Read, Create and Edit PDF Document Online with PDFescape

PDF files are the lifeline of organisations. PDF, along with .DOC files have to be easily the most important formats for exchanging documents all around the world. The reason I always insist to work on PDF files while working on documents is that PDF is an open standard and doesn’t always require specific software (like .docx needs Word 2007 and above) to open. All you need is a decent PDF reader and almost all PDF readers are available for free.

There are many desktop PDF tools available that can create a PDF file out of a document in but if you are in a hurry and all you are looking for is an online tool, PDFescape will definitely impress you.

PDFescape is an online service using which you can read, create and edit PDF documents online. There is no software or plugin needed and all you need is a JavaScript Enabled browser and an internet connection.

Browsers

Though I would recommend that you register on the site but you can continue unregistered if you have a deadline to meet. The only problem of being a guest user is that all the files and settings are deleted after you logout. If you’re fine with that, continue without registering.

To get started, click on the edit link and select one of the available options to start from. You can either start from very scratch or edit a pre-composed PDF loading it from your computer or from an online source. The only constraint is that, the PDF file must be less than 10 Mb or 100 pages in size.

Getting Started

The PDF editor is excellent for a free online editor. You can create professional looking PDF documents and edit existing ones without any difficulty. Let’s have a look at all the amazing features that PDFescape provides its users.

PDFescape

Features of the Reader

  • User can rotate and zoom PDF document to suit their needs
  • Copy text items to clipboard
  • Search for text and keywords in the documents
  • You can save download and print documents directly from PDFescape

Features of the Editor

  • Ability to add shapes whiteout, images and hyperlinks to PDF document.
  • Encrypt PDF contents using a password
  • Sign PDF documents using your scanned signature

My Verdict

For the first time ever; I have come across a complete online PDF creator, reader and editor which offer the service for free without any catch. There was no watermark of any kind in the documents to discriminate between a free and premium user. My opinion is that this is an excellent PDF editor that’ll get your work done in a jiffy.

Do you guys use an online PDF editor ?

How To Combine PDFs Using Automator

Automator - LogoAutomator is one of my favorite applications on OS X. Wait … scratch that ! It is my favorite automation tool. Period.

Now, there are automation tools available for all consumer operating systems but as far as I know there isn’t any that makes automating tasks as easy as Automator. It’s really a pity that the drag and drop convenience that it brings to Automation, only works on OS X.

Coming back to the topic of this post, I’ll be teaching you how to automate a task that is fairly easy and simple to do manually, but takes more “clicks” and effort. Exactly the kind of task that you’d like to automate – Combining PDF files.

Suppose you have two PDF files that you want to combine into one file. One way is to open the first file in Preview and then select and drag the second file into the sidebar pane. This is fine for one file but quickly becomes a pain if there are more than two files that you want to combine.

This is where Automator comes in. We’ll create a service using Automator that lets us combine PDF files with a single click.

First of all launch Automator and select the Service template.

Automator

Since, we’re only interested in working with PDF files, make the following selections from the drop down at the top of the workflow window. This will ensure that our context sensitive service is only active when we select PDF files in the Finder application.

Automator - Select PDF Files

The next step is to drag in some Automator actions to our workflow. Search for the action named “Combine PDF Pages” in the left side pane and drag it to the main workflow window.

Automator - Combine PDF Pages

That is essentially all that we want to do. At this point, we have a service that will let you select multiple PDF files in Finder and then combine them all by appending pages and create a single PDF file out of them. But, we still don’t know where that new file will be saved. Automator will, by default, save the file in some esoteric system location but that is not what we want. Let’s drag the action named “Move Finder Items” to the workflow.

Automator - Move Finder Items

The default select of moving items to the Desktop should be fine, unless you want to move the newly create file to another folder.

Save the workflow and give it a nice descriptive name. You can quit Automator now.

Now, whenever you want to combine PDF files, just select them in Finder, right click and choose the service that we just created.

Automator - right click

OS X will now combine the two (or more) PDF files and create a new file on the desktop.

Are there any other cool Automator actions that you guys want to know more about ? Have you guys any other cool actions in the past ? Let me know in the comments.

