Here’s the audio, if you’d like to listen.]
Whether you’re a business owner, a job seeker sending out résumés, or a writer trying to break into the ‘big time,’ you will appreciate this post.
This information isn’t hidden away in a vault.
You don’t need a government clearance to read it.
But, sometimes … we just … miss something important.
For example: how NOT to mutilate files we email to someone!
[Or am I alone, here?]
Here’s an idea that flies so far under the radar, it’s easy to overlook.
(You should see some of the things I used to email to people. Sheesh!)
It comes with its own
“OH! how could I not have considered this?” moment.
Good news! This problem is easily solved!
The computer gods gave us a break on this one. <wink, wink>
This example is for MSOffice® and Windows®. Any steps or features mentioned should be available, in some form, with other software.
How can it go so-o-o wrong?
Like me, you probably create project proposals – or other types of business-y documents – within office suite software.
The completed files are emailed, and they must be perfect when the _<name your recipient>_ opens them.
You tweaked it for days …
… and f-i-n-a-l-l-y got up the nerve to press SEND.
But that was two weeks ago.
You haven’t heard a peep from the potential client.
You emailed your proposal in a word processor format.
“What?! What’s wrong with that?!”
When the project manager opened it, your work fell apart.
The margins were all over the place.
The bullets misaligned.
Your professional two-page work of art … became an amateurish three-pager with a huge gap in the middle.
The busy manager dumped your file.
Bye, bye lucrative project.
Here’s what happened
The manager’s printer set-up destroyed your proposal.
This possibility hadn’t occurred to me, until someone explained it.
The instant an ‘office’ file opens on a different computer, that printer’s coding takes over. It can mess up your file, big time.
The new printer may not recognize a font.
Or it may format spacing and page breaks differently.
The set-up does its best, but it may not ‘translate’ everything well.
Even if problems are minimal, the document just. doesn’t. look. right.
It certainly doesn’t look professional.
Here’s how to fix it
These step-by-step instructions – depending on your suite of software products – should work for almost all your applications.
I use this process for Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint®.
Yes! Really! Not just a word processor!
Freeze the file
For it to appear e-x-a-c-t-l-y the same at its destination as it does on your screen, you must ‘freeze’ your file as a PDF (portable document format).
Then, it isn’t altered when it’s opened on someone else’s computer.
Here’s an easy way to create a PDF and ‘wrap’ your fragile electronic parcels for emailing:
1. Open the file (document, spreadsheet, presentation, etc.).
2. Use the Save As option.
3. Select PDF on the Save as Type drop down list.
4. Email the PDF to yourself on a trial run.
5. Review the copy arriving in your inbox (not your SENT folder).
With #5, you know the file looped through cyberspace.
If it’s still perfect, it should work for your recipient, too.
OH! Always email a copy of the official ‘send’ to yourself.
Review the copy in your inbox!
For critical work
If I have a critical file, I email the PDF to a couple of friends and ask them to open it. Do they see any issues?
I do this because they have a different:
• Internet provider (or probably received the file through a different server).
Now you have …
… two identical-looking documents on your computer: your original file and a copy ‘frozen’ into a PDF (which looks the way it does because of your printer setup).
Except for irregularities we all seem to find with our iPads or tablets, our PDF usually looks great wherever it lands.
The best part?
The recipient doesn’t need a copy of the original application (word processor, etc.), because they are opening a snapshot saved in a portable document format (PDF).
Join the Conversation:
Do you have a “People should know about this …” time-saving writing tool?
• How did you discover it?
• Tell us about your success with the tool.
• What new writing gizmo (:->) would you like someone to create?
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Let’s all learn from each other!