Tag Archives: pdf

View PDF Documents Right in Google Chrome

The newest beta of Google Chrome includes a built-in PDF viewer. This is a big deal for Windows users, since you’ll no longer have to install something just to read those types of documents. Chrome will let you open them right within the browser without waiting for an external program or app to load it up.

Your PDF will load quickly and without flaws as soon as you click on it. Google has even made sure your experience is as secure as it can possibly be:

Just like we do with web pages viewed in Chrome, we’ve built in an additional layer of security called the “sandbox” around the Chrome PDF viewer to help protect you from malware and security attacks that are targeted at PDF files.

For now, you have to satisfy yourself with the beta version of the new PDF viewing capabilities. Google hasn’t given a time-frame for a stable release, but promises it will be soon.

If you’re not already a Google Chrome user, is this new feature something that will make you switch to it as a default browser?

PDF Error Can Give Hackers Control of Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod

The same security hole that allows users to jailbreak their Apple products can also give hackers easy access to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

iPhone photo by William Hook

According to Reuters, French security firm Vupen has confirmed that by simply visiting a website and opening a contaminated PDF file, you can give hackers complete control of your iOS device.

The hack is triggered when visit a web address in your Safari browser that automatically opens a PDF document. Contaminated documents include an infected font file that causes an error that gives the hacker control of your device. Once the hack is triggered, it can delete files, download your data, or install applications.

If your running iOS 3.1.2 or higher on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, you’re vulnerable. To avoid the problem, Gizmodo advises that you avoid opening PDFs directly until a fix is released–or if you must, only open PDFs from highly trustable sources.

Gadgets and Goodies Abound at CES 2010

Traci Toguchi is on-scene at CES 2010, capturing moments for us to use in our community. If you’ve never been to CES, it can be very overwhelming. There are a lot of product launches, press releases and announcements coming at you from every direction. There are parties and after-parties. There are demonstrations, keynotes and sessions to attend. It’s nearly impossible to know if you’re missing something.

Traci is doing a fantastic job for us so far, despite this being her first time at CES. She was able to interview the CTO of Light Blue Optics to talk about their hot new product, the Light Touch. Everywhere you look online, you’re going to find even more news from the conference. There are videos galore to sift through, as well as news items to read.

If you’re following the action, what do you feel is the most important announcement thus far? What gadgets are you most excited about? I’m interested in comparing everyone’s answers to my own thoughts.

Don’t forget to stop by our downloads center to check out today’s new Windows software, and Gaming Apps!

Foxit Screencast

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I recently asked all of you to submit your screencasts to me for review. The best of the best will be chosen to be featured here, in my various channels and outlets. This provides content of a different perspective for our community, and gives you new exposure for your work! Marques has submitted an excellent screencast, showing you an alternative to Adobe’s PDF Reader 8 – FoxIt.

Foxit Reader is a free PDF document viewer. It is incredibly small, and exceedingly fast. It supports virtually all versions of Windows.

In the past, you had to download a huge PDF reader from another company, sit and wait for installation and updates, and then finally open your PDF. With Foxit, you simply install one small file and you’re ready to go. Foxit also features an annotation tool, and text conversion. What other free PDF reader can say that – and mean it?

For Marques, it only took about half the time to open and load as Adobe did. That is a significant improvement. He didnt have to wait on a splash screen – the document just opened. You can also view your PDF as a text document using Foxit… thereby copy and pasting things from the PDF to any word editing program.

In my book, free software that has better features than its paid counterparts is nothing but pure win. Thanks to Marques for providing this look at Foxit Reader for the community!

[awsbullet:adobe premiere elements]

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How to Edit PDFs for Free Online

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Editing PDFs is a PITA. You have to find a program that allows you to scan them in, attempt to edit them, save them to your documents, and hopefully turn out the way you need them to. Luckily, there’s a free online service that does the work for you!

PDFVue allows you to upload (or link to) your PDF, and you can easily edit it… and even add annotations. When you load the site, it will throw in a sample PDF for you to play around with. Practice using each of the various tools, so that you are ready to edit your own document when you’re ready. With PDFVue you can upload any document from any computer without having to have expensive client software. Once you’ve made your changes you can simply download the updated PDF or share the secure PDFVue link.

There are tons of options. You can add annotations, as I mentioned. You can also add links and dates, change the font and color, or add a sticky note! Save your PDF, or email it to coworkers! It’s exceedingly simple to use, and there’s nothing to sign up for or download. Heck, it’s even free!

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How to Convert PDF Files

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Oh, PDF you are so beautiful there in my viewer, but I cannot edit you! I have to convert you somehow to a format that I can edit. Or I can head over to a new website that I came across last night! On Convert PDF to Word, I don’t have to sign up for anything – and I don’t have to pay anything, either!

It’s quite simple, really. Just browse to your PDF file, and open it. Then click the “convert and download” button. And uhm… you’re done. Seriously! No, I mean it! It’s done for you!

There are a few other conversion services available on this website, as well. You’ll find:

  • PDF to Word
  • PDF to Text
  • PDF to Image
  • PDF to HTML
  • Text to PDF

All of them are simple to use, and absolutely free. The next time you need to edit a PDF, just head over to Convert PDF to Word. Within moments, you’ll have a text file that you can work with. Things like this just make our lives simpler, and make me happy.

Let me know of other cool and free services you find that help people get things done.

