Now that the legal world is moving toward a "paperless" approach to things, I get some questions about the best ways to convert documents into PDF files. Most states moving to "paperless filing" require documents to be submitted in PDF format.
Below are a few suggestions on ways to do this:
Easiest: Buy Adobe Acrobat Pro 8.0. It will "install" a little icon in your Word tool bar that allows you to "instantly" convert and document to PDF. Acrobat is also VERY useful if you scan a lot of documents and it is really easy to redact documents, add Bates stamps, etc. If you buy it online, "Google" "Acrobat Pro rebate discount" and you will probably find a "code" to enter into the Adobe site. I saved $125 this way. It's retailing for $449 for one computer. http://www.adobe.com/products
Free: There are a lot of free downloadable programs that will convert documents to pdf files.
The biggest drawback with some of these programs is that they don't have a lot of ways to "manipulate" your pdf files. For example, Adobe allows you to "extract" one page out of a stack of 100. Or "insert" one page. Things like that. But this one is a pretty decent way to get things into pdf format. There are other programs, but this one gets high ratings.
Mostly Easy and Free:
Get www.openoffice.org. This software is just like Word, it is free, and it automatically converts to Adobe with a single Icon. Or, you can keep using Word, save your file, open it in OpenOffice, and then save as pdf.
I'm cheap, but I do enjoy using the Adobe. You can also scan directly into Acrobat.