Tag Archives: PDF

Free PDF Conversion Online

Recently, I learned about a relatively new website that allows for free PDF Conversion Online, www.pdfconverter.com. You can convert any file to a PDF or you can convert PDF to Word, PDF to Excel, or PDF to PowerPoint. As a math instructor, I have learned to take everything with a grain of salt when it comes to converting a PDF full of equations to a Word Document. However, knowing these tools are all available to me online for free is a big relief in situations when I am working on a computer at my college that doesn’t allow me to download the full-featured PDF Converter tools that I usually use on my home computer.

The thing I like best about the free PDF Converter tools is that is very simple and quick. You simply select the file you want to convert, enter your e-mail address, and wait for the converted file to be e-mailed to you. This is a lot more convenient than some other websites I have seen before that make you wait on the website while the file is being converted so that they can show you annoying, pesky, and sometimes misleading pop-up advertisements. PDF Converter is not like this at all and I appreciate the streamlined look and feel of their website.

Another thing I like about PDF Converter is that they have a more full-featured product available for download and purchase, if you need to be able to edit your PDF file. I have used many of the features of their product, PDF Converter Elite, such as the ability to add page numbers to existing PDF files. This has been a great convenience for me in creating the Course Pack for my Math for Elementary course in which I have files of my own notes interwoven with articles and other resources that I use in class with my students and need to have the pages numbered in a sequential manner. Before I started using PDF Converter, I always numbered the pages by hand, which was very time-consuming and very unprofessional looking. The cost of this product is currently $99.

So, why did I choose PDF Converter over all of the other products on the market? I think part of the reason is brand loyalty. I had been using the company’s free online conversion tools for a while, knew that they had a product available for purchase that would allow me to edit PDF files, and decided to give their free 15-day trial a chance. I figured, what do I have to lose? If the product didn’t work the way that I wanted to, I knew that I would be able to quickly delete it from my computer. However, as it turns out, I like the tool a lot for all of its available features and for its ease of use and nice, clean interface.

Again, depending on what your specific needs are, PDF Converter might not be the right tool for you. However, all of their free online conversion tools are still available for you to use. On the other hand, if you have the need to be able to edit your PDF files, I encourage you to take a look at this tool as a viable option.

Joliprint, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Teaching Measurement

There have been so many times when I have wanted to print something from the web, but have had a very hard time getting it to print out correctly.  Joliprint is a resource that will definitely solve (most) of your problems.  For example, the other day, I printed this Convert, then Compete blog post from the Chronicle of Higher Education with the intent of having my students read the article and then write a paragraph response.  By the way, this turned out the be a very good activity that went along with the discussion of measurement in my Developmental Math class.  However, the print ended up being small and quite awkward.  Joliprint solved all of my problems, and I wish I had known about it BEFORE I printed this article for my students.  If you don’t believe me, take a look at the before and after, and I think you’ll be a Joliprint fan.  I know I am.

Before Joliprint:

Convert, Then Compete – Brainstorm – The Chronicle of Higher Education.pdf
Download this file

After Joliprint:

Download this file

Mid-Week Ideas, Anyone?

A couple of things I came across this week.  Of course, there were more, but here are the highlights:

1.  TI-Nspire Videos over at Atomic Learning – These are wonderful walk-through videos which cover the basics, graphs and geometry, lists and spreadsheets, data and statistics, calculator and data collection.

2.  TopicMarks – I heard about this wonderful tool this week in my Twitter feed that summarizes text documents for you.  This has wide implications, such as allowing more free time to read other materials, or to just simply give an abstract for one of your own works.

3.  Inequality Match Game – I actually found the direct link for this game from the North Carolina Public Schools first, and then hunted down the original source once I realized that the wonderful state of North Carolina has come up with what seems to be hundreds of activities for teaching math.

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!