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Help! I’m an admin, not a techie!

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in Office software,Office Technology,Web Tools

Question: “I am an admin who has two programs that are supposed to be used for conversion and editing: Adobe Acrobat and ScanSoft (OmniPage 16 and PaperPort 11). I have not been able to understand the concepts or even stumble through the ScanSoft Suite. I called ScanSoft but they want to charge for help. Can someone give me a first grade view of how this system works? Or help me figure out how to convert and edit in Adobe Acrobat? I am desperate!” – An admin, not a techie

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Here's the advice offered by other members of our Admin Pro Forum:

Doreen: I use PDF Converter Professional. I find it works much better than Adobe Acrobat for converting from a pdf to a word document. Very easy and intuitive.

Janice: I find that Google always gives me info I can use. Also I have purchased books to help me learn new software/software updates on and I have taken courses offered at a local junior college in new software I am expected to use.

Lisa: I sometimes use Adobe Acrobat to convert PDF files to Microsoft Word files. I have Acrobat Standard, which has a “character recognition” feature. When in a PDF file, you click on "Document – Recognize Text as OCR”. Then click on “Start,” then “All Pages,” then “Okay.” Once the character recognition function is complete, then click on “Select All”, then “Edit-Copy”. Once you have copied the text, paste it into a Word document.

This usually works fairly well; you lose most of your formatting, since the character recognition process can’t “read” formatting. It’s also difficult if you have lots of pictures and graphs in your document; character recognition works best on documents that have only typed words. But it’s usually pretty easy to reconvert a simple PDF into a Word document.

Patty: Part of an admin’s job is to keep up to date on software applications and their uses, which I don’t think translates to “being a techie”. Having said that, there are many, many websites out there that can help you learn how to use any type of software on the market.

For instance, Adobe Acrobat has a great “Tips and Techniques” that was put on by this very site (Business Management Daily). I purchased the CD for a low cost and found some great tips on how to use the software. You will have to dig a little, do some searching, perhaps spend a little money, but you will find some help. Happy learning!

Due to popular demand, the publishers of Business Management Daily are once again hosting a training webinar on Adobe. Introducing Adobe Acrobat: Advanced Tools.

Register now for this live event. Or if you can't attend, the on-demand video allows you to learn at your own pace. The first 50 registrants will receive our best-selling special report: 59 Tech Tips for Administrative Professionals. Register here...

Also not a techie offers these 3 tips:

  • Right Click. Best advice I've gotten for trying to stumble through a program I haven't been trained in was: "RIGHT click!" to see what options it gives you. (I even put "RIGHT CLICK!" on a sticky note on my computer monitor to remind me — even if I've learned how to do something, but don't do that task very often, it's easy to forget)
  • Google it. Google your question (with the software program as the first word in the search) … inevitably someone else has already asked your exact same question and there's an answer online.
  • Take notes. Keep detailed notes in a spiral notebook or in a Word file that you can keep adding to that reminds you how to do tasks you only do occasionally… you don't want to stumble thru them every time…just the first time. write notes to yourself how you figured it out (or how a co-worker taught you!) this also helps if you have to be out sick and want to be able to delegate that task to someone else, the instructions are right there for them.

Shelly: Pretty much anything above Adobe Reader can be used to edit to one degree or another. To create pdf's (the files Adobe is used to read and edit) you usually either scan them in, save them to your directory, then open the file and print it to the Adobe printer, or you create a document in any number of programs and then send it to the Adobe printer to create the pdf.

Bennie: Adobe was fairly easy to learn. You can save most files as adobe or print to, if Adobe has been added to your print queue. From Word and Excel, files can be saved as Adobe.pdf then you open Adobe and use the Advanced Editing Text tool to make minor edits, add additional text by inserting a text box or use the typewriting feature to add text. Of course you’ll need a full version of Adobe, ask the boss or IT for an upgrade and a good basic manual.

I love Adobe, I work in the finance department and as you might imagine, finance and bank forms go hand-in-hand. So I learned early on to automate forms using Word, just to make my life easier. Since that time, I’ve become proficient in the use of Adobe, becoming the resident developer when it comes forms.

If you’re only using Adobe Acrobat to produce PDFs, you’re just skimming the top of what this software can do. In just one hour, Adobe Acrobat: Advanced Tools will take you to the next level and unlock all the powers of Acrobat. Mastering this robust program can improve your productivity AND your marketability.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Susan Sims October 31, 2011 at 10:18 am

An alternative is to download PDF Studio from Qoppa Software. With this commercial desktop tool, you can read directly from your scanner into PDF files. The resulting pages can be marked by you with graphical, text, bookmarks, watermarks, or you can even digitally sign them.
The free version will let you read and mark, with the demo watermark on the files you see or save.
Qoppa also now offers a no charge PDF reader for Android devices, and a commercial PDF tool that allows you to fill interactive forms and markup PDF documents so your markups can be viewed in other PDF readers.
Adobe invented the PDF standard, and Qoppa is helping to make it ubiquitous by delivering self-contained software that runs on all platforms and produces PDF standard output.


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