The PDF Experiences of a College Student

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As a college student, whether you’re doing an undergrad, masters, or Ph.D., you know that PDF is a file format you will inevitably have to deal with on a daily basis. Here are some of the reasons why:


  • Most of the study material comes as PDF files

  • Academic eBooks are usually available only in this format for download purposes

  • If you’re applying for a student loan extension or filling out any type of form, it’s usually in PDF

  • Most reports are in PDF format, and most colleges require you to submit your thesis in properly formatted PDF form

  • Any overseas exchange program will require you to fill out a bunch of PDF forms

  • Even professional courseware is usually distributed in PDF format

  • In some cases, your professor might send you a PDF and ask you to convert it to Word so you can work on it directly


That’s quite a lot, right?


As a student, you might already know that you can read a PDF document using a reader application like Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and similar tools. However, many students are unaware of other things you can do with a PDF, such as conversion, creation, editing, security, and other types of processing.


From the moment a student steps into her first class in college, she is inundated with PDF files, which is why she will need a robust tool that is light enough to run on a student laptop yet offers comprehensive functionality to manage PDF files.


The problem is, the obvious choice - Adobe Acrobat DC - is too expensive for a student. It is also quite a heavy application and will slow down your laptop considerably. Since a lot of students make do with hand-me-down computers used by older siblings, this is an important consideration.


That’s why we’ve done the hard research for you and found a highly suitable PDF editor that is perfect for students. It is called PDFelement and is one of the most affordable and lightweight yet comprehensive PDF tools available to students today. With PDFelement at your disposal, you can create PDFs from other formats, edit PDF files, convert them to other formats, merge PDFs or split them, add or delete specific pages, fill interactive forms, and much more.


Here are some real-life scenarios in which you can use PDFelement to be more efficient and productive at school:

  1. Combine PDFs: Merging the main document with ancillary materials

As a graduate student, you’re probably aware that a lot of academic papers and journal publications that are sourced from the Internet are available in two parts - the core document and the supplementary attachments.


Having them as separate files means opening them individually and even storing them separately. This is not the ideal scenario.


However, when you have PDFelement at your disposal, it becomes a simple task to combine the files into one and make file management and reading a lot easier.


This is how to combine PDFs in PDFelement:




Step 1: Launch the application and choose Combine PDF on the main welcome page. You should be able to see a new dialog box for combining files.


Step 2: Use the Add button or simply drag your files from Explorer or Finder and drop them into the window. You can reorder them if you like since they will be merged in the order displayed.


Step 3: Hit the Next button and you’ll see that a new file has been created in your target folder, which is usually the desktop or the downloads folder.

  1. Remove Extra PDF Pages: Make documents easier to read


Many times, an academic document is not a final version, just the proof. In such cases, you’ll see a lot of extra or blank pages that make reading it much harder.


Instead of having to skip past pages and interrupting the flow of the document, you can do away with those pages and have a much smoother experience.



All you need to do is go to the Page view, hover on a particular page, and click the trash bin icon on that page to remove it.


Here are some detailed steps:


Step 1: Open the document in PDFelement and select the tab that says Page, at the top.


Step 2: Hover your mouse over an unwanted page and click the trash bin icon that appears. Another option is to right-click the page and choose Delete Page from the contextual menu.

  1. Converting Course Material: PDF to PowerPoint


Many professors and instructors tend to send course material in PDF format because the layout doesn’t change no matter what device you view it on. But that can be a problem for students using tablets or smartphones to read them.


The best way to deal with this is to use PDFelement to convert the original PDF file into a different format, such as PowerPoint (PPT). This way, it’s more readable on a mobile or tablet screen.


Here are the steps to convert PDF into PPT in PDFelement:


Step 1: After opening the document, click on the tab that says Home and then click on Convert to Other.


Step 2: From the options you see, choose PPT as your output format and specify the target folder to save the converted file.


You will see that the conversion quality is 100% and all the elements will be exactly as in the original. You can now easily open and read it like PPT slides.


Also, compared to an online tool like SmallPDF, PDFelement’s conversion is done locally, so no information is sent over the Internet and there is zero exposure to cyber security attacks.



  1. Converting Course Material: PDF to DOCX

Some documents are sent as encrypted PDFs, requiring you to print them out, fill them, and convert them back to PDF.


What if you had a tool that will allow you to fill it as a digital file? That’s exactly what PDFelement can do for you in this situation.


