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Making PDF Files

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  • jmstall@eatel.net
    Fairly regularly, it is nice to provide training handouts, BSA forms, or even syllaus pieces in a generic format on a disk. The most common format fitting
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 7, 2001
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      Fairly regularly, it is nice to provide training handouts, BSA forms,
      or even syllaus pieces in a generic format on a disk. The most
      common format fitting that bill is the Adobe Acrobat PDF.

      Can someone provide a summary of how to make PDF files from scanned
      documents (including whether to scan them as images or run them
      through OCR software) and/or from electronic files (Word, PowerPoint,
      etc.). I know you have to have the full Adobe Acrobat program that
      you have to buy (unless someone knows of an alternative), but don't
      know what you need to provide to that platform. If there are any
      tricks to getting stuff ready for Acrobat to convert to PDF, I would
      appreciate that information, too.

      Thanks in advance for any help.

      YiS,
      Jak Stallings
      Cypress Chauve District Training Chairman
      Istrouma Area Council
      Prairieville, LA
    • Wendell Brown
      ... The easiest way to make a PDF from a scanned document is to scan directly into Accrobat. If the info you are scanning is primarily text you MAY want to
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 7, 2001
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        On Wed, 07 Mar 2001 14:12:24 -0000, jmstall@... wrote:

        >Can someone provide a summary of how to make PDF files from scanned
        >documents (including whether to scan them as images or run them
        >through OCR software)

        The easiest way to make a PDF from a scanned document is to scan
        directly into Accrobat. If the info you are scanning is primarily text
        you MAY want to run the Accrobat Capture on it after you finish
        scanning. This is basically a built in OCR package that TRIES really
        hard to make the text version look like the scanned version. It will
        prompt you through all of the "suspects" allowing you to type the
        actual text where it thinks there is text but it can't tell what it is.
        It works pretty well and the cleanup is pretty fast. Needless to say,
        if the PDF is created from a scan without text it is MUCH bigger than
        if it all OCRs.

        >and/or from electronic files (Word, PowerPoint, etc.).

        Much easier. There are a couple of ways but probably the easiest ways
        is to go into your program and do a print to the "Adobe PDF Writer".
        This is basically a PostScript printer driver attached to the Accrobat
        engine. The advantage of this is that if your program is text or
        vector based (word processors, desktop publishing packages, chart
        packages) the print driver will send the stuff to the driver in a
        format that is GREATLY smaller than a scanned image.

        >I know you have to have the full Adobe Acrobat program that
        >you have to buy (unless someone knows of an alternative),

        There are a couple of ways to save money while still being able to
        generate PDF files. The first is to know that Adobe has an educational
        discount. You may be able to buy the full blown version of Accrobat
        for under $50 (I think the commercial version runs about $250). In the
        past our college book store had the $50 version that you could walk in
        and buy with a student (or staff) id.

        Additionally, there is a totally free alternative but it is a bear to
        configure. You can get two freeware packages and tie them together and
        they will spit out a PDF. It isn't as small, clean, easy to use or as
        compatible but it will work in MOST instances. The programs are
        GhostScript (http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/) and GSview
        (http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/gsview/index.htm) which are available in
        several computer flavors (PC, Mac, etc).

        >but don't
        >know what you need to provide to that platform. If there are any
        >tricks to getting stuff ready for Acrobat to convert to PDF, I would
        >appreciate that information, too.

        I have a couple of recommendations relative to settings in Accrobat.
        The first is to go in to "Accrobat Distiller" click on Settings/Job
        Settings and them make sure that it is set to version 3 compatibility
        (it defaults to version 4 and a lot of people don't have the version 4
        plugin yet). The second is make sure that it is set to "Optimized
        PDF".

        A little know bug (feature) in Acrobat is that it DOESN'T compress the
        files UNLESS you run the file through Distiller or the PDF WRITER. If
        you go directly into Accrobat and import 5 pages of text you will end
        up with a file that is tremendously bigger than if you had printed
        those 5 pages to the PDF Writer. I have even went as far as building
        my PDF in Accrobat and then printing it to a bogus PostScript printer
        directed to a file and then loading that file in through "Distiller"
        for a resulting file that is 75% smaller than the original.

        Wendell Brown
        Scouting The Net -- http://www.arkie.net/scouting/
        A Mini-Yahoo for the scouting community.
      • James Gallo
        Acrobat will install a tool button in most of your Microsoft applications. Just click that option and it will automatically generate a PDF file.
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 7, 2001
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          Acrobat will install a tool button in most of your Microsoft applications.
          Just click that option and it will automatically generate a PDF file.
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