Adobe CreatePDF

One of the nice things I remember moving from mainly using Windows to Mac was that OS X had PDF creation built into the operating system. As a result I was no longer reliant on Adobe Acrobat for creating PDFs. Now don’t get me wrong, Adobe Acrobat is a really powerful application and for professional proofing and printing I still use it, however for quickly creating PDFs to send via e-mail or put on the VLE, it was like using an articulated truck to deliver newspapers!

Of course when sending stuff to printers it makes much more sense if they can’t accept InDesign to send them a high quality PDF and the options available in Acrobat are there when you need them.

Of course when you are only “delivering newspapers” then the PDF creation built into OS X is more than adequate and enough for most people.

So it’s interesting to see that Adobe have bought a PDF creation tool, Adobe CreatePDF, to iOS devices.

Adobe CreatePDF brings the same high-quality PDF creation as Adobe Acrobat to your iPad, iPhone and other iOS devices.

Some apps I have used on iOS do allow you to create PDFs, Pages for example allows you to send your Pages document to someone via e-mail as a PDF. However DocumentsToGo which can create Word documents doesn’t allow me to send as PDF via e-mail. Of course of you receive a Word document or similar via e-mail and then want to pass onto someone as PDF, it can be a bit of a hassle to open it in Pages, convert to PDF and then send it. I suspect it may impact on the formatting of the document too.

For these kinds of things I see a use for Adobe CreatePDF, it could be useful for that. You will need a decent internet connection though, as the PDF creation doesn’t happen on the device, the app uses Adobe’s online services to create the PDF, so it sends the document to Adobe’s servers, does all the processing online and sends you back a PDF of your document. They say this is to ensure a high quality PDF, which is why you are buying this app I guess.

I am sure the £6.99 price though will stop a fair few people from buying the app, but Adobe do have a reputation for expensive software, the PC version of Acrobat for example is £301.89 from Amazon. Does £6.99 sound too expensive now?


Today Adobe launched, a suite of online services.


Buzzword is an online document application which can be shared and collaboratively worked on.

Adobe ConnectNow is a conferencing screensharing application.

You can also create (a limited number) of online PDF documents.

Also you are able to upload and share files.

A nice full review of the service.

PDFs (well Acrobat) crashing Safari

Having a few issues since I had my MacBook Pro upgraded to Leopard with the way in which Acrobat interacts with Safari.

Everytime I try and open a PDF from Safari, it crashes…

error message…

It appears to be related to Acrobat, specifically, the AdobeSelfHealing plug-in!

Solution delete the Adobe PDF plug-in hopefully. Though this does mean Safari will use Preview instead of Acrobat.

Free Online PDF

Though you can create PDF files on a Mac, it is not always possible on a PC unless you have dedicated software. This is where online PDF creator sites can be very useful.

They are also useful if you for example have been sent a Microsoft Publisher file and you have a Mac, or you don’t have Publisher on your Windows PC. They can take the Publisher .pub file and print it as a PDF.

One such site is PDF Online, which can convert a range of file formats (including Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Office) into a PDF which is then e-mailed to you.

I would suggest that if you do use such a service that you use a disposable e-mail address, or one that can be deleted later.

Online Video Conversion Tools

I have mentioned video media conversion tools before, but most of them have been applications. These are fine for example if you have the right computer (you need a Mac for VisualHub) or you have administrative rights to install the software on your Windows computer (which for a lot of work comuters is generally not the case).

So if you can’t install a conversion tool on your computer, how do you convert video files, well I have been looking at online video conversion tools for a while now.

The one I have used and found the results work well on mobile devices is Media-Convert.

Media Convert

It’s quite simple, you upload a media file from your computer, and an online conversion converts into the file format of your choice. It can handle a large number of file types including text and audio as well as video, and has a range of possible output file types.

It can be used to create PDF files which is handy.

The user interface could be better, it is covered in Google ads, but it is free and they need to make money somehow.

I was impressed with the quality, I took a large Quicktime movie and converted it into an MP4 file that could be used on my Nokia N73, and the conversion was done very well.

I was recently told about another online media conversion tool, Zamzar, however the site is populated with pop-ups and you also need to enter an e-mail address which smacks to me that my e-mail might be harvested and passed onto third parties.