5 PDF Tasks You Didn’t Know Could Be Done Through A Web Browser

Web browsers have come a long way. There was a time when finally being able to view a PDF natively inside Firefox or Chrome got everyone excited. Now, viewing PDFs is the most basic PDF task you can perform.

Aside from viewing PDFs in your browser, you now know more than a handful of PDF tasks you can accomplish online. But we’ll bet that there are still a few PDF web tricks you didn’t know about. Here are 5 you probably didn’t know about.

1. Translate PDF Text

Because you know that PDFs are hard to edit, it’s natural that you wouldn’t peg the format as one you could translate into different languages. However, it is possible to do so without converting your file and manually translating it word for word with Google Translate.

The online translator  is a popular tool for anyone who needs a quick reference. But in case you didn’t notice, it also has an option where you can upload a document to be translated–PDFs included! Obviously, just as the translations for manual text entries may not be 100%, the translations for documents can be slightly inaccurate, as well. So use this tool with that caveat in mind.

2. Convert PDF to JPEG, Excel and PowerPoint

You’re strapped for time. You need to make some final analysis on tabular data. You need to prep approved images for publication.  You need to make some tweaks to a presentation you’re giving in a few hours. Any of these sound familiar? These scenarios are all too common, and in each case, a PDF file can be involved, making that single PDF task even tougher.

Convert PDF To JPG Online

In cases like these, online conversion tools can be a lifesaver. We know the constraints of time, money and resources. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you to get that PDF to JPEG, PDF to Excel and PDF to PowerPoint conversion done. No installation needed. No registration required. Just upload your file, enter your email and click on Convert. Your file will be emailed to you, free of charge.

3. Read a PDF File Out Loud 

Anyone who needs to review, research or do some reading can especially hate the task if it involves doing so with a PDF document and a busy schedule. Not only does it mean having to read a screen, but, if you’re on the go, it also means having to do it on a mobile device. Something a bit cumbersome for a 5-7 inch gadget. And that’s why SpokenText  makes this list.

This tool is an online text to audio converter that comes with the ability to convert text in documents to audio files (.mp3, .m4b) you can take with you. You literally turn your reading task into a listening one. It can convert Word documents, plain text files and PDF documents, just to name a few. This online tool has paid and trial accounts with a few customizable features that makes it worth checking out.

4. Bookmark Your Page In A PDF

Reading lengthy PDF files in Chrome is common and it can be pretty frustrating at times.  You close your PDF, lose your page and then open the file later on, only to scroll through the entire PDF  to find the one place where you left off.

The Chrome extension, PDF Bookmarker, eliminates this hassle if you’re reading a PDF in Google Docs. Once the extension is installed, you can bookmark the PDF page you’re reading. Just click on the bookmark button on the thumbnail icon. The extension will open up to the page you bookmarked the next time you open the file.

5. Sign PDF Documents

Signing PDFs is one of those tasks that you don’t want to do. It sounds tedious and difficult. So it may surprise you that it can accomplished online and with Chrome, no less. Of course, this capability is done through a Chrome extension: HelloSign.

Selecting Signature Type

HelloSign will let you add form fields and signatures to PDFs that are uploaded to Google Drive. Signed documents come with an audit trail to keep track of them, email notifications to all parties, and the ability to share the signed form. Read our tutorial on how to sign PDF documents. We feature a step by step look at how to use this extension to add a signature to your PDF documents.

With just a few of these tips, you can further enhance how you work with PDF files online. Give them a try and let us know how they work out for you.

How To Trim Objects Quickly?

Part 12 of 13 in our How To Use AutoCAD series

Along with the many object manipulation features AutoCAD provides,  the Trim command is another common feature you’ll need to be familiar with as you modify your CAD drawings.

Trimming objects in AutoCAD is useful for merging objects at the place of their intersection.  The easiest way to trim objects in AutoCAD 2016 is to use the “Trim” command located on the Modify panel.

