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10 PDF Tools & Tips for Bloggers

Tuesday, 20 January 2009 — by

Adobe PDF iconBeing a blogger, you are probably aware that PDF is one of the most important formats used for on-line publishing. Actually, it’s the second most important format on the internet — only HTML is used more…

Knowing how to use PDF tools and how to handle PDF files can be very helpful for you as a blogger, because of the following reasons:

  1. A PDF file is an ideal solution for creating content that markets your blog. You can create PDF articles, eBooks, cheat-sheets and data-sheets that’ll circulate around the internet, which will advertise your blog — as long as you don’t forget to put a link back to your blog in them!
  2. PDF files contain vast amounts of useful and interesting knowledge in the form of facts, figures and texts. You can use these facts, figures and texts in your writing as long as you can easily extract data from them. So learning how to easily extract data from a PDF file can boost your blogging productivity.
  3. Google loves PDF as much as it does HTML. By creating PDF content and posting it on your website, you are: a. adding more entry points that Google will use to send you visitors, b. adding to the inventory of content on your blog, and c. if your PDF gets posted on another website, you’ll get that all important link.

So here are 10 power PDF tips for your blogging pleasure…

Getting data out of PDFs

  1. Copy & Paste — Most bloggers don’t know this, but 95% of PDF files are not copy-protected nor scanned, so you can easily copy text out of them (subject to copyright, Ed). All you have to do is:
    1. Fire-up the Adobe Reader application.
    2. Open the PDF file.
    3. Press Control+A to select all of the text in the PDF.
    4. Press Control+C to copy the text to the clipboard.
    5. Use Control+V to paste the text into Word, or your favorite blogging platform.
  2. Free OCR — This tool will help you extract text from scanned PDF files (those are most of the other 5% of files that you can’t copy & paste text out of). Free OCR is a totally free, open-source tool that can handle most scanned PDF files fairly decently. This is the same OCR technology used by Google to extract the text from scanned PDFs so they can be indexed and displayed in a search result.
  3. Translating PDFs to HTML — Sometimes, you’d want to take part of a PDF file and use it “as is” in your post. This old article shows how to convert PDF directly to html, making it very useful for bloggers.

Please note: this is not an advocation of copyright theft, please seek the permission of the copyright owner.

Creating PDF EBooks, Articles, Cheat-Sheets and More

Most PDF file are created by printing content from any application using a PDF Virtual Printer; You can use this method as well.

Here are some excellent tools you can use to publish PDF content:

  1. PrimoPDF — This is one of the oldest PDF virtual printers. After you install it, a new Virtual Printer will be added to your printer folder. Any document you print to this printer will be transformed into a PDF file.
  2. CC PDF Converter — This is another Virtual PDF printer. The CC PDF converter allows you to create a PDF file and to attach a Creative Commons License to it. Attaching a creative commons license to a PDF allows you to specify that anyone using your PDF content (or a part of it) on their websites / blogs must attribute it to your blog, ensuring that whenever someone republishes your PDF file your blog will be referenced as the source.
  3. Open Office — One problem with Virtual Printers is that they do not create clickable links in the PDF document. If you want the links in your content to work (i.e. open the website on the reader’s computer when clicked on), the cheapest (free) alternative is Open Office. It can be used to open Microsoft Word documents or HTML files and then save them into PDF. The only problem is that Open Office will sometimes mess up the wonderful layout of your Word document.
  4. Acrobat Pro — Adobe Acrobat Pro has the best distiller (Virtual Printer). It will turn any office document into a small “links-working” PDF, but it costs a whopping $450.

PDF Smarts

  1. Foxit Reader — Foxit reader is the light weight alternative to the Adobe Reader. It’s much faster, it doesn’t make your web browser hang, and every geek in the world swears by it. You won’t regret installing it.
  2. User Friendly Linking to PDF Files — PDF are usually heavy, and loading them takes a lot of time. So when you link to a pdf file from your blog, do it the friendly way … add a (pdf) mark to the link, like so: Jedi Master Yoda (PDF) . This way your readers will know they are in for a looonnng wait if they decide to click on the link.
  3. Fun with PDF — You can use this PDF website to calm your nerves after a particularly intensive blogging session. Just Beware — you might experience acute addiction and even prolonged periods of “time-loss” if you use this website.

This article was written By Yoav Ezer. Yoav is the CEO of Cogniview — The PDF to Excel Conversion Company. For the last 7 years, Cogniview has been providing high end PDF conversion software to companies around the world and has more than 10,000 clients including 60% of the Fortune-500 companies. Yoav also blogs about productivity and technology at Codswallop where you can find more productivity tips and insights.

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Comment and be known

Eamon → Wednesday, 21 January 2009 @ 13:30 BDT

This is a really comprehensive and detailed look at PDFs. V. useful this.

Isaacson → Wednesday, 21 January 2009 @ 21:58 BDT

Adam is a terrific tool for adding video, html and more to your PDFs.

Me → Monday, 26 January 2009 @ 9:20 BDT

Any chance on getting a plain text version?

Norhafidz → Wednesday, 28 January 2009 @ 12:15 BDT

Comprehensive guide pal, some of them are new to me.

Thanks for sharing and I just bookmarked this blog, will come back later for sure

Sorry Comments are close. Quite possibly for a good reason. Share your thoughts on some of my other posts or contact me directly.

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