Thursday, November 03, 2011

GoogleDocs For Creating and Displaying .PDF's

I've been playing again testing a few different avenues for small business crafters who have .PDF free e-patterns, e-tutorials, e-projects, and e-articles that they have created and want to display on their websites or blogs. I recently posted about which is a document hosting website in a Linda's Blog post entitled "I Decided To Try Scribd For Some Of My Free E-Books and E-Patterns." Today I experimented with which is not only a document hosting website, but a document creations website.

Now you might be thinking that all hosting document hosting websites are the same.  Au contraire!

Not only can you upload .PDF's to to obtain a linkable URL, but you can CREATE a document right on their website using a suite of office type programs. Their programs are free to use and do not require you to download anything to your computer and include documents creation, presentations, spreadsheets, forms, drawings, and tables. Each of these programs automatically store the items you are creating in your Google account. So, they are available to you everywhere.

If you've been a reader of my Linda's Blog for awhile you know that I LOVE Microsoft Publisher which is part of Microsoft Office. For me, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Publisher are still the best for me to use for my purposes, but is a great way to get started if you want to create .PDF e-patterns, e-tutorials, e-projects, and e-articles and don't have Microsoft Office.

As mentioned will not only upload already created .PDF's, but will let you create your own document. In creating them you can download your document as a .PDF to your own computer or you can PUBLISH your document online. If you create your own .PDF in another program and upload it to you can only obtain a distinct URL that you can link to and which would  display your .PDF.

However, if you create the document using office suite you can PUBLISH it which creates an HTML version of your document that can then be embedded within your blog or website.

Since I already had created my own free e-patterns and e-books I decided to upload those and obtain distinct URL's that I could link to.

I like how the displays the .PDF with the separate pages showing as clickable icons in the left hand sidebar. You can search the document, zoom in or out, download it, print it, and make a copy of it. You can move from page to page via the sidebar or using the left and right arrows.

You can also view it one page at a time or two pages at a time like in the picture shown below:

As far as visibility is concerned you can share it as follows:

1) Public on the web - Anyone on the Internet can find and access. No sign-in required.
2) Anyone with the link - Anyone who has the link can access. No sign-in required.
3) Private - Only people explicitly granted permission can access. Sign-in required.

Using the office suite to create a .PDF takes a little getting used to, but you can create a document and then insert images into it. I think this works best for e-tutorials, e-projects, e-articles, and e-books as all their pages are generally letter size.

However, for e-patterns if you intend to create a two-page cover that can be turned sideways and folded to pattern size then you will have to create this in a separate picture program and then insert the image into your document. only accepts .jpeg, .gif, and .png image files so if you have created your pattern piece sheets as .bmp (to keep the size of your .pdf down) you'll have to convert them to .jpg before you could insert them into your document.

You can also use the suite to create a response form that users can fill out which you can email or embed into your website or blog.

I'm still partial to Publisher, but that's me. I'm old school and very loyal to programs that have worked wonderfully for me for years. However, I do like to play so the next time I'm in the mood to create another free e-book I'll give another try.

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