What is PDF?
The definition of PDF is a Portable Document Format which was developed by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF files can be viewed with the free software application Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe Systems or in current web browsers with plug-in installation. The PDF file format upholds most elements (color, formatting, graphics, etc…) of any source document regardless of the original creation method.
Why use PDF?
The pros for formatting to PDF are listed below with usage examples.
Ease of Distribution
Handout materials can be easily created from the Publish feature.
- See the Atomic Learning video (details in Resources section below) on how to publish handouts for PowerPoint presentations.
- San Jacinto College’s South Campus Copy Center has the capability to produce COLOR posters 2 feet by 3 feet in size from PDF formatted files, inquire about additional sizing information and billing information with Phyllis Harris at 281-484-1900 ext. 3438.
Decreased File Size
Publishing to PDF can decrease the size of your files.
- PDF files loaded into Blackboard ensure a smaller course size, increasing speed.
- PDF files attached to emails, makes the email size smaller, taking less space on the network emailing system.
TIP: When publishing the file use the Optimize for: Minimum size (publishing online) option
Publishing to PDF documents can safeguard your files from alterations and unwanted duplication.
- Microsoft Word document can be graded/edited, using Track Changes option, and then publish as a PDF. Once it is published as a PDF and returned to the student, the suggested changes are view only in PDF instead of writable in Word.
- Microsoft Excel spreadsheets can be published to PDF, making the spreadsheet into a printable report that does not allow edits.
Enhances file accessibility
Acrobat Reader is a free application that is available to everyone.
- Adobe Reader Download Link: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
The Plug-In for web browsers are free from Microsoft.
- Microsoft Plug-In Download Link: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=f1fc413c-6d89-4f15-991b-63b07ba5f2e5&displaylang=en
Eliminates compatibility issues from different versions of Microsoft Office.
- Document is created in Microsoft Word 2007 at San Jacinto College and does not open with Microsoft Word 2003, unless it was saved in compatibility mode in Microsoft 2007.
How to use PDF Publishing?
In Microsoft Office 2007, click on the Office Button, select Save As…, Publish, and then designate location and type file name.
TIP: PowerPoint presentations have publish options for layout that can be selected by clicking the Options button.
Microsoft Support Resources:
How to Publish Link: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/save-a-file-in-pdf-format-HA010064992.aspx
Word Publish to PDF: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfkqWp1j2nA&tracker=False
PowerPoint Publish to PDF: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJBqd3ZiLhY&tracker=False
Atomic Learning Resources (accessed via the Tools module within the Blackboard home page)
Microsoft Excel Publish to PDF: Movie # 37751
Microsoft Word Publish to PDF: Movie # 37750
Microsoft PowerPoint Publish to PDF: Movie # 37752