Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Convert PDF files to jpg so you can embed them in email and websites rather than adding as attachments or linked files

Remember when the PDF format indicated that a file would be small and secure? It would open quickly on any computer. It was a pleasure to receive a PDF attachment. Click, it opened, and it looked like a printed document. Then, someone discovered how to modify a PDF and teach it to take over your computer, your bank account and your life. Meanwhile, many companies and government agencies had settled on the PDF format as the best for disseminating forms, transmitting invoices and otherwise sharing documents that were  formatted to look like old-fashioned, typewritten documents. Other companies began printing their graphic-rich catalogs as PDF files -- a cheap alternative to hosting a complex web site. PDF stopped meaning small, quick and secure; it meant big, slow and risky. Even though the IRS was using PDF as its document format of choice, school districts and other government agencies were routinely blocking any emails with PDF attachments. I know because my proposals and quotes were blocked. I ended up faxing them.

So, what to do when one of your clueless clients has sent you a PDF file and expects you to forward it via email to recipients whose domains scrub emails with PDF attachments, or who simply won't take the time to download and open a PDF file? How about embedding a .jpg or .png file into an email? Granted, the resolution will be much lower, but given a choice between a low-low-res file that gets read and a higher-res file that that gets trashed or ignored, you know what the logical choice is.

But, while there are many programs to convert documents into the PDF format, how do you convert a PDF into something lighter? That's whree http://pdf2jpg.net comes in. The creation of Philippe Bernard of Paris, France, he says that he needed to do the file conversion and needed only a few minutes to write the program and post it as a web-based app. I've been using it for occasional file conversions for several months, and it has always worked. Give it a try! You'll probably like it.