XDA Basics: How to make a PDF
‘Portable document format,’ commonly known as PDF, is a file format primarily used to present documents, especially when you need to save a file that a third party cannot modify. Adobe first created PDF in 1993 and, as of today, it’s now an open standard maintained by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). Essentially it’s supported on almost every operating system allowing you to create and open PDF files on most PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets.
But why should you use PDF? It’s recommended to use the PDF format for resumes, legal documents, newsletters, files intended to be read and printed, and files intended for professional printing. PDF files look the same on most computers. As PDF is based on the PostScript language, the file is packaged into a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including text, fonts, vector graphics, raster images, and other information that needs to be displayed. They also have a smaller size and comply with the industry format. Additionally, PDF files are comparatively safer as you can’t modify them, and they can be encrypted with a password or digital signature.
How to create a PDF
Creating a PDF is quite simple as most software and apps offer a built-in feature to export your file directly into PDF format. For instance, if you have a document on Microsoft Word, here’s what you need to do.
- Head over to File in the top left corner and select Save As.
- This should open a new window where you can save the document on your PC.
- Right under the File Name option, there should be the option to Save as Type.
- Click on the drop-down menu, and you should see the option of saving the file as a PDF.
- Select the option and hit Save.
In case you’re using an older version of Microsoft Office, you might have to download a small plugin that can be downloaded from here.
Similarly, you can do that for all Microsoft Office apps (Excel, Powerpoint, etc.), Google Workspace apps (Docs, Sheets, etc.), and a variety of office-based software and apps like Office 365, WPS Office, LibreOffice, and OpenOffice.
Another simple way to quickly make a PDF is by using one of many online services that let you upload your file(s), convert, and download directly to your system. Some of the reliable online services you can use to convert a certain file to PDF include Adobe, Smallpdf, iLovePDF, and many more.
There are a few things to keep in mind though. These services may or may not save your files on their servers. Thus we recommend you only go for this method if you aren’t dealing with sensitive or confidential information. Some of these online PDF conversion websites also offer limited support when it comes to the size of the file, pages, and might even add a watermark to the converted file.
But what if you have a physical document? PDF also solves the problem of sharing a physical piece of documentation in digital format. Using your smartphone or tablet camera, you can scan a document and save it into a PDF file. Apps like Adobe Scan, Microsoft Office Lens, Genius Scan, and Document Scanner are some of the best apps you can try on your mobile device to scan, save and share PDF files. These apps can also convert an existing document or image into PDF format.
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