1.First, select the objects you want to trim. You can click on them individually or you can left click and drag to group the objects.

Trimming AutoCAD Objects

2.Right click on the blank space to finalize the selection.

3.Left click on the lines to trim them. Right click or enter to finalize the trimming.

Trimming AutoCAD Objects

Note that you can only trim the lines that intersect. The best tip for deleting unwanted lines would be to use the “Erase” command, which is also located on the Modify panel.

 

How to Combine and Merge PDFs — Complete Tutorial

There are numerous reasons why you might want to combine multiple PDF documents into one:

  • Save on storage space
  • Organize your work better
  • Reduce document cluttering
  • Password protect a single PDF instead of 20 of them
  • Put together a report from different sources

Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain: merging PDF is a good trick to have in your bag for any future document-related work. PDF is here to stay, as it has been for over 20 years.

The big question is, what is the easiest way of combining PDF documents and how much does that cost?

To answer your question, we prepared a comprehensive tutorial on some of the most efficient ways of merging PDF, as well as the tools that we used. We’re leaving the exact choice to you. Let’s take a look.

Merging PDF on Your Desktop

The first thing that comes to most people’s mind when it comes to this is to use a PDF merging software to combine documents. This is really smart and let me tell you why.

In the age of data breaches and low document security, it’s good to try and keep everything local. Document writing, management, conversion and other mandatory work (such as merging) can all be done from the comfort of your desktop, without requiring an Internet connection.

Not just that, but you’ll also be able to manage PDFs of all sizes, from smaller ones that weigh in at just around several KB to the gigantic 100 MB, 300 page documents. Let’s see how you can combine two PDFs on your desktop.

1) Open the first document in Able2Extract. Don’t worry, you can download the software as a 7 day free trial.

Opening PDF In Able2Extract

2) Click on “Edit” and then “Insert from PDF”.

Inserting PDF Pages

3) Select the other PDF document from the pop up and click Open. Specify where you’d like to insert (merge) that new PDF. Click Insert and job done!

Merging PDF Documents

How to Merge PDF Documents Online

Desktop tools are great for for merging classified, larger PDF documents, but what about a quick way to combine smaller files for let’s say emailing purposes? This is where you can resort to online tools for PDF to help you merge PDF quickly and effortlessly.

Online PDF merging tools all have, somewhat, similar characteristics. They are particularly good for smaller and non-classified PDFs, which make the bulk of most people’s documents. However, they do have some downsides, most commonly:

  • They usually have file size limitations. For example, you can upload files up to 5 MB for free and pay for larger files. However, this depends on the individual tool.
  • Lower document security. Every online tool depends on you uploading the file to the company’s servers, which means it kind of gets out of your hands.
  • Workflow is slower. Since everything operates online, your PDF merging speed depends on the internet connection and the PDF file size.

You can find tools for online PDF merging by just Googling it. We tested a bunch of them and found out that PDFMerge! did the best job, by far. The tool is intuitive and easy to use:

  1. Upload PDFs from your computer.
  2. Click the silver Merge button and the tool will automatically merge your documents, which you can immediately download.

This tool doesn’t add any watermarks and even has an https version available, for users concerned about their document privacy.

The Verdict

Which approach you’ll take when combining PDF documents is completely up to you. We advise using a dependable software application for larger and more important documents, as the comfort and speed of working in a local environment are unmatched. On the other hand, there are situations where you’ll need to quickly combine smaller PDFs and email them, which is exactly where you’ll use a reputable online converter.

 

3 Bulletproof Ways to Reduce PDF File Size

I always wondered what the exact reason behind the PDF’s popularity was, only to find out that it’s made out of two things:

  • Document security
  • File size reduction

The document security characteristics of our beloved PDF revolve around its default features and the fact that it isn’t an editable file format. This is what boosted the PDF into superstardom and helped the format become a standard in business correspondence worldwide.

The other notable factor is that when you convert a file to PDF, you are automatically reducing its file size from the original size of the source format. This is especially noticeable with smaller to medium sized PDF documents, which make up the majority of all email attachments.

