Michael Kahn

Business Solutions Group has been serving the Mt. Prospect area since 2009, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: Common PDF Tricks You Need to Know

Tip of the Week: Common PDF Tricks You Need to Know

In business, Portable Document Format (PDF) documents are encountered constantly. The benefit is that they are a great way to share and receive documents on any device. One main problem many people run into is that they think that it’s a read-only format. Today, we turn this common misconception on its head by providing some tips on how to better manipulate the PDFs you receive. 

Rotating Pages

You’ve probably encountered this: You get a PDF and open it only to find that the document is upside down. It might not be a huge issue, but you’d really prefer that it was right-side-up. To fix this, many PDF viewing programs like Adobe Acrobat Pro offer options to rotate the document. If you’re using Acrobat Pro, the Rotate Pages option can be found under the Document menu. Once opened, you can select the pages that you want to be rotated, and how they should be rotated. 

Some of the other PDF readers offer a quick button in the toolbar that allows you to rotate each page individually. Regardless of how you choose to get it done, rotating pages just makes reading them simpler.

Signing PDFs

These days, PDFs are routinely sent that need signatures, whether it’s to view the document, or because it is a contract of some type. For years, people would print out the document, sign it, and scan it back over to complete this task. Today, there is a solution that lets the recipient avoid the printer altogether. 

It’s as simple as downloading some free software, such as Adobe Reader. Once you download it, signing documents is relatively simple. With the PDF open, click on the Fill & Sign button, then Sign, and finally, Add Signature. At this point, you’ll have three options:

  • Type - You type your name to indicate that you have seen the document, and an electronic signature is rendered (which almost certainly will not resemble your actual signature).
  • Draw - Using your mouse as you would a pen, you draw your signature in the space provided.
  • Image - You use a scanned image of your actual signature that is then saved for future use.

At that point, just make sure your signature is positioned where it needs to be, click apply, and save.

These days, many line-of-business applications produce signable PDFs to make contracts move faster.

Password Protection

There are times when you want to control who can (and more aptly who can’t) see a particular PDF. Make sure that any password you set up for PDFs are distributed through secure channels to avoid the document from being breached.

Microsoft Word allows you to turn a file into a PDF by using the “Save as” function. All you have to do is select “PDF” as the file type. Before you click Save, you will be able to find a More options button, which will open another window, where encrypt document with a password can be found under Options. Selecting this gives you the ability to set a password that anyone viewing your PDF after that point will have to provide in order to open it.

Merging Files

Once you distribute a PDF, it is easy to lose track of all the different versions. PDFs allow you to consolidate versions to keep track of all the information in one place. You can accomplish this with various paid or free software titles. Pass it by your IT department first, so it doesn’t cause any problems.

Assuming you choose Adobe Acrobat, this process is exceedingly simple. All you have to do is access the Tools menu and click on Combine files. Then, after you have used Add Files… to assemble all the PDFs that you need to merge, just click Combine to generate your new PDF, and Save as to store it in the proper place.

Remember to check with your IT department before you download any software that isn’t already rolled out for you. For more great tips, subscribe to our blog. 

 

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