Creating PDFs for Use on an e-Reader

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Yesterday I shared how we use our e-Readers for homeschooling.  I do quite a bit of searching for supplemental activities online.  One of the best websites I’ve found for that is Curriki.  It’s a non-profit site where educators share curricula that they have written themselves.  Some of the resources are already in a PDF format, but other times I create PDF files from them if they are uploaded to the site as a Word Document.  Other times I like to take a web page and convert it. 

There are a number of methods of converting documents to PDF.  I mentioned Adobe’s service yesterday, which allows you to try it for free, and then if you find it useful you can subscribe to a plan that allows you to do unlimited online conversions.

It’s super simple to do regardless of what method you use.  You upload a file, and then click convert to PDF.  (Insert ‘EASY BUTTON’ here).   There are other options that allow you to convert web pages to PDF.  I use those when I  find information that is only available online, and this allows me to save the information  in case the web page ‘disappears’.  Since we have four computers in our home, this also makes it simpler to find the resource on our shared hard drive later, rather than having to remember what computer I bookmarked it on!

Basic text documents or those with minimal formatting turn out fairly well when converting.  If there is a lot of graphics or fancy text, you may notice that it comes out a little strange in the end.  Drop caps at the beginning of chapters in books for example, will tend to render a page break sometimes,  or the drop cap will actually end up on the next page!  It is more of an aesthetic problem than anything, so for our personal files it isn’t an issue.  They are still readable and when you come to expect it, you learn the quirks.  You can edit PDF documents that you have converted, but will need a more sophisticated program to do so.  

Besides the reasons I convert documents to PDF, it’s really helpful for sharing files in general.  The PDF format allows people to view the file regardless of what word processing program they use.

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