How to Create PDFs

how to create pdfsDo you need to create sales documents that you can easily email to clients or post on your website?  If you’ve never created a PDF, you don’t need to hire a graphic designer to do it.  You can download free or low-cost software to create PDFs from your Word, Excel, Powerpoint or other printable documents/files.

Software to Create PDFs

Adobe: Offers an affordable online PDF conversion tool.  You prepare your document as you’d like it to appear, then upload and it will be converted into a PDF.  They also offer a free trial, although it may time out if you’re trying to convert a large file.

PrimoPDF: Free converter that also lets you optimize your output for different mediums — print, screen, etc.  It’s a printer driver that lets you create your PDF from within any application that allows you to print.  Just choose PRINT, then choose the PrimoPDF printer and the application will create & save your PDF.

PDF 995: Another affordable suite of conversion products including a free ad-supported tool.  PDF 995 is a printer driver just like PrimoPDF.

Macromedia Flashpaper: I love this product!  We bought it for $79 and use it to create printable documents that are embedded right in the pages of our website.  For example,  we use it on this page so that we can display a few chapters of our Marketing M.O. Guidebook within the body of a page.  Visitors can search within the document, open it in another window and print, but they can’t download the file — perfect when you want to let people review information but not distribute it freely.  Flashpaper also allows you to create a PDF from any printable document with just one click.

Now — how can you use PDFs?

  • Create more appealing sales documents — proposals, benefit slicks, special offer promotions — that you can email to prospects and clients without losing formatting like fonts, page layout and graphics.
  • Add downloadable product specifications to your website
  • Create emailable/downloadable versions of your printed sales literature

A note on using PDFs on your website:  Don’t replace existing content when you add a PDF.  Search engines can’t read PDF content effectively, so you miss a valuable opportunity to gain more visibility in search engine results.  Instead, just add the PDF document to a page, but include similar content in the body text of the page as well.

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