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PDF Survival Guide for Non-Millennials

by Hung Nguyen

We make PDF easy, but sometimes we forget how much some of you really need the help. Here are ten tips on how to manage PDFs, even without Smallpdf.

Right, so this took place on Twitter the other day.

twitter viral tweet

We already knew that a lot of people need help with converting PDF to Word, but wow, this issue may actually be a lot more common than we had thought. So much that all search volume containing 'pdf to word' sums up to 1,219,780 every month, just for the US on Google alone! (Yep, we counted).

So here we are, pondering how else we can accommodate users, especially the non-millennials out there which have troubles handling files (though most of us are millennials here ourselves - so don't hate 😇).

Without further ado, check out our survival guide on how you can convert, process and manage your PDF files more efficiently in your everyday life.

PDF Conversion


We will try to keep this article off from mentioning Smallpdf, as our tools are pretty much self-explanatory and you might be familiar with our platform already. However, this one is a given - look at how many retweets the original tweet got!

If you are new to Smallpdf, you can convert PDF to Word, PPT, Excel and JPG files with our PDF Converter (and vice versa). Simply:

  1. Drag-and-drop the PDF into the tool's UI.

  2. Let Smallpdf work our magic.

  3. Download. Done!

generic converter - pdf to word

Converting PDF to Word is this simple.

Print Any Webpage as a PDF


To save virtually any webpage as a PDF file, all you have to do is click Print > Choose 'Save as PDF' as your Printer > Print again. This can be done via most internet browsers. For a more extensive guide on how to this specifically for your favorite browser, check out our guide 'How to Save Webpages as PDF Files'.

Saving Emails as PDF Files


Similarly, you can also print emails to PDFs. Just make sure that you are on the print-friendly version of the email, so the format's not jacked up after saving the email to PDF. Each email provider should preview this version of your email when you click Print. A guide on 'Saving Emails to PDF' also exists on our blog.

Switching the Default PDF Reader/Program


PDF software cannot take over your computer or files, but we can change the preview logo of your PDFs. Rest assured, they are still very much PDF files. To change the default PDF reader to Smallpdf, or any other PDF software, follow the instructions below:

For Windows:

  • Right-click on any PDF file.

  • Click 'Properties' > 'Open With ... Change' > Choose PDF Reader > 'Ok'

For Mac

  • Right click/control + click (this is a tip in itself for computer challenged users) on any PDF file.

  • Click 'Get Info > 'Open With' > Choose PDF Reader > 'Change All...'

How to Uninstall a PDF Software/Any Software in General


You never know - this may be a serious question! To uninstall a program, follow the following instructions:

For Windows:

  • Click 'Windows Menu' > 'Settings' > 'Apps' > Choose the program to uninstall (not Smallpdf) > Uninstall

OR you can also

  • 'Search' > 'Add or Remove Programs' > Choose the program to uninstall > Uninstall

For Mac:

  • Click 'Finder' > 'Applications' > Drag the program into the trash can.

  • Alternatively, when you are in the Applications folder, right click on the app and choose 'Move to Trash'.

Can people I know open my PDF files if they don't use the same program as I do?


Yes, they can. PDF files remain the same on any device. The 'P' in PDF stands for Portable! All they need is a PDF Reader, which should come pre-installed on their device. If not, they can also download our free PDF Reader to use.

Font Missing After Conversion


If you have ever converted a file from Microsoft Office to PDF and the font has changed, there's a reason for this. Usually, this is because we do not have the font on our servers to place onto your new file.

To prevent this issue, you can try to embed your fonts when saving your files. Check out how to do on the Microsoft Support page via this link.

How to Search for Text in a PDF


If you are opening a PDF file on an internet browser, you can use the search function - which is usually CTR + F (Windows) or CMD + F (Mac).

On the other hand, for PDF readers, they all (hopefully) should all come with a search function. For Smallpdf, you can use the same command (CTR/CMD + F) or click on the Search bar and start searching through the content of the file.

What if the text is protected/from a scanned document.

In this case, you can try to convert the file from PDF to Word, into an editable format (OCR is required for this).

Funny how we are ending up back to the starting point again - PDF to Word conversion!

How to Reset PDF Passwords


You have first to remove the current password of the PDF file and then encrypt it with a new password. These tools are available on our site for your convenience.

How to Translate PDF Files


Google Translate to the rescue. As long as Google speaks the language, you don't have to worry. Check out our guide on 'Translate PDF Files' if you wish.

And I'm sure there are many more issues that we can address regarding this file format, but that's it for now. Perhaps there will be a part 2 of this survival guide.

Any problems you need help with? Let us know via Twitter or email.

you're welcome

And you're welcome!

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Marketing Manager
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