The PDF file is a way to save a document so
it can be viewed and printed in exactly the way you intended it to look,
regardless of whether you're on a Macintosh, a Windows PC or a UNIX
PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and
it is one of the most widely used file formats currently in use by governments,
businesses, and educational environments. It is a special format for
viewing and printing documents which have been downloaded from the Web.
Documents, such as those created in Microsoft Word and Excel, can be
converted to PDF files, which then preserve the fonts, images, and layout
originally used in the initial document.
When you click on a document file with the .pdf
extension, a pop-up box may appear or your Adobe Reader will begin to
run. You can choose to open the document or save it to your hard drive
and then open it.
Opening a PDF document is like opening a book.
You should first see the cover or page one. There may be an index on
the left side of the screen which will allow you to jump to the chapter
or section which interests you. In order to view PDF documents, you
need Adobe's Acrobat reader plug-in. Nowadays most systems come with
the necessary Acrobat Viewer application preinstalled. If you do not
have this installed on your machine, you may obtain it free at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html.
Copy and Paste. You can Copy and Paste from a PDF document if
it was created from a file, i.e. Word or Excel. Select the "T,"
for text, icon and then copy and paste as you would in any document.
You can not Copy and Paste if the document was created from a scanned
Printing. Don't print the entire document unless you want ALL
of it. At the bottom of the screen is a box with page numbers in it.
These are the pages in the file; not the pages of the document. Get
the page you want to print in the window and then check the number of
the file page. This is the page number(s) that you should tell your
printer to print.
Searching. Select Tools - Find or the Binoculars icon. The search
term you enter and spelling must match the document entries. For example,
a search for "St. Vrain" will not locate anything if the entry
in the document is "Saint Vrain." However a search for "Vrain"
or even "rain" will locate Vrain.
Viewing. When viewing a PDF file from the web a recommendation
is to open it rather than save it. If the document is valuable to you
and you plan on using it again, you can always save it when you close
the file. Otherwise you end up with many PDF files that you have no
intention of ever using again, thus taking up space on your hard drive.
Mary Lou McNatt has many years
of experience working with volunteer programs, advancing our profession
and has a passion for introducing the advantages of technology to volunteer
programs. She was instrumental in obtaining Ivan Scheiers body of
work on volunteerism and putting it online. She can be reached at email@example.com