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Research and Reading Support: Working with PDFs

Tools to help you succeed with reading and research

PDF Tools

Two popular PDF programs are

  • Adobe Reader (Windows) -- People install a free program on their computers. It's good for reading but difficult for editing
  • Preview (Mac) -- This comes installed on all Macs. It's good for reading, editing and organizing, but extra steps are needed to get the documents into Google Drive


PDF is a "portable document format" that can be opened by many different programs. When you send someone a Word document, they need a copy of Microsoft Word to open it. That means, if they haven't paid for Microsoft Word, they can't open it. The same thing happens with Pages documents. When you use PDF, anyone can open it using whatever program they have on their computers.

You use PDFs in three ways:

  • Reading
  • Editing (highlighting, taking notes, signing, etc.)
  • Organizing (putting different pdfs together in one file or splitting large PDF files)

My favorite PDF tool is KAMI. It's a Chrome extension so it works on Macs and Windows. 






KAMI: the PDF tool for Google Drive

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Questions about how to use PDFs?  Ask Mrs. Hanson.