Converting Your Files to PDF

Over the years I have learned not to post Microsoft Word, or other similar files on the Internet for students as there is usually at least one student who claims that they couldn’t do the assignment because they couldn’t open the file.  Then there is also the occasional student who will edit the file so that the assignment says that they had to do less work than what was originally assigned.  I even had a student one time who had the nerve to edit my syllabus and then tried to tell me that I had my own grading scale wrong!  Enough with the rant and on to a few free resources that have helped me in my quest to create wonderful PDFs.

1.  CutePDF (http://www.cutepdf.com/) – This is a great program that lets you print virtually any file to a PDF.  Sometimes I have even used it to print specific pages of one PDF to another PDF.  It does that, too.  Well, as long as the file isn’t locked down or something like that.  I have had that happen to me on occasion.  Of course there are other programs that do this as well, such as PrimoPDF (http://www.primopdf.com/index.aspx).  However, CutePDF was the first one that I learned about, so I have stuck with it all these years.

2.  PDFsam (http://www.pdfsam.org/) – PDFsam, which stands for PDF Split and Merge, is a wonderful program that allows you to do just that – split and merge PDFs.  I use it mostly for merging.  What I have found interesting is that when I have a Word document, a PDF, and another Word document that I want to combine into one file, I use CutePDF to convert the Word documents to PDFs and then I use PDFsam to merge the files together into one flowing document.  PDFsam has also been especially useful when I have needed to merge PDFs to submit job applications on-line that require a cover letter, resume, transcripts, and reference letters to all be in one file.

3.  doc2PDF (http://www.doc2pdf.net/) – This is a wonderful website that I use to convert Word documents to PDFs when I am on a computer, such as at work or the library, that does not have CutePDF installed.  This has saved me so many times when I have wanted to post a quick document on-line for my students, but I did not want to post the Word document.  Yes, I know, I need to be using GoogleDocs.  However, some students complain about that as well.  So, to keep complaints to the minimum, I have used this website many times to create a PDF on the fly.

I hope you find these resources as helpful as I have found them!