As you probably know, the web standard for sending documents to another party online while preserving the exact style layouts / fonts etc, is by printing documents as a PDF.
PDF – stands for Portable Document Format, and is owned by Adobe – the same makers of Photoshop.

Most people on the web however don’t use it as often as they should – instead, they assume that everyone owns a copy of Microsoft Word, or PowerPoint, and thus forward you the word document or PowerPoint document.  This is great if you own one of those Microsoft Applications – but if you don’t you will need a plugin to open the document.  This is where the PDF format comes in handy.  Rather then sending a Word or PowerPoint document, when you press print, users can select “Print to PDF”, and then send the resulting PDF instead.

I always scold my sister for sending me Word / PowerPoint Documents because I run an Ubuntu Linux machine as my primary workstation.

If you are interested in starting to use PDF documents however, as a way to send documents that preserve the formatting, then it is helpful to have a few useful tools in your tool-set:

Tools for Windows / Mac / Linux Users

A PDF Compressor
Sometimes when you create a PDF, it may be too big to send via GMAIL.  To compress it to a smaller size, I found this tool online, straight from Adobe

PDF tools for Ubuntu (Linux) users only

A PDF Rotator
After creating a presentation on Ubuntu, using Open Office, I found that the resulting PDF printed was all in Portrait mode.  This meant that my presentation, once viewed as an email attachment, was on its side!  This made it very hard to read while on a computer.  I needed some way to rotate each page of the PDF. To do this, I found a very neat linux program that rotates all pages with the following command:

java -jar pdftk.jar in.pdf cat 1-endwest output out.pdf

pdftk is a free java program you can install on ubuntu by following these steps:

If you know of any other useful PDF tools, please let me know.  I will update this post with more PDF tools that I find.