Crabby Office Lady
When all your hard work— your documents, spreadsheets, whatever— can't be opened by the people you send them to, it's frustrating, to say the least. But now you can turn those files into universally accepted (and beloved) PDFs.
Crabby Office Lady columns
Let's face it: Sometimes the Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations or other things you've created using Office 2007 cannot be viewed by others, inviting bad blood and general crabbiness. There are a couple of reasons why these folks cannot look at the files you worked so hard on:
- Your recipients don't have Office 2007 installed, and either they can't be bothered to install a viewer or there isn't a viewer for the program you've written the file in.
- You created your document on a Windows-based PC (I'm a PC!) and they use a Mac (no comment).
And what about YOUR needs? Sometimes you want to be able to send off a file that is readable, but not changeable (hey, you have your reasons).
There is no use denying that these are serious problems. And, as we creatures of this modern and overly psychoanalyzed society know by now, the first step to solving a problem is to admit you have one. Go on, say it with me: I am powerless over this file format problem.
Okay! We're broken down! We've hit bottom! We admit it! Now what? A visit to Betty Ford? A weekly meeting? Stick our heads in the sand?
No, no; none of those drastic measures. It's quite simple, actually. I have three little letters for you: P, D, and F, formally known as Portable Document Format. A PDF is a file format that is independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. This means that anyone with a computer and Adobe Acrobat Reader (which is free) can open and read the file. Some examples of PDFs you've probably already been exposed to:
- Tax forms you can download from the IRS Web site
- Online manuals
- Other forms — college entrance forms, online tests, doctor's questionnaires
Now you know what I'm taking about, yes? And you're certain you MUST know how to create a PDF, yes? So what do you do? Do you have to purchase and install Adobe Acrobat, the software that does that? You do not.
So, how do I create a PDF?
If you're an Office 2007 user, there are two ways:
If you do have Office 2007, I suggest you do the second one — you not only get all the best updates and whatchamacallits — oh yeah, fixes (yes! I actually said it!) — with the service pack, but you don't have to download an additional add-on. It's a beautiful thing (and one our customers have wanted for a long...long...time).
So, in the following eight Office 2007 programs, when you want to save the file as a PDF, click Save As and choose PDF from the Save As Type drop-down box.
Create and save to the PDF format in the following Office 2007 programs:
- Access 2007
- Excel 2007
- InfoPath 200
- OneNote 2007
- PowerPoint 2007
- Publisher 2007
- Visio 2007
- Word 2007
Now you can e-mail your documents or post them to a Web site or intranet share, and everyone will have access to your good work. Goodbye crabbiness, hello warm thoughts.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." — Arthur C. Clarke
About the author
Annik Stahl, the Crabby Office Lady columnist, takes all of your complaints, compliments, and knee-jerk reactions to heart. Therefore, she graciously asks that you let her know whether this column was useful to you — or not — by entering your feedback using the Did this article help you? feedback tool below. And remember: If you don't vote, you can't complain.
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