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A New App Lets Mobile Users Make and Send PDFs

Easy to use: Createpdf converts files automatically.
Easy to use: Createpdf converts files automatically.

Adobe's PDF files are pretty much the small-business standard when it comes to reading and sharing documents in their original form. With a slew of PDF-friendly mobile apps out there, it's easier than ever to review documents on the go. But creating and sending PDFs on the road has been a trickier step.

A new app from Adobe aims to solve that. The tool gives users the ability to create and send PDFs from files on a tablet or other mobile device. Adobe announced in August that its CreatePDF app is available on iPhone and iPad--before it was only available on Android devices--and it's a welcome addition.

Just remember, this is Adobe. Nothing is free. The app costs a steep $9.99 as a download from the iTunes Store and can be used on both iPad and iPhone.

What it is: CreatePDF lets users convert e-mail attachments or files stored in the cloud on any application into PDF files. The new files can then be e-mailed directly. The process is straightforward: When looking at a document, select "Open in CreatePDF" from the document menu and the app does the rest automatically. Converted PDFs can then be viewed and stored on your device.

What you might like: Overall, it's easy to use. Converting and e-mailing is simple, and the app can convert a wide variety of file formats, including Microsoft Word and other text documents, multiple kinds of image files such as JPGs and GIFs, PowerPoint presentations and files from Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

What you might not like: The app is surprisingly bare-bones for the cost. Files are organized chronologically by the date they were converted, which can be a pain to manage. It's probably a good idea to e-mail or move converted PDFs to applications such as Dropbox or PDF Reader as soon as possible to avoid losing track of them.

Bottom line: If you send and receive a lot of PDFs outside the office, this is a handy tool to have in your kit. If you don't, stick with a basic PDF reader on the go and wait to do your conversions back at your desk, which is both cheaper and simpler. 

Jonathan Blum is a freelance writer and the principal of Blumsday LLC, a Web-based content company specializing in technology news.

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This article was originally published in the November 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Document Portability.

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