Archive for the Writing Category

It’s Easy to Create PDF Files

Posted in Office, Writing on August 19, 2007 by Ethan Dickenson

For some time now you’ve been able to download freeware that integrates a printer into your windows operating system which allows you to create a .pdf file by selecting a different printer from your ‘print setup window’. This is an easy freeware solution to the expensive option of buying the Adobe software to edit and create .pdf files. At first it may souJugglend like a ‘jerry-rigged’ solution, and it is, but after you use it a few times you’ll see that it’s dependable, easy, and reliable.

I do have one problem I am working on. If you want to scan several pages and turn them into one .pdf document then you have to import them, one by one, into another application, usually a word processor, to do it. I’ve been looking for a solution to that problem but as of today I’ve not found one. If this is what you are doing, before you import the documents you should format the page in the word processor and move all the margins as far out as you can because if you don’t your document will show up at about 70% as large as the original. If you do push out the margins you can get about 92% and it is hardly noticeable.

There are several solutions that all work the same way. I downloaded Cute PDF writer and it is working well for me. It does require a post script to pdf converter and there is a link to one on the Cute PDF download page that I’m referring you to. Unless you’ve worked with post script applications before you’ll need to download and install both applications. Both are a snap to install and when you go to print a document you’ll see ‘Cute PDF Writer’ listed as one of the printers that you can select.


The ‘Best of Breed’ Clipboard

Posted in Desktop Enhancement, Utilities, Writing on August 18, 2007 by Ethan Dickenson

Yankee Clipboard (YC) delivers an amazing freeware value. It’s better than many of the shareware products that are out there. I’ve tried every clipboard product I can find and the YC’s features top them all. Another important characteristic I look at, especially with clipboards, is the amount of resources they take to run. YC is very efficient. Even when I’ve been doing a lot and I have not “cleared” the clipboard file it is still one of the least resource intensive processes on my machine. There are several things you can do with the YC that you normally have to pay for.

  • It stores rich text formats and pictures of all kinds and even URLs.
  • It has the ability to strip crap off text. For example, when you send an email and several people forward it. If it is routed by a UNIX server you get all those > characters that indicate the text has been sent forward. YC can clip those characters off so when you paste they are not there.
  • You can initiate either your screen saver or a calendar (nice 3 month view) from the icon in the task bar.
  • You can store text that is frequently pasted in their ‘boiler plate’ field so it is always available from the main window. I’ve stored information like my email addresses, phone numbers, and even credit card information in it.

Basically, it’s a great clipboard manager. The only thing I don’t like is that you can’t pull up a list of your recent clips from the icon in the system tray. You can accomplish it with a hot key ‘control+alt+v’ so the capability is there. It could be that I just don’t know how to do it, maybe I’ve missed something. Regardless, I have no problem recommending YC and identifying it as the best clipboard tool I’ve used. I may get a lot of feedback because most people use clipboards and we all get used to the products we use and love them. I’ve tried several including Ditto and Clipomatic and I’ll try others if my readers think they merit consideration. So leave me a comment, let’s have them!

The bottom line is, for now anyway, I’m recommending the Yankee Clipboard as a ‘best of breed’ clipboard manager. You can download it at the link below.

A Good Diary is Hard to Find

Posted in Office, Writing on August 18, 2007 by Ethan Dickenson

adAdvanced Diary is a product that I have used for years. When I was first looking for it I was amazed that I couldn’t find something where I could store just a page of text a day and be able to recall the pages by date. When I found Advanced Diary I was over joyed because it was a feature rich program that far outweighed what I had envisioned having to put up with. I’m not aware of any other programs that provide a ‘diary like’ interface. So if you users know of any please comment in the section below. You can even export your journal entries as Microsoft Word documents. Unfortunately the developer who wrote this program has decided to charge for future versions of this product so this is the last version of this product that is free. Thankfully it is still available on most download sites. Hopefully he will leave it out there so we can all benefit from it. To get the latest and greatest version of the product it will set you back 25 dollars, but my guess is, that the freeware version does everything most people need of it.

You can download the free version at freeware arena at this link:

If you would prefer to stay current and want a product that has a future development cycle then you should download the shareware version and pay the 25 dollars. The developers site is listed below: