatting made it over. All the text is there, but it doesn't look nearly as nice as my original document. So I'm going to convert my Word document into a PDF. To do this, I simply choose File > Print.

Now we took a look at this earlier in the movie on printing, but it bears a closer look. Right now, I'm looking at the collapsed Print dialog box. Remember, you can expand it by using this arrow here, or you can collapse it again. But in either case, you're going to have this PDF button in the lower left-hand corner. So to create a PDF, I just click that button, and I'll see several options. Out of all of these options, I tend to choose Save as PDF, because that generates a PDF version of my document and saves it to a location of my choice. After that, I can then decide whether I want to e-mail it, copy it to a flash drive, or whatever.

If I instead choose to say Mail PDF and attach this document to an e-mail message, I'll have to then create another PDF the next time I needed another copy of this document. By saving it as a file, I have a copy sitting on my Mac that I can get to it anytime without having to generate another version. So I'll choose Save as PDF. I'm going to call this Employee Manual. I'm going to choose save this to my desktop. Now you have the options of adding information like Title, Author, Subject, and Keywords. These fields are here if you want to make the PDF more searchable if someone using Adobe Reader needs to search through several PDFs for specific content.

The more detailed you are here with these fields, the better the chance people will be able to find your PDF among several others. But it really depends on whether you think it's necessary to fill any of this stuff out. I'll just leave it as is. Now we'll also have the option to password protect the PDF by clicking Security Options. Here you can require a password to even open the document, which is nice if, for example, I only want my employees to be able to open the Employee Manual. You can also protect your PDFs contents from being copied, and prevent it from being printed. This printing restriction is nice for designers who may want to send a proof of their work to a client, but don't want the client printing the document before paying for it.

I'm just going to choose all three options so you can see how they work. Now I have to enter a password here. This first password is the password that'll be necessary to even open the document. I will just type one in here, and confirm it by typing it again. The second and third options here are controlled by a second password. Again, we'll confirm it. I'll click OK. Now I'll click Save to save my PDF. There is my PDF sitting on my desktop.

Notice it has a lock icon, indicating that this is a password-protected PDF. I'm going to double-click it to open it in Preview. So the first thing I see is This PDF is password protected. We need to enter the password to even open this document. So I'll type the password. It's very important that you don't forget your password or else you have to recreate your PDF from the original source document again. Having typed the correct password, I now have access to the entire document. Notice it looks identical to what we saw in Word: the same layout, the same fonts, and all.

Again, this can be opened on any computer, Mac or PC, and will look the same across the board. Now also notice that if I try to select some text, and choose Edit > Copy, I get a message telling me this document is protected, and then I'll need the password to perform this task. I'm just going to cancel that. Similarly, if I try to print this document, I get the same message. Again, I need to enter a password if I want to print this document. So that's how the Security Options work when you generate a password-protected PDF.

But again, that's just an option. You don't have to add security settings at all if you don't want or need to. That's how you go by creating PDFs on your Mac from any application that has printing capabilities.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Computer Literacy for the Mac
Computer Literacy for the Mac

55 video lessons · 23792 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
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  1. 2m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the assessment files
      1m 7s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 9m 51s
    1. What's a computer?
      1m 49s
    2. What's inside a computer?
      2m 46s
    3. Laptop vs. desktop computers
      1m 59s
    4. Special considerations when using a laptop
      3m 17s
  3. 20m 58s
    1. Understanding the operating system
      3m 3s
    2. Understanding files, folders, and directories
      4m 49s
    3. Understanding your home folder (your user folder)
      5m 21s
    4. Using your desktop
      3m 11s
    5. Taking out the trash (recycle bin)
      2m 21s
    6. The right click
      2m 13s
  4. 24m 8s
    1. Understanding applications
      4m 24s
    2. Opening and saving files
      4m 10s
    3. Choosing the right tool
      4m 44s
    4. How to learn any application
      3m 53s
    5. Five things that work in all applications
      6m 57s
  5. 36m 22s
    1. Understanding computer ports
      2m 59s
    2. Setting up a printer
      3m 7s
    3. Printing your documents
      4m 30s
    4. Setting up a scanner
      2m 27s
    5. Scanning a document
      6m 15s
    6. Setting up a projector or second monitor
      5m 56s
    7. Using a projector
      3m 43s
    8. Portable storage devices
      3m 53s
    9. Pairing with Bluetooth devices
      3m 32s
  6. 17m 27s
    1. Understanding networks and internet access
      2m 58s
    2. Connecting to wired network
      2m 36s
    3. Connecting to wireless networks
      4m 4s
    4. Working in a networked environment
      6m 15s
    5. Staying protected from viruses
      1m 34s
  7. 19m 31s
    1. Understanding email servers and clients
      2m 11s
    2. Setting up your email application
      4m 15s
    3. Receiving and reading email
      2m 21s
    4. Composing new email messages
      5m 52s
    5. Reply vs. Reply All
      2m 11s
    6. Dealing with spam
      2m 41s
  8. 8m 24s
    1. Understanding search engines
      1m 24s
    2. Conducting basic searches
      3m 51s
    3. Conducting advanced searches
      3m 9s
  9. 24m 21s
    1. Using word processors
      4m 22s
    2. Formatting text
      7m 7s
    3. Using spreadsheets
      3m 36s
    4. Creating a simple data table
      7m 37s
    5. Formatting a data table
      1m 39s
  10. 18m 53s
    1. Importing images from a digital camera
      4m 46s
    2. Storing and organizing digital images
      5m 11s
    3. Basic image manipulation
      4m 10s
    4. Tagging images
      2m 32s
    5. Sharing images
      2m 14s
  11. 10m 52s
    1. Common obstacles in sharing files
      1m 37s
    2. Creating PDFs for document sharing
      5m 35s
    3. Compressing files
      3m 40s
  12. 1m 3s
    1. What's next?
      1m 3s

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