I’ve struggled to understand the premise of PDFs (Portable Document Format). They’re supposed to allow us to send and receive documents easily across different devices, locations and operating systems. It is a useful premise, especially given the PDFs I produce from Sketchup and Layout. The reality is something different.

I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to unlock a PDF or copy-pasting its content into a word document just so I can make some minor changes and send it back to the sender.

Also, I¬†often collaborate with multiple people on proposals and tenders, each of us working on different parts only to find that, once we’re ready, some poor sucker has to copy paste everyone’s different document formats into one common format so we’re not submitting a bazillion different docs.


Thankfully, I just discovered a small Swiss company called SmallPDF who have built a PDF tool that isn’t a frustrating piece of junk. In fact:

  • Its all online (no need to download more special software)
  • Its 100% free (no more exceeded trial periods, annoying watermarks or spammy ads)
  • It seems to work….seamlessly……

Should I have expected any less from the nation that brought us beautiful¬†watches and…..tax evasion?

Submitting classy looking proposals is now a synch; I can compile drawing files exported from Layout, pricing tables prepared in Excel and technical documentation from Word all into one PDF with the click of a button.

If only someone would give me back the years of my life that have been previously wasted.