Do you know how to create a PDF file? While CEC is able to work from most native application files, Adobe’s PDF (Portable Document Format) is CEC’s preferred way to receive files. This is because many other file formats can look and print differently from one computer to another. Also, PDF’s are just much easier to exchange than native files. With native files – Quark, InDesign, Publisher, etc… – there may be images linked to the document that you need to remember to send to CEC or the document won’t print at high quality. Fonts are another item that would need to be sent to CEC in order for the printed files to appear as you would expect them to. So to send us a file in Quark, for example, you’d have to include not just the .QXD file, but also all of the support files (fonts, images, etc…). With a PDF file, you send us a single file for each document. And typically, a single high-quality PDF file will be smaller in size than the native and support files combined.

But what if you don’t have and don’t want to pay for Adobe Acrobat or other design software that allows you to create a PDF? There are numerous free options available that will allow you to save your document as a PDF. There are even some websites that allow you to convert the file almost instantly and without having to install any software on your computer. Below are just two examples of free PDF creation alternatives that CEC’s clients have used in the past.

There is one thing to remember no matter how you create your PDF files: always open the PDF after creating it and look through it to make sure everything looks OK. Just because the file saved does not mean that everything saved correctly or looks as you would expect it to. So always check the PDF file before sending it to CEC. This step could potentially save time in the proofing process so you can get your finished job back in the fastest time possible.

Please note that these are just suggestions. There are other options – both paid and free – that you are welcome to try. The free options listed below are the ones CEC has had the best luck with in the past.

Free installable PDF printer:
You will need to download & install 2 files. Read the installation instructions on the CutePDF site for details. Clicking this link will open the CutePDF website in a new tab/window.

Free PDF conversion website:
Free PDF Conversion
Clicking this link will open the PDF conversion website in a new tab/window.

Check back often for updates on PDF creation and other tips, tricks and news!

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