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Solutions: Options are out there for free PDF creation tools

Effective Jan. 10, PDF creation tools will no longer be offered through and will be available only through Adobe for a low monthly price. Do you have any recommendations to replace this formerly free capability?

There are many free PDF creation programs such as PrimoPDF, which can be found at (