The steps are outlined below:


Step 1: As in the previous process, open the document and the Home tab. But this time, click the Convert to Word button.


Step 2: Specify your target folder for the converted file and start the conversion process.


Note: Such documents are usually for internal circulation only, so make sure you’re not sending them to anyone outside the circle of authorized viewers of these documents.


Similar to these conversion types, PDFelement can help you convert PDF documents into a variety of file formats including EPUB, HTML, Plain Text (TXT), image files and so on.


As an example, any PDF eBook you download can be converted to EPUB to make it easier to view on any eBook reader like a Kindle.

  1. Conversion of Scanned PDF Documents: Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

PDFs that are downloaded from the Internet can also be in a non-editable format, such as scanned documents. Essentially, each page of such a PDF is like an image that cannot be modified.


If you’re stuck with such a document, you know how hard it is to manage and read, and direct editing is impossible.


Fortunately, PDFelement comes with an advanced OCR feature that can convert your scanned PDFs into editable or searchable PDF files, making them much easier to read, manage, modify, and so on.


Here’s how do to it:


Step 1: When PDFelement recognizes such a document that’s been scanned rather than created as an editable PDF, you’ll see a prompt asking you if you want to Process OCR (see figure below.)


Step 2: When you click the button on the notification bar, you’ll see the OCR window popping up. You can just click the OK button to convert the whole document or choose specific pages to convert. If you haven’t activated OCR before, you will be prompted to download and enable the plugin, which only takes a couple of minutes.


Step 3: If your computer is old and you feel it may slow down the OCR conversion process, you can split the PDF into smaller units and process them one by one. When you see the options to convert a file into searchable or editable format, choose the second one.



 

  1. Split PDF: Divide large files into specific chapters or sections


Most academic documents are really heavy, with hundreds of pages that you don’t really need. You can use this feature in PDFelement to split it into smaller parts - one for each section or chapter that you require.


Splitting a larger file makes it easier to read because the resulting documents are much smaller and easier to manage, especially on mobile devices.


Here are the steps to split a PDF in PDFelement:


Step 1: Open a large document in PDFelement and go to the tab that says Page, and then select the Split option.


Step 2: In the Split PDF dialog box, choose the appropriate split setting. 


Step 3: For example, choosing Top Bookmarks will split the document into specific chapters or sections as defined by the internal bookmarks on the document. Clicking Number of pages will split the document into equal parts.


Step 4: Click the OK button to split the file.



  1. Fill PDF Forms - Easily add text to fillable form fields


Let’s say you’ve been invited as a foreign exchange student to a university in another country. There will obviously be a lot of PDF forms to fill out, which will will need to fill and sign digitally before sending them back.


The process:


Step 1: In PDFelement, all you need to do is open these forms, click each form field, input the information, and get the whole thing filled out in no time. 



Step 2: Just save the file after you fill it out and it’s done. You can also add a digital signature to authenticate the document. You’ll find this option under Protect → Sign Document. It’s easy to set up and even easier to apply your unique electronic signature.


In Summary

The specific applications outlined above are taken from real-life scenarios faced by students all over the world. PDFelement’s features will allow you to be more efficient in handling your PDF documents and make you more productive in your studies by giving you the right tools to manage your study material and other documents that you will come across on a regular basis - eBooks, forms, academic papers, journal articles, etc. In short, it will save time on unnecessary tasks and give you more time to focus on your actual study or research.


PDFelement is not just a comprehensive and versatile PDF editor but also a full-fledged PDF reader. The features specific to reading a PDF are extensive, such as zoom, jump to page, bookmark management, copy, highlight, annotate, draw shapes, add stamps, and much more.



With PDFelement at their disposal, students never have to fret about the large number of PDF documents they have to deal with daily. Read, Create, Edit, Convert, do OCR, and just about anything else you need to with a PDF file.


Back to Basics: What is PDF?

Most of us know that PDF stands for Portable Document Format, but not much else. As a matter of fact, PDF was originally developed as a way to preserve the format and layout of a document regardless of the platform it is being viewed on, which includes different operating systems, different devices, and so on.


If you compare it with a format like DOC or DOCX, you’ll see the obvious difference - you’ll see it differently on your smartphone, tablet, and PC, or across Android and iOS, and even across multiple versions of MS Word.


This consistency is exactly what made PDF such a ubiquitous format, not only in the world of education but also in business and other fields. It is ideally suited to store, distribute, and view documents that need to have their original attributes preserved.


Please note that this is a sponsored post