Do 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.
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.