However, this default compression isn’t enough sometimes. Sometimes we’re dealing with PDF file sizes that are well over the email attachment limit and we simply need to compress them in order to properly send them. Here’s how to solve situations like these.

3 WAYS TO REDUCE PDF FILE SIZE

So, if you have a PDF that isn’t confidential and need it compressed in a hurry then it’s best to use a free, online converters. Usually, they all work in the same fashion: first you upload your PDF (the smaller the PDF, the faster the upload) and then the tool compresses the images and the text, after which you can download it and go on with your work.

1) Using Online Tools

I tested a variety of tools but the PDF Compressor did the best job, by far. Using it, I was able to compress a 7MB document down to 5MB, which is a 30% compression. And that’s a nice feat, if you ask me. 

The tool is completely free, easy to use and will let you compress multiple files if that’s what you need. Additionally, it won’t put any branding or watermarks on the document which is something that several other online tools do.

2) Using WinRar

A second way of compressing PDF is most suitable for emailing purposes and that’s just plain zipping or rar-ing. You can use WinRar to compress your document and just email it that way, if that’s what floats your boat. This process is probably the simplest and easiest and yields similar results as using an online compression tool.

3) Using Adobe Acrobat

A third way of compressing PDF documents would be to use Adobe Acrobat’s PDF Optimizer tool, which lets you apply industry standard compression to a PDF and then save the optimized version for further use. What you should know is that Acrobat compresses both the content and the images and lets you setup compression parameters for each. It uses stuff like bicubic sampling and reduces the PPI of your images, therefore making them smaller.

BONUS: HOW TO CREATE A COMPRESSED PDF FROM OTHER FILES

There are tools out there, such as our own Able2Extract, that let you create PDF documents out of other file formats and set up advanced compression options while doing so.

These compression options revolve around reducing the size of images and content stream while creating PDF and can be extremely useful when you are tight on storage space. Like Acrobat, Able2Extract also gives you different image compression capabilities: bicubic downsampling, JPG, ZIP and a couple more.

Here’s how to set up PDF compression options using Able2Extract (available on Windows, MAC and Linux):

1) Open Able2Extract and go to View > PDF Creation Options > Compression.

Selecting Able2Extract Compression Options

 

2) Check the box “Compress Text” and set up image compression according to the source document. If your document contains colored images, the best compression setup would be to select ZIP or JPEG, and set the quality to low or minimal. After you are finished setting up everything, hit OK.

Compressing Text In Able2Extract

 

3) The next step is to create a PDF from one of your files and apply the compression settings. Click on Create, select your file and hit OK again. The tool will create a perfectly compressed PDF.

Able2Extract PDF Creation Progress Bar

All in all, there are a variety of ways in which you can compress and reduce the size of a PDF and none of them is necessarily the best. It all comes down to your personal preferences and your exact needs.

If you’re working with a publicly available document which does not go over 5MB in size, then using an online compression tool is probably your best bet. These are mostly free, while some have an upgrade option available.

For classified documents, it’s much smarter to use desktop software, as it allows you to perform necessary work locally without having to upload it to somebody else’s server. In these instances, you should most definitely resort to a software PDF tool (like Able2Extract) which is specially made for working with important PDFs in a secure, time saving way.

 

How to Password Protect a PDF (Step-By-Step Guide for 2016)

Right now, there are more than 2.4 billion PDF documents roaming the world wide web.

This means that we are slowly, but surely heading towards a major digital milestone– one PDF per person. However, as  the PDF gets closer and closer to this superstardom status, it means we need to take our document security seriously and take charge of who gets to see our information.

When you password protect a PDF, you are in full control. You are the puppet master of that document and you decide who gets permission to view, edit and manipulate your work. Do not mistake that with being selfish.

There is a justified reason why people of all professions should consider encrypting PDF documents when transferring important files.

