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6 Time Saving Tips For Dealing With PDFs

Managing and working with PDF files isn’t exactly the same as managing any other file format like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. They’re loaded with extra content and need more attention.

If you can’t avoid working with PDFs, you can at least cut down on the amount of time spent working with the format.  Here are a few quick ways in which you can handle those PDFs hassle-free and more effectively.

1. Use Your Desktop

The ironic part about being organized is that people can be a little too organized. They’ll usually group PDF documents together and put them into folders.  Users will then have a folder within that folder to further organize their documents.

Here’s a tip: create desktop shortcuts for your PDFs.  This may seem like a small thing, but a little shortcut like that can save you a couple of clicks going through your folders. You can even save on the number of keystrokes when searching for a PDF through Windows Explorer.

To do this in Windows, just right click and select “Create Shortcut” and save it to your desktop for easy access.    For those with a Mac, you can do the same thing, except instead of “Create Shortcut”, select “Create Alias”.

2. Store Them In The Cloud

Emailing large documents can be a hassle. The huge files sizes that come with PDFs can make it a nuisance to send them by email. The larger the PDF, the longer it takes to send—if it sends at all. Dragging out a USB to save a file can also be a pain in the neck for saving a single file, especially  if you tend to forget it at your desk.

This is where services like Dropbox come in handy. Signing up for a free account will allow you to access files from a folder which stays synced  between whichever computers (or platforms) you have the client installed on. You can easily drag and drop your files into a specified Dropbox folder for quick access.

3. Use A Document Search Engine

Searching for PDF files with Google isn’t very efficient if you aren’t familiar with Google operators—those query words that let you specify what kind of results you want showing up. Even with Google Books, there’s a chance that what you’re looking for isn’t there.

Fortunately, there are search engines that index and search only PDF files and nothing more.  PDF search engines like PDF Search Engine, PDFGenie, PDF Queen, and PDF Database, will let you search for PDF files based on name, tags, topics, and more.

4. Don’t Copy & Paste –Convert It Online

How many times have you tried to copy and paste the content from a PDF into a Word document?  The only way to transfer content from one file to another is to convert it, something which has gotten easier with online converters.

Sites like Cometdocs.com can convert PDF to Word, PDF to Excel, PDF to PowerPoint, and just about any other format conversion you need.  And it’s free. Just head over to the site, upload your file, enter in your email address and you can start converting your files on the fly.  Then just check your inbox for the converted file.

5. For Mass Sharing, Tweet It

If you’re looking to share your PDF file instantly, why not take advantage of the social networks you use on a daily basis? Believe it or not, it might be easier to point someone towards a document you want to share rather than sending it via email.  The only thing you’ll need is a place online where others can access it.

Try using Scribd.com, the document sharing site that lets you upload and share files. Once you create an account and upload a PDF to Scribd, you’ll have a few sharing options for that PDF—one of which includes a URL.  All you have to do is shorten the URL to the document with web tools like Google URL Shortener, is.gd, or bit.ly,  which you can then instantly tweet to your followers.

6. Collaborate On PDFs Online

Collaborating on a file is nothing new. There are a ton of services that make this possible. For PDF files however, it becomes a bit of a problem when the content is locked down, making it difficult to get your feedback and revisions in.

This is where a free application like A.nnotate comes in.  With a free account, you can highlight and insert text into a PDF from right within your browser. You can access your account from anywhere online and share the finished revisions and notes with a link to the file, or export a draft with your notes directly on it.

Try giving any one of these tips a shot.  Though you might have to spend a few seconds opening up an account or getting things set up, the time you’ll save using those tools will more than make up for it.

Author Bio:- Reena Cruz writes for Investintech.com, a leading developer of  PDF Converter Solutions.  In addition to writing about the latest  PDF and tech trends online, she loves to write about social media and productivity in the workplace on the company’s blog.

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