Help with PDF files

PDF files keep the look and feel of your original documents, including fonts, colours, images, and layout. PDFs can be emailed or copied to portable media like USB flashdrives, and can be used across many different types of computers, browsers and e-readers.

How to create PDFs

You can create PDFs by:

  • scanning printed material and saving it as a PDF
  • converting or 'printing' a document to PDF
Using scanners

Software for most modern scanners can create single electronic documents from multiple pages - that is, one PDF file containing several pages, rather than one PDF for each page of the document.

To do this open your software up on your PC before you scan the documents to ensure that the correct settings are set:

  • to create multiple page documents, in your 'settings' choose the 'document' option, not the 'photo' option
  • in your 'save' or 'file type' option choose PDF. If asked, select 'multiple page document', or 'merge', after you have scanned a number of pages of a document

Reduce the size of your PDFs by:

  • choosing 'black and white' (rather than 'colour' or 'greyscale')
  • choosing 300dpi or the medium setting in your software's quality setting
  • keeping your scanner glass clean as it makes for better and quicker scanning and smaller documents
  • scanning your documents the right way round, not upside down or on the side

If you are using more recent versions of Word or an equivalent, simply save your documents in PDF format. Alternatively, you can convert most documents to PDF by using free online or downloadable software, for example:

Opening PDF files

You need to have a PDF reader installed on your device. These are generally free to download. Popular readers include:

Users of Access Technology who are unable to access PDFs should contact us for an alternative version.