Saved by the Web (again)

Sometimes, you just get so busy that you forget things.  Most recently for me, I had forgotten to fill out the application form for the OTF Summer Institutes.  Thankfully, I was at the OTF Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century session last week and Siria was there to give me a prod reminding me the due date was February 11.  This, on February 10.

I had the application form sitting on my desktop – it was a PDF file that I had every intention of printing, completing, scanning back to PDF and sending back.  I only had Adobe Acrobat Reader on the computer that I was using.  Gulp!

What to do?

A couple of things sprang to mind immediately.  First, I could plead stupidity and ask for an extension.  Secondly, I could upload the file to Zamzar, convert it to a document format that I could edit in Libre Office and then print back to PDF format.  But, surely there’s another option.  Maybe there’s some functionality in the Preview application or something else on my computer.  Nope.

Maybe there’s some smart startup that has created a program that does what Adobe Acrobat does.  But, before I even got a chance to look to deeply, I found PDFescape.  Could it be that I could actually upload a PDF file to their service, do the edits, save it and then submit on time?

The document isn’t a simple one.  It’s actually five pages with lots of tables and graphics that would need to be navigated if this is to be successful.  What the hey?  Let’s give it a shot.  I upload the document and it appears right in the editor.

Doing what I need to do appears in the top left.  All that I need to do is navigate to the right page, click to find the right starting point, select Text, and start typing?  Could it really be this easy?

It turns out that the answer is absolutely yet.  Within moments, I had the form completed and I download it as another PDF file and it’s nicely attached to an email and submitted ON TIME!  I feel pretty accomplished!

Hopefully, the proposal will be accepted.  Ontario teachers – look for an orange and green flyer in your mailbox at school in the upcoming months with details about the OTF Summer Program and the three day session dealing with Wiki Creation and other Web 2.0 Classroom tools.

In the meantime, bookmark PDFescape in case you are ever caught needing a utility to edit a PDF file.  It may save your bacon like it did mine.

links for 2011-02-13

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