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Where Do You Find Manuals?

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You’ve probably hit the frustration when needing to find information about hardware or software. You reach for the manual, only to not be able to find what you need. You just can’t find things easily. They lead to nothing but frustration many times.

Take, in comparison, a PDF. You can do a quick search and find what you’re looking for. Electronic manuals are the way to go. You can read them on your phone, or on your desktop. Online help isn’t intuitative, no. You have to know what you’re looking for in order to find it.

So where can you find these electronic manuals? OwnerIQ helps you locate user manuals, how-to guides, installation instructions, and tutorials from thousands of manufacturers and hundreds of thousands of products.

Registration is completely free. Once you sign up, create an inventory of your manuals, based on products you own. You’ll have detailed information about your possessions stored for you on the site. If and when there are updates, recalls, or other information released about your products, you will receive an email to alert you.

OwnerIQ also has a community within their site. You and other owners can learn from each other by discussing problems, giving each other tips, and exchanging documentation. Exchange of information can help all of us to get the most out of the products we own.

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How to Merge PDF Files for Free

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Yes, you likely have PDFs scattered across your hard drive. What do you do when you want to merge one PDF with another? Unless you buy expensive software, it’s impossible – unless you use MergePDF. This service enables you to combine multiple PDF documents into a single one, free of charge.

You can easily merge up to ten separate PDF documents into one new one. Select the files you want to merge, using the “Pick Files” button, and then click the “Merge PDF!” button. The service does the work for you. The only caveat is that individual file size has to be less than 5MB. Additionally, the site creators are very security conscious:

Although this service is free, we take security of data very seriously. The uploaded files and the resulting files (the merged ones) are removed after they have been downloaded. The only thing that is not safe in itself is the data transfer as we are not transferring through SSL.

So if you need to combine several PDF documents into one new one, be sure to check out the free MergePDF service. This is another service that you’ll soon wonder how you ever managed without it! And remember that good software needs great hardware to run on!

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Do you Want to Create PDFs from Firefox for Free?

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Just today, the PDF became an official ISO standard. You’ll see PDFs show up in a lot more places. It will be the document format to beat, basically. I happen to have stumbled across an invitation-only Beta earlier for a new Firefox plugin… to make PDFs. If Firefox were my default browser on Windows, I’d definitely be using this.

PDF Download will add an icon to Firefox in Windows. By clicking that icon while on any web page, it will save the page out as a PDF for you. It’s that easy.

PDF Download by Nitro PDF Software lets you regain control over PDF files in Firefox. When you click on a PDF file, PDF Download lets you know, can tell you how big it is, and can then give you the choice to open, download, or convert it to HTML. The add-on for Firefox lets you decide what to do with the PDF files you click on and customize and automate how they should be handled.

The beauty of the PDF is that if someone creates it, it will retain the same layout no matter what computer or operating system it is opened on. Most manuals you can download from the Internet are in PDF format for just this reason. If you create something in Microsoft Word and try to open it on your Mac… yeah. You know what I’m talking about. The PDF format is just much easier to manage and use.

If you know of any other Firefox extensions or PDF tools that you’d like to pass along, let me know! I’m always happy to share new things with the rest of the world.

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PDF is an ISO Standard

I was up and about at 5am today (don’t ask), and I just so happened to catch a short email in my inbox:

The Portable Document Format (PDF), undeniably one of the most commonly used formats for electronic documents, is now accessible as an ISO International Standard – ISO 32000-1. This move follows a decision by Adobe Systems Incorporated, original developer and copyright owner of the format, to relinquish control to ISO, who is now in charge of publishing the specifications for the current version (1.7) and for updating and developing future versions.

Here’s the abstract:

ISO 32000-1:2008 specifies a digital form for representing electronic documents to enable users to exchange and view electronic documents independent of the environment in which they were created or the environment in which they are viewed or printed. It is intended for the developer of software that creates PDF files (conforming writers), software that reads existing PDF files and interprets their contents for display and interaction (conforming readers) and PDF products that read and/or write PDF files for a variety of other purposes (conforming products).

And what my friends had to say about it:

This is a really strong move for Adobe and for those of us who use PDF constantly. – Blake Robinson via Alert Thingy

Perhaps has something to do with Microsoft opening up their doc specs? – Kenneth Younger

will adobe reader be even slower now? i hope foxit will still work with the flash-enabled pdfs. – mike

mike: the new Adobe Reader coming out is dramatically faster. – Robert Scoble

robert: phew! maybe i can venture back to using it after my tryst with foxit. – mike

this has *nothing* to do with Microsoft… And this isn't really "news", it's just the ISO officialization of what we already knew since December: http://arstechnica.com/news.ar…Marcos Marado

It's a great document format, even though their own reader sucks, thank god for Apple's Preview. – Gerard van Schip

Finally. The whole industry-standard status was kind of weird since everyone treated it like a standard for years now anyway – Horst Gutmann

At the end of the day, this is good news for consumers; standards are always good news for us. I don’t really see a need to install Adobe Reader 9 on my Mac desktop – even though I just installed 9.0 on Ponzi’s Vista desktop yesterday afternoon; I’ll be content with Mac OS X’s built-in support for PDF. When I want to do a bit more with my PDFs, I’ll use Skim. Here’s to hoping that Flash (SWF, FLV) becomes the next ISO standard!