Business Tools / Computer Tips

PDFs & Flash Paper

Last week someone asked me for a free tool to turn Word documents into PDFs. Here are the tools I suggested to her:

  • pdf995:
    I used to use this all of the time. Each time you use it you get an ad, but I figured that was fair enough. You download this software and then activate it by printing your document and choosing pdf995 as your printer.
  • CutePDF
    This is another free PDF tool. I haven’t used it but I’ve heard good things about it.

This week I learned about FlashPaper ( It is a (not free) tool that converts any printable file into a Flash document (or PDF). A Flash document is similar to a PDF except that it downloads more quickly using FlashPlayer. Flash Paper documents can be embedded into a web page so the experience of downloading a Flash Paper document is more seamless to a visitor. I haven’t checked it out myself but I thought it was interesting to learn about regardless.

A final quick note on a related topic: The latest Adobe Reader ( has some great new features. (Adobe Reader allows you to read PDF files and is free.) You can copy text and images from PDFs with the latest version. I have been using this for a while. There are some other great features that I don’t use – but being able to copy and use text and graphics has been a real boon.

To prepare you for Valentine’s Day next week, here a web site that will tell you how to say I love you in dozens of languages:

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