The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
I have written several times recently about going paperless. One of my primary tools for simplifying my life is Evernote. It is the perfect tool to save notes, to save audio or video, to save articles from the web, and to create and store documents of all sorts. In fact, it is even possible to create blog posts directly from Evernote notes by using the Postach.io blog platform. Notes saved in Evernote are easily printed if you are really determined to create more paper. Evernote will also save notes as HTML or XML files. However, one format is strangely missing: Evernote will not create PDF files by itself.
Actually, creating PDF files from Evernote is rather simple although you won’t find that capability in Evernote’s menus.
The easiest method is to “Print to PDF.” All Macintosh computers have the capability to create PDF files from ANY program that can print to paper. Windows users can add “print to PDF” functionality by installing third-party software, such as CutePDF Writer or PDFCreator or doPDF or PrimoPDF or with the rather expensive Adobe Acrobat. You can find other “print to PDF” products for Windows as well by performing a Google Search.
Note: Microsoft has created its own competitor to PDF called the Microsoft XPS Document Writer, but it hasn’t become popular. In short, an XPS file is Microsoft’s less-compatible version of a PDF file. Once regarded as a possible “PDF killer,” the XPS file format now lives on in obscurity within Windows, seemingly out of sheer inertia. The average person should stay away from XPS files and use PDF files instead.
Perhaps a simpler method of creating PDF documents is to use third-party software to convert and copy Evernote documents to a file storage cloud service. The product I use automatically converts all Evernote documents to PDF or Microsoft Word format or both. It then adds another bonus: the service I use also saves the PDF and/or Word files online in an encrypted, safe, and secure folder in almost any online file storage service I choose. Now I have the best of both worlds: I can search and find notes in Evernote in my computers’ hard drives, as always, plus I can find a PDF and/or Word versions of each note in my online file storage service. This also provides an additional backup copy of every note in case Evernote ever goes out of business.
I can keep the online version of each note private, visible only to myself, or I can share any note with others that I choose. I can also send a PDF note to anyone I choose as an attached file in email. Other benefits of converting to PDF include the fact that PDFs can be encrypted and password protected. PDFs are also great when you need to add annotations.
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