To Adobe or not to Adobe?

As a small business owner, I find myself having to supply various documents in PDF format, such as invoices or references. Adobe being the expensive tool that it is, I have found a few *free* and open source tools that make life so much easier!

Convert to PDF

These tools convert your Word doc (or whatever) into a pretty, professional-looking, non-editable PDF. It’s like printing, only you print to PDF instead of to a printer. Various options by different vendors are available, e.g.

Merge PDF’s

Have several PDF documents and need to merge them all into one? This is a headache without shelling out for Adobe’s PDF suite, but there’s help! PDF reDirect allows you to do just that – merge PDF’s. Nothing else – no removing of pages, no inserting an external image. But it does merge PDF’s (and you can add encryption if you want):

Annotate PDF’s

How many times did you need to add a comment to a PDF doc but couldn’t? With PDF-XChange Viewer you can! For free.

So, do you need to pay for Adobe? If you’re big into DTP, journalism or graphic design, then maybe you do. But if you’re just a small business owner in need of a couple of features, then these free tools provide all you need. Enjoy!

PS The above tools have been tried and tested by me, and the views expressed here are my own personal opinion. I am not endorsing any particular company, I am merely sharing my experience with some everyday tools I find useful.

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