A PDF Machine

I am a real fan of PBWorks as a wiki resource.   I’ve bounced around with a few of the major wiki services and always keep coming back to PBWorks.  There is probably a good deal to be said for building allegiance with the first service that you use.

In a desire to be paperless, you can’t beat PBWorks (or any of the other collaborative spaces) as a place where your class meets to work on projects or collaborate on goodness knows what.  There are times, however, when you may need to have paper copies of things for whatever reason.  (hand in to administration, copies for students without access, etc.)  What do you do?

A typical and easy way, provided you have the goods in your wiki already, is to just go to the wiki page in your browser and select File / Print and send the copy of the page to the printer.  That’s certainly easy but does have its problems.  When all is said and done, it’s still just a webpage that’s sent to the printer.  It’s never been designed as something that you might want to look at in anything other than on a computer screen.

PBWorks offers a nice way to turn its wiki pages into a nicely formatted layout suitable for printing.  It’s the popular PDF layout.  Now, printing to PDF is a feature you’ll easily available for your computer with the OS itself or a nice add-on.  The challenge though is that it typically prints the screen faithfully.  That’s what it’s supposed to do so you really can’t knock it!

PBWorks goes one step further and cleans up the content and then creates the PDF.  At the bottom of every page in your wiki, look for this button.

One click, and you’ve got a PDF document of your original work if that’s what you need.  So, from my PD wiki site, you can change this

into this

Now, truth be told, I still prefer to send people to the website and to encourage them to work paperless.  But, for those who wish a handout, I let them know that they can create their own easily just by clicking the button.

I like the power of PBWorks and this is just another one of its features.  It’s another one of those in the cloud applications where you can store once, share, and access from many different machines.  You might now consider making it your personal PDF machine.

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OTR Links for 09/03/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.