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Making PDF documents

From Information about Isaak, Brock University's Sakai-Based LMS

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PDF is a great way to publish content to the web because it is a accepted standard (in fact it is an ISO standard) and PDF files can be created for free as described below. The PDF format represents a reasonable compromise of fathfulness to the orignal text, Accessibility and easy of use.

Documents formats like MS Word's DOC format and MS PowerPoint's PPT format are actually blocked by Internet Explorer (the world's most popular web browser) and as such should be avoided. More information about blocked content can be found in the article Allowing Blocked Downloads.

[edit] Video

[edit] On a Mac

PDF creation
PDF creation

In OS X (10.2+) simply...

  1. Pull down the 'File' menu and select "Print". You will have all the normal print options available to you.
  2. Instead of pressing print press "Save as PDF" or chose it from a similar "PDF" menu in OS 10.4.
  3. Choose a location to save it in.
  4. Save the PDF document to a location on your hard drive that you will be able to find later and give it a meaningful name.

[edit] On a PC: Converting to PDF with PDFCreator (or similar pseudo printer)

[edit] Getting a PDF creator

PDFCreator is a free and simple tool that we recommend highly for creating PDF files. You can find the PDFCreator at

[edit] Once you have a PDF creator installed

  1. Open the document you would like to convert, within the application you used to create it (Microsoft Word for example).
  2. Go to print the document but change the printer (often File Menu > Print).
  3. Choose PDFCreator as the "printer".
  4. PDFCreator Document Properties
    PDFCreator Document Properties
    Click OK or Print.
  5. You will be presented with the properties for the document, change what you feel you need to then press 'Save'.

  6. Choose the destination of the file - within the folder of the original document or create a new folder that contains your PDF documents.
  7. The new PDF document will open in Adobe Acrobat, within a few seconds.
  8. You can now close Acrobat and add this file to Sakai.

[edit] Uploading Your Documents (Upload Files)

Files can be added to the Resources by choosing to browse for the file on your device, or on desktop computers using a modern web browser, drag files from an Explorer/Finder window into the Isaak-Sakai window.

To add files follow these steps:

  1. Actions > Upload Files
    Actions > Upload Files
    Inside your course click the Resources tool on the left.
  2. Click the Actions button beside the folder you would like to add the file to (likely the top-most).
  3. Select Upload Files
  4. Drag the file you would like to add into the Drop files.. area OR click upon the Drop files.. area to choose a file from your computer's directory.
  5. Optionally notify your students that the file has been newly added with the Email Notification menu. Note that additional file details, such as a description or custom availability dates, can only be added after upload is complete. If you prefer that students receive notifications after details have been added, consider using the Actions >> Edit Details option once the file has been uploaded.
  6. Done: You should now see the file in your course resources. You are welcome to click the file to confirm it works or modify it via the "Actions" button.

All modern web browsers support single file uploads through the drag-and-drop interface, most support full folder uploads, such a Google Chrome.

Dragging-and-dropping folders can be a faster and more reliable alterntive to situations where the WebDAV upload process might have previously been used.

For more information please see Working with files.

[edit] Uploading Your Documents:Video

Image:2017-07-19 10-54-38.gif

A 15 second video of how to add a file to Isaak/Sakai.

[edit] Additional Information

  • How to convert a PowerPoint file to PDF on a PC and on a Mac
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