Monday, September 15, 2008

Word-PDF Conversion

Most of us applied job before. 7 years ago when I started to work, I recalled for some job applications, I needed to go through snail post that required me to print out my resume, attach my photo and paste the stamps onto the envelop using saliva and send it over to the company. Nowadays, everything is done online, be it online application via JobStreet.com and other similar online agency, or your head hunter would ask you to send the latest resume via email.


I always skeptical to send my resume in editable format such as Microsoft Word document format (*.doc) to head hunter whom I have not known well. And many of us do not have Adobe Acrobat. In such case, I used to install some free software to print the Word document as PDF. Google PDF Tool and you can find dozens. One of the disadvantages of some of these tools is it converts the entire Word document into an embedded image in PDF, and hence the text in the generated PDF is not selectable or copy and the hyperlink is not clickable. Also, sometimes the generated PDF has all the formatting and layout gone hay wire.

Recently I have a need to "regenerate" the PDF. Hehe... An email from the online agency notified me that there's a MNC requested my detailed resume and if I am interested in the position. Of course I am, not that the current company is so bad, I always keep my door wide open like Raya Open House. If the company can make me more healthier by feeding more "vitamin M", why should I deny a better "healthy" life, right? You'd know, like MNE2, my blood type is also M (watch the movie and you would know what I meant). Haha...

Since I've upgraded the operating system to Vista and Office 2007, the old PDF creator that I have is no longer working on my Wind. And I knew Office 2007 comes with a feature to save the any office files i.e. Excel, PowerPoint to PDF directly. Searching in the program did not find that feature, apparently it's an add-in that I need to install separately.

After installed, I ran a simple test to see if the add-in meets my requirements: formatting, pictures, document properties and most important, selectable or searchable text string. Here is the Word document...



Conversion is straightforward, click on the Office button, hover the cursor to Save As and click on PDF or XPS...



The standard setting works for general use, it's not necessary to change any of the settings. Click Publish and your PDF is generated...



If you have "Open File After Publishing" option selected, the generated PDF will open right after you click Publish. Here is the output...



It is identical to the source document, the photo stays where it is, the font is similar, the table and the color are intact, text is selectable/highlightable or copy, plus the link is clickable. One last thing which is related to my current job - if you have document properties like this...



The add-in also populates such information into the generated PDF for better information management and yields better search result...



Cool! I did not try on other Office programs like Excel but I believe it works flawlessly for the basics just like above.

Perhaps I shall start generating more PDFs and send them all over. Hehe...

More vitamin M please... :P