May 16, 2021   6:37pm

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How to convert all those papers and images into PDF files

If you’ve got the energy, here’s the most efficient way to move those papers out of your physical files and into your digital ones …


From the The New York Times*:

Q. I want to convert a lot of old paperwork to PDF files on my PC. Can I use my current scanner?

A. Many scanners and multifunction printer-scanner-copier units include software that lets you save a scanned image as a PDF file. If the scanner’s software includes this ability, your task may be as simple as choosing to save the image as a PDF instead of a JPEG or other image format.

Even if the scanner’s own software won’t save the image as a PDF file, plenty of other programs will, including Nuance PDF Create or A-PDF Image to PDF ( The ScanStore site has information on software and equipment at Freeware programs like Scan2PDF are also available.

If you have a huge amount of paper to scan on a flatbed scanner, an automatic document feeder attachment can help speed things up by letting you scan about 50 sheets in one session. Document feeders can cost around $200, and you need to make sure you get one that fits your scanner model.

Other options include getting a scanner designed to convert documents to digital files, like the NeatDesk system ($400 at Portable document scanners like the “Fujitsu ScanSnap”, “the Visioneer RoadWarrior Sheetfed Scanner” or the “Pentax DSMobile 600” (starting $113 on Amazon) are out there as well.

Personal Tech invites questions about computer-based technology, by e-mail to You may also be interested in Tech Talk, a weekly New York Times podcast on making the most of technology.  Go to:  nytimes/com/personal tech.

SNOETY Note:  If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat on your computer, you’ll need it.   You can download the reader here.  For the Adobe Acrobat family of products, click here.


*The New York Times, PERSONAL TECH, Q&A, “Converting Paper Into PDF Files,” by J.D. Biersdorfer, August 6, 2009, pg B8

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