How To Create Your Own PDF Encyclopedia From Wikipedia Articles

WikipediaAs a child, my parents used to present me with an encyclopedia every year on my birthday. It started around the time I was in the second grade or so and continued till I was around 14. I still remember the joy I used to get reading up those thick books crammed with information about this wonderful world of ours (Yes, I was and still am a geek).

As I grew up and the Internet came into my life, all my reading has more or less shifted online. I still like reading encyclopedias and learning about new stuff but instead of reading real books, I now go to Wikipedia for that same pleasure that Encyclopedias used to give me till a couple of years back.

The only problem with wikipedia is that, I can’t really read it on the go. Sure, I they do have a mobile optimized interface and GPRS/Edge/3G is almost everywhere but it still isn’t asĀ convenient as having a real book at your bedside all the time … Unless, there is a way to print a collection of articles from Wikipedia and read those … Just like a real book.

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Live PDF: Search PDF Files using Google or Bing

Almost all search engines support searching inside PDF files and almost all of them have special keywords that the user can pass if you want them to return only PDF related results, but by default the results that you see for any query are mixed with regular web links as well PDF files.

If you’d like to see results from only PDF files from Google and don’t remember the special keywords for it, try Live PDF.

Live PDF: Search PDF files using Google or Bing

Live PDF is a free web service that lets you search PDF files from around the internet using either Google or Bing. The search engine to be chosen can be selected by the user.

The links that you get in the search results point directly to the PDF file so downloading the linked file is as easy as right-clicking and selecting the Save Link As option.

Manipulate and Manage PDF files using Preview – Mac

preview-logoThe PDF file format has always been an integral part of the Mac OS X user interface because of the fact that the underlying technology behind the graphical interface, Quartz, is based on PDF.

That is why, while other operating systems needed third party tools to enable things like printing a file to a PDF printer, OS X has this feature built-in.

OS X also ships with a lightweight PDF viewer application called Preview that also doubles up as an image viewer. If your PDF editing requirements are as simple as mine, show some love to Preview and make use of some of it’s cool features that we’re going to walk you through today .

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View PDF and HTML files on your Kindle

Amazon KindleTheĀ Amazon Kindle is an extremely capable and versatile e-book reader. It has been a runaway success from the time it was released about an year back.

Last month Amazon released version 2.0 of the Kindle and that has also been recieved very well.

The only problem with the Kindle is that it doesn’t display PDF and HTML files and so you will not be able to view a lot of ebooks that you might have collected over the years, will not be viewable on the device.

The Kindle uses the .mobi format for displaying files and if you’re looking for a utility to convert PDF and HTML files to the .mobi format, you should give Auto Kindle a try.

It is a very simple tool which just does one job and does it well.

Use freepdfcard to make business cards online

FreePDFCardsFreePDFCards is a nice web application that can help you design your business card online for free. If you’ve been dying to have your very own business card with your own blog’s logo on it, but were afraid of the costs involved, now is the time to give this site a try.

To get started, just type in your contact information, upload your company/blog logo and customize the text size and style. Click Preview and you have your business card ready. Wasn’t that neat ?

Business Card Info

You won’t get any of the cool designs, nice graphics that a professional designer would offer you, but for those looking for a cheap way out, this might just be the solution.

Geeky Ninja Business Card

This is how a business card would look like. Customize the card to your heart’s content and when you’re satisfied take a printout using any printer.

What do you think of FreePDFCards.com ? Let us know in the comments.

Create PDF files from any windows application for free

CutePDFPDF is a file format created by Adobe for exchanging documents. The good thing about PDF is that the files retain the formatting and fonts even when viewed on a system different than the one they’ve been created on. That is the reason, PDF has become the de-facto format for sharing documents over the Internet.

For a long time, however, the only way to create PDF files was to buy and install Adobe’s Acrobat suite. The Acrobat suite, while very functional and nice, costs money and is expensive.

Since, Adobe has made the PDF standard open, a lot of third party tools have come which claim to be able to create and manipulate PDF files. CutePDF is one such tool.

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