Electronic Document Creation


Part 2: Making Electronic Documents

In Part 1: Creating a Dedicated Storage Space, we set up an virtual filing cabinet in which to store your electronic documents. Here is a summary of ways to create those documents. We recommend using the Adobe PDF format because it is universal and uneditable. PDF files (short for Portable Document Format) are also small in file size, making them perfect for emailing and posting online.

“Print” to PDF – any document that can be printed with your desktop printer can also be “printed” to a PDF file after installing one of many free PDF “printers.” After accessing the print screen from the File or Office menu, choose the PDF printer from the list of available printers and push Print! A dialogue box will appear, giving you the option to save the pdf file to your virtual filing cabinet. If you already own any Adobe or Macromedia products installed, you may already have a PDF printer. Look in your printer list for “FlashPaper” or “Adobe PDF Print Engine.” CutePDF is a free utility which also performs this function. Read the instructions carefully, there is a two step installation process.

Scan and Save – Instead of making file copies, we scan and save every paper document that comes through our office. The key to making this system a success is to purchase a high quality scanner. We can strongly recommend the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 (available on iBuy/Zones for about $400). An office scanner should be able to handle double sided sheets with a document feeder. In addition to scanning over 20 pages per minute, the Fujitsu we recommend comes packaged with an excellent piece of software enabling the user to scan directly to a folder, email or printer.

Use Descriptive File Names – As you begin to save PDF files to your virtual filing cabinet, you will want to create a naming convention which will ease the process of locating them in the future. We recommend a descriptive file name which references the type of document and the person it pertains to: New Course Approval Form – Ringeisen.pdf

Indexed PDF Files – One major benefit to a high quality scanner (including the Fujitsu Scansnap S510 recommended above) is the ability to index PDF files. Using Optical Character Recognition or OCR technology, the scanner will recognize and catalog every word contained within that document.


Continue to Part 2: Making Electronic Documents