Formatting Documents

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LNCtips.com: Formatting Documents


Oh oh!  That resume or report that you formatted so carefully might look terrible when your client opens it up from an email attachment. Legal Nurse Consultants need to be aware that electronic documents can look very different if the client doesn't use the same software as the software in which the document was created. And the client may never tell you that your report looks bad or downright bizarre.  For example, here's a calendar format that I sometimes use to illustrate compliance with treatments and therapies. It was created in Microsoft Word and is supposed to look like this:

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But if the client uses WordPerfect instead of Word, the calendar looks like this instead:

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Sure, you could buy and use WordPerfect but it's not just Word and WordPerfect that have problems "reading" each other's files.  It happens with lots of different software.  So what can you do to prevent your resum√© or reports from looking like a mess? The answer is incredibly easy - convert the file to a portable document file (PDF) before you send it. 

If you have Adobe Reader (and who doesn't?), you have probably read many files in PDF format.  Converting a file to a PDF format preserves the document's formatting so that it can be viewed on any computer as long as the recipient has a PDF viewer, such as Adobe Reader. 

Unfortunately, you can't use Adobe Reader to create a PDF.  For that, you need to use the full version of Adobe Acrobat Standard or Adobe Acrobat Professional. However at $300 - $600, this isn't a workable solution for many LNCs.  Fortunately, there are many free software programs that can convert any document to PDF format.  My current favorite free software for creating PDF documents is  NitroPDF.  It works great but there are many other free programs that can create PDF documents.

PDF creation software installs as a printer on your computer although it doesn't really print anything.  After downloading NitroPDF or similar software, open the document you want to covert to PDF. Click on your printer icon. When the Printers window opens, it will list all your printers. From the drop-down list, select your PDF creation software and hit the Print button. Voila! You've just created a document with formatting that will look great on any computer.

Want to learn more about LNC skills for legal nurse consultants?  Check out the Archives.

...Katy Jones