For example, an accountant may often correspond with his or her clients via email. If there’s an unprotected report in that communication, and it contains particularly sensitive information then it’s at huge risk of being stolen or misplaced. And that’s why it’s always smart to password protect your PDF.

The big question is: how do we go about it?

Well, it all comes down to your workflow. We brainstormed some common scenarios when you’d want to perform this particular task:

  • You want create a password protected PDF from other file formats
  • You have a ready PDF that you just need to encrypt and save

Let’s go to work.

Creating Encrypted PDFs From Other File Formats

We’re starting with the most common way of encrypting PDF files and we’re going to walk you through two options:

  • Create an encrypted PDF straight from MS Office (does not work with MS Excel)
  • Create an encrypted PDF document using a PDF creation software (works with all file formats)

Creating Encrypted PDF Straight From MS Office

If you need to password protect an Excel document while printing it to PDF, then go to the next chapter where we discuss that particular task.

If you would like to print a Word document to PDF and add password protection, then just follow the steps below:

1) Go to File > Export

Exporting PDF MS Word

2) Create PDF/XPS document

Create PDF In MS Word

3) Click on Options

PDF Creation Options In MS Word

4)  Check “Encrypt the document with a password”

MS Password Encryption Option

5) Enter the password and hit OK

Encrypting PDFs In MS Word

Job done. You‘ve now successfully created a password protected PDF out of MS Word. But what about other file formats?

Creating Encrypted PDF Documents Using PDF Creation Software

You can use a variety of PDF creation software to print an encrypted PDF document from other applications. For this tutorial we are going to use our very own Able2Extract. You can download the free trial and follow along:

1) Open Able2Extract and go to View >PDF Creation Options

Accessing Able2Extract PDF Creation Options

2) Security > Check the Secure PDF and enter the User and Owner names. The  User field will be your password. Set up the desired permissions and click OK.

PDF Security Dialog

3) Go to Create PDF > open your file (you can create PDF out of all printable formats)

Selecting Able2Extract Create PDF Icon

4) The tool will print your file to PDF and automatically apply the security settings you just added.

Able2Extract PDF Creation Progress Bar

The only thing remaining is to save it back to PDF and you’re done. Everything clear? Let’s move on to the next part.

Adding Password to an Existing PDF

You can add a password to an existing PDF in a variety of ways, but the main choice you will have to make is whether you’re going to do it on your desktop or online.

I would suggest sticking to your desktop when working with bigger documents and possibly using an online tool if you’re handling a PDF with a smaller file size.

However, there’s no escaping the fact that, whatever the size of your PDF file, you may be thinking of encrypting it. This further implies that document security is your utmost priority, which means that you should probably stick with a desktop tool. If you have already downloaded Able2Extract then this will also be a walk in the park.

1) Open your unencrypted PDF in Able2Extract, select all and convert it to its corresponding format. If it’s a PDF with textual  content  then convert it to Word, if not you can choose between the other file formats available.

Selecting Able2Extract Conversion Selection Options

2) Your converted file will automatically open. Now, just follow the steps below to apply password protection from your MS Office application:

a) Go to File > Export

b) Create PDF > Options > Encrypt the Document

Once again, if you’re trying to create a PDF from Excel and add a password to it,  know that it can’t be done in this way — go back to the part where we explain how to create a password protected PDF using software.

BONUS: How to Add Password to a Scanned PDF File

Once in awhile, we may come across with a scanned PDF document. What makes scanned PDFs so difficult to work with is that they are essentially images with a .pdf extension, so they can’t be rendered by your regular file editing application.

What we can do in such instances is use Able2Extract Professional, which has integrated OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. To apply password protection on a scanned PDF:

  1. Open the PDF in Able2Extract Professional
  2. Convert the scanned document to your file format of choice
  3. Apply the password protection steps from the tutorials above

So, there you go guys, some actionable tips on how to secure your document and ensure that your work is traveling safely.

Did this tutorial help you? Share it and spread the love. Leave your questions in the comments below.