MinkCast: Making A PDF Anyone Can Edit

Uploaded by webmink on 06.05.2012

Hi I'm Simon Phipps and this is another Minkcast
When you're sending documents to your friends and colleagues via e-mail, it can be hard
to know what to send them. If you send them the native file format that your word-processor
uses, they might not be able to read the document properly. On the other hand, you could send
them a Portable Document File - that's a PDF - but then if they need to edit it they'll
need to correspond with you to get the source file.
What if you could send them one file that everyone could read, but that the people who
needed to could edit. Well that file exists - it's called a Hybrid PDF - and you can make
one using free and open source software from The Document Foundation called LibreOffice.
I'm going to show you how.
You'll need a copy of LibreOffice. To get a copy, got to the LibreOffice web site at
libreoffice.org and click on the big "download LibreOffice" button in the middle of the screen.
Now click on the button for the main installer and the program will be downloaded. Install
it using the normal procedure for your platform.
First, create or open the file that you'd like to turn into an editable PDF. I'll open
a document that I have edited before; this one is the instructions for the process that
I'm going to demonstrate to you, and you can find this document as a hybrid PDF on my web
To export as a hybrid PDF that anyone with LibreOffice can edit, simply go to the file
menu and pick "Export as PDF". In the dialog box that comes up, you'll see that there is
an entry that says "Embed OpenDocument File". This entry appears in different places on
different platforms, so do check the dialog to try to find it - you can see here that
I'm using a Macintosh.
Once you've checked this check-box, it will remain checked for all future exports.
Now come down and click the "Export" button. Pick a destination for the file to go to - in
this case I'm going pick to put it in my documents file.
Press "Save" and watch the progress bar progress along the bottom of the screen if the document
is that large. And that's all there is to it to create an editable PDF - very simple.
Once you've exported the file once in that way, in future the PDF button up on the toolbar
at the top here will export editable PDFs so just a click will bring up the dialog and
result in the file being created.
The PDF file I created earlier is just like any PDF. When I double-click on it, my normal
PDF reader is able to open and allow me to view it just like any other PDF, and this
applies to anyone who receives it. Most people who receive it will simply want to read it,
and they will know that there's nothing different about this particular PDF file.
This particular PDF file is special though. If I open it with LibreOffice instead of with
my normal PDF reader I discover that I am able to edit the document. I am able to open
it and treat it just as I would any other ODF document that was opened by LibreOffice.
Using a hybrid PDF file allows the people who need to have a document that they can
edit to have one, while not bothering the people who don't need an editable document
with an editable document.
Give it a try some time. Send your friends a PDF file that they can edit using LibreOffice
from The Document Foundation.
Thank-you for listening to this MinkCast and tune in again on Webmink.com