Open Source PDF Software

One of the needs of an open source desktop application is the requirement to produce a PDF (Print Document File) that can be sent to anyone with a PDF reader.  

As any virtual assistant will tell you, in the nature of our work (which is truly online in every sense), document exchange is a big hassle. With public documents such as portfolio items it is unwise to use documents in their original formats, DOC, XLS, etc. So, the available alternative is to take up screen shots and convert it into JPEGs. Again, its very tedious, cumbersome and unprofessional to present to prospective clients. Then it was a chance discovery at

All one had to do was to prepare my document, check for typos and grammar, fill in the details and upload it at PDFOnline, along with email address. You can use any free email service for this. After your document is converted, you will receive it as an attachment in your inbox. Cool! Isn’t it. So far, So good, especially if you have only static text content.

On the other hand, lets assume that you have written MyWebsite (as a hyper-linked text using the insert-hyperlink in MS WORD), instead of actually typing the URL In such case, the URL text within the PDF document will be accessible, while the hyper-linked text will not be.

Now, this is okay for small URLs like web URL, blog URL etc. Let us assume that you want to include few links to express a point, give references, provide credits etc The length of the URL is likely to be long and there might be several such intercepting links in your complete text. Providing such lengthy URLs will tarnish the presentation completely, and it is impossible to eliminate the URL too. In such case you are forced to use a hyper-linked text. But what use are there links, if these are not accessible in the PDF. PDFonline’s solution to this problem is their BCL-Easy PDF

The trail version of BCL – Easy PDF is free to download and you can convert as many documents you want to PDF without fearing an expiry date. Plus this also retains the hyper-linked texts which are all accessible from the PDF document.Great ! Isn’t it. Too Good To Be True, isn’t it… Yes, it is too good to be true. But, like any other freebie, there is a catch, which is, they have their BCL-Easy PDF stamp appearing in the bottom right corner of all the pages in the PDF file. If you are okay with it, then there is nothing else to think about.

On the other hand, if you are somewhat like me, not afraid to try open source, then I would recommend to go in for ( my personal recommendation – close replacement for MS office ~145MB, worth the effort). In addition to the regular docs, spreadsheet, paint and other stuff in their suite, OpenOffice allows you to export you documents into PDF, where in the hyperlinks are retained , there is no watermark and there is no expiry as well.

Please visit the same blog-post in the URL below and to download the PDF file to ascertain the link accessibility in the PDF documents.

Author: Deepa Govind

Deepa Govind freelance Virtual Assistant from Bangalore. She is proficient in developing customised database application using Zoho Creator. She also takes up projects on ghostwriting for blogs, ebooks, newsletters etc. She blogs at While you are there, use the contact form to get in touch with her.

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