I have a rule about kitchen tools.  New tools aren’t allowed if they serve a single purpose.  There’s not enough space for an apple corer, and a rutabaga peeler, and a green bean frencher, and a cherry pitter.  Give me one tool that could do all those things, and – well, I probably still wouldn’t get it.  But I wouldn’t get it for a different reason than the multi-purpose rule.

Computer tools don’t have to live inside the multi-purpose rule.  Disk drives are cheap enough ($75 for a terabyte drive, including delivery) that you can have all sorts of single-purpose tools out there without ever running out of room.

Today’s tool is not a rutabaga peeler, though.  It’s a life saver.  If someone uses Microsoft Publisher and sends you a .PUB document, there are no reader tools, no conversion tools.  But there is the Convert to PDF service, from BCL Technologies.  It’s free, it works, and it’s amazingly easy to use.  I have used it twice now (including converting a contract from the builder for the house), and it produced the useful result almost immediately.  Here’s how:

1)  Pick the document you need to have converted.  Besides Publisher, they also support

-MS Word (DOC) -HTML (MHT)
-MS Word (RTF) -Text (TXT)
-MS PowerPoint (PPT) -JPG, PNG
-MS PowerPoint (PPS) -BMP, TIFF
-MS Excel (XLS) -WMF, EMF, GIF

2)  Give them the name for the output PDF document

3)  Give them your email address so you can get the result

4)  Be incredibly satisfied!

They don’t spam you, they don’t sell your email address.  They just provide a fantastic service for free.  Highly recommended.