You don’t have to be a software developer, a graphic artist, or even a lay techie to appreciate a good PDF (Portable Document Format); all you need be is a reader/writer, creative or professional type.
Getting a handle on exactly how to use PDFs to facilitate your personal or professional online lives can be a struggle. For instance, just try to download and print one specific page or page range from a digitized Goggle Book you’d prefer not to invest in because you only need a portion. Eschewing the copyright-protected legalities, it’s doable, but not easy. Try accessing certain archival information with an iOS (Macintosh) device. It can be frustrating and time-consuming (or frustrating because it’s so time- consuming.)
To view a PDF online or in an email, you must use a reader, the best known of these being Adobe System’s Acrobat. Happily, for those using mobile devices more than or at least as much as desktops, Adobe Systems has an entire line of products (otherwise known as a suite), allowing you to create, scroll, share, edit, manage, search, view and otherwise flirt with PDFs anywhere you go. And Adobe Systems are just one source for sharing text and image files across platforms.
These PDF tools might not always give you the 100 percent free, instantaneous results we’ve come to demand from our devices in these high-tech times, but if you acquaint yourself with them and continue to allow updates to the newest versions, it will be worth the trouble. Here are some basics and updates:
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Adobe’s eSign and other software like it allow you to create, use and manage personal signatures on PDFs, making back and forth faxed contracts obsolete.
Since PDF files are fixed layouts with descriptors that are coded for font, color, style, etc., you will need a PDF Editor to download, convert and edit files using highlights, bookmarks, stickie notes and such. For that you can use the industry standard, Adobe’s Acrobat XI PRO for both Macs and PCs. This will cost you about $15 a month. Also try note-taking apps and plug-ins, which is web-based software connected to a cloud computing source. Try A.nnotate, crocdoc, WebNotes, neu.Annotate, EverNote and SigningHub, which markets itself “the most secure way to sign.” Some of these tools are free but charge monthly fees for upgrades to pro versions.
Accessing and sharing on mobile devices is easier than ever using Mobile Link and Adobe Document Cloud at https://cloud.acrobat.com. Sign up for an account and then be sure the mobile link button is in the on position. If you stay signed on, you can access and view your files quickly from any screen, no matter the size.
Paige Henson is a local writer and a new media consultant for businesses and non-profits. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.