10 helpful tips for working with PDF

Here are some simple tips to save you time and effort when working with PDF documents on the webPDF portal.

1. Merging multiple PDF files

webPDF makes it easy to take multiple PDF documents and merge them into a single PDF. You can use the “Merge Documents” service on the webPDF portal to combine all the documents you upload. It only takes a few clicks or you can simply drag and drop the documents. You can even change the order of the documents later on if you wish. After execution you will get a new PDF that can be further edited. You can also easily split or combine PDF files. The “Split” web service lets you select a specific page range and then create a new document.

2. Using a password to protect PDFs

Are you looking to achieve a certain level of security for your PDFs and protect them using a password? You can do this with the “Encrypt” service in webPDF, which gives you the option of specifying certain access and security methods for PDF documents. One example of these would be the permission to delete pages. A differentiation is made between read-only and editing access. Here you can specify which operations should or should not be allowed for a given PDF. We recommend that you choose ahead of time the desired encryption method and the password to open and edit the PDF.

3. Converting PDFs to PDF/A

PDF/A is the recognized standard for the long-term archiving of digital documents and is now available in the formats PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2 and PDF/A-3. You can use the webPDF service “PDF/A” to easily convert your documents to PDF/A documents. And while you’re at it, you can also check existing PDF/A documents to make sure they are correct. Here the important thing is that PDF/A fulfills the requirements stipulated for long-term archiving and accessibility. In particular, PDF/A documents must be able to be displayed on mobile devices. webPDF is the problem-free way of generating the PDF/A format.

4. Modifying the document description with webPDF

A PDF document’s description can be found under Properties and contains such information as the title, author, subject and keywords. The “Modify Description” service in webPDF lets you revise this description (i.e. the PDF’s metadata) according to your preferences. It’s best to decide ahead of time what information you can or should share with the readers so that when you change the document description you are prepared to specify your document’s title, author or subject. The Document Properties section should contain all the basic information about the document. Keywords can be helpful not only in speeding up the search process, but also making it a lot easier to find specific documents. It is also important for internet search engines that a PDF document have a helpful and meaningful title, since it will be featured in the results they generate.

5. Exporting as an image file

Do you want to export PDF documents as an image file? Not a problem with the webPDF “Export as Image” service. You can transmit individual pages or the entire PDF document in a graphics format. The webPDF portal creates a ZIP file when more than one page is to be exported. You can choose from the graphics formats JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF and BMP and also select the degree of resolution.

6. Viewing PDFs as a presentation

When you open a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can easily display the document as a presentation in full screen mode. Just use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+L to start the presentation. But before you do, you might want to go to Edit/Preferences and then, in the category Full Screen, change the background color (white is always a good choice) or set the mouse curser to “Always hidden.”

7. Commenting and signing a PDF

Would you like to edit and sign PDF documents? The commenting tool in Adobe Acrobat Reader (as in Microsoft Word) lets you add comments or highlight parts of a text. Other options, such as Comment or Fill & Sign, can be found in the toolbar on the right. Many everyday users are unaware of the fact that you can easily fill in and sign PDFs. This means, for example, that you can enter information in certain fields within a PDF (very helpful when working with documents, applications and forms that contain fillable spaces and boxes). You can enter text and also add a check mark or an X mark in a box. Just select the Fill & Sign tool and then click the respective icon at the top to add a mark, circle or a line, or to sign the document. Then simply click the spot inside the PDF where you want it added. You can change its position later if you wish.

Here is the easiest way to sign a PDF document on a PC using Adobe Acrobat Reader (also very helpful for documents that you need to send off quickly online or for job applications and the like): Just click Fill & Sign. Here you can use a touchscreen to draw your signature or simply add it as an image. If you either cannot or do not want to sign using a touchscreen, then click Image. Now write your signature on a piece of white paper and photograph it with your smartphone. Send the photo to an email address you can access on your PC. Download the image and add it to the PDF. Then move the signature you added to the appropriate spot and the PDF is signed and ready. Incidentally, Adobe Acrobat Reader saves added signatures for future use once you have imported the image. Your signature will then be shown as an option to choose from the next time you want to sign a document. If you don’t want that, you can click the minus symbol next to it to remove it when it appears as an option.

8. Saving a web page as a PDF

webPDF gives you the ability to do a URL conversion, a service you can use to easily convert HTML documents to PDF. All you have to do is start by calling up the desired URL. If the web page you’re looking for is protected, you can access it with “user name” and “password.” Then select the page size, document orientation and spacing, after which you will be provided with the URL as a PDF document. This conversion feature is particularly useful for converting HTML content over which you have control, such as your own website.

9. Extracting individual pages from PDF files

With webPDF you can rotate and delete pages or even extract individual pages from a PDF. All you have to do is select the desired range of pages within a given PDF document and then extract the one(s) that you want removed. The selected pages are combined into a compressed ZIP file using the “Extract Pages” web service. You can choose from the following options:

extracting -individual-pages-from-PDF-files

  • Selected pages: All selected pages will be extracted.
  • Every nth page: This option lets you set a pattern (“Every”) for which pages are to be extracted starting with a specific page (“From page”). For example, if you have a 10-page document and set every 2nd page from page 5, then the pages 5, 7 and 9 will be extracted.
  • Group pages: With this option you can start with a specific page (“From page”) and have multiple pages (“Number”) combined into one PDF within the ZIP file that will be created.
  • Extract every page: Choosing this option makes a separate PDF out of each and every page within the ZIP archive being created.

10. Attaching a digital signature using webPDF

For security reasons, digital documents can be provided with a type of signing key called a private key. Such a key provides evidence of a document or message’s origin and authorship. There is a difference between the terms digital signature and electronic signature, with the latter being less secure and used more in legal or contracting situations. A feature of the webPDF portal enables you to digitally sign PDF documents. How do you create a digital signature? In order digitally sign or certify a PDF, you must affix a type of electronic signature by embedding certificate-based information in the document. The information from the certificate attests to the document‘s authenticity and safeguards it against changes and manipulation. In webPDF you can use certificates issued by a certificate authority (CA) or self-signed certificates. Documents signed in this manner will comply with prevailing legal and regulatory frameworks. Such digital signatures are also used for electronic invoicing (e-invoices) and in audit-compliant archiving solutions.