What Document Format Should I Use?
-- by Jon --
PDF - We converted our Word Perfect files into PDF files. PDF files are a great way to view your history on the computer and it was also the format required by our printing company to publish the history in book form. PDF files are much smaller than word processor files and are great for distributing on CD’s.
Recent versions of some word processors have the ability to save to or "publish to" a PDF file. We originally had an older version of Word Perfect that did not have this feature. We enlisted the help on how to convert our Word Perfect files into PDF files from the people who were going to do our printing. PDF files use a special software to read them. Adobe Acrobat is probably the most popular. You can download a free reader from the www.adobe.com website. Many computers already have a PDF viewer, but I have found many computers have an older version that does not display color pictures. So it doesn’t hurt to have the latest version. After you get to the www.adobe.com website, click on Download Acrobat Reader. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the free ‘Get Acrobat Reader’. The $249 model will create the PDF files you need, but there are other ways to do this.
The print shop converted our Word Perfect files for a fee. Check with them and see what form they need the files to be in so they can turn them into PDF format.
You can also try createpdf.adobe.com. This is an internet based, PDF making service. You can try the service for 5 documents for free. I used this on part of what we did for our CD and it worked great. You just send them a Word Perfect, Microsoft Word, or other file format that is listed. They have made an easy way to select your file that you want converted. After you have selected the file to send, you click on the send button. They return it within minutes as a PDF through your e-mail.
HTML - HTML format is another option for distributing your histories. HTML is the file type used for viewing on the internet. You can view this type of file with your web browser that any computer will have. They can be stored on your CD for personal viewing and these same files can be posted on your family website. Recent versions of popular word processors like Microsoft Word and Word Perfect have an option to save as or publish to HTML.