One of the best ways to repurpose published work is to create a PDF. It can be
a good way of presenting a file that was originally created in a page layout or illustra-
tion program, or to bring together multiple image files in a coherent single file.
PDFs are pretty easy to make, but they deserve just as much attention as larg-
er, more complete presentations. They can often be the key to winning an interview.
Many applications allow you to save your files directly as PDFs. However, a full version
of Acrobat will allow you to create an integrated portfolio, not just a loose affiliation
Automated PDF creation
Adobe Acrobat Professional 9 has a feature called Portfolio, which makes it
very easy to combine different types and sizes of files, including some moving image
formats, into one document. If you are not a design professional but your audience
requests a PDF, this feature is a wonderful way to give them what they need. You can
customize a welcome page and a header with a typeface and color scheme of your
choice, and select one of four ways for your individual files to be displayed: as a grid
of rectangles, as a “desktop” with a background JPG and documents represented as
icons, as a 3D revolving flipbox of rectangles, and as a sliding horizontal row of icons.
For a design professional, you can use this feature to bundle a cover letter
with your designed PDF portfolio, and add a SWF or other moving image file if you
design both still and motion content. That way, everything in your email package will
The Portfolio function is a good start. However, it emphatically does not take
the place of a professional's portfolio file, as its customizing features are too limited.
It is the equivalent of using a social-networking site as your only portfolio website. A
designer, or anyone who needs their portfolio package to be a memorable representa-
tion of their skills and tastes, will still need to design their PDF themselves using a
layout program, with a redesigned résumé as part of the package.
PDF creation hints
You owe it to the people who'll receive your files to create your PDFs correctly,
and in a format they'll find easy to view. That can be a critical difference. Many peo-
ple quickly print a PDF they've received and take it with them in paper form for
review. They won't want to fuss with settings, or multiple files.
Here are tips for creating good PDFs:
• Create a cover page. Make sure your cover page contains your contact info,
then place your name and the page number as a header or footer on each
subsequent page. If your work is printed, the pages will still be identifiably
yours, and will remain together.