PDF Tools: PDFMerge! and Compress PDF – Tools for School Counselors (And Teachers!)
Many times, when I am working with PDF (Portable Document Format) files, I run into a few common issues. First is that I have a few different pages from different files that I want to put into one PDF file. Whether this is because I am pulling together a lesson plan from a few different resources or because I am using CutePDF (<- an extra tool for you!) to print some Microsoft Word pages to PDF’s – a simple, web-based tool is available to us to get the job done.
PDFMerge! (www.pdfmerge.com), a free tool, will allow you to upload many separate files to their website through the several boxes by clicking the Browse button and finding each file on your harddrive. When selecting your files, keep in mind that the order you place them in the boxes will be the order they are merged together in. Once the magic of PDFMerge is done & the stitching is completed in the background – you will be prompted to download the new, combined PDF file and do with it as you wish.
The second PDF trouble that I find myself in is that my PDF is too large. This is typically because we are saving high resolution files as images (that is really what PDF’s are anyhow). Those images take up a significantly larger space than say…a word document. The most typical place to find this a problem is when you are trying to upload a file to a website or service. You may see limitations to 1MB or even 500Kb when trying to add files and this may get you stuck. You can always try to change the original print settings (and this is a great place to start too) through your CutePDF interface, but if you cannot reduce the size enough – it is time to turn to Compress PDF for help.
Compress PDF (via smallpdf.com)
Compress PDF, yet another free tool, cannot be easier to use – simply type in the address on your browser window, find the file to compress, and click upload. The system tells you it is uploading and then compressing (usually takes less than 30 seconds even for the largest of PDF’s) – and once finished, prompts you to download the new file. You can also see the amount it compressed the original file to on the website. Most files I submitted were compressed by a minimum of about 20% but up to 50%+ depending on the file in question. This really makes web developers happy and helps you when sending attachments via email.
According the website, your files are secure and all are deleted within the hour after compressing them. If you are concerned about privacy issues, you can feel free to not upload sensitive files, but I am confident that my files are safe when using this service. If you use the service often and want to thank the developers – there is a link to buy them a coffee at the bottom of the page. Supporting your resources is always suggested and thanked by those spending their time and money to help us out!
I hope you enjoyed reading and can get some use out of these tools. Leave some comments and share on social media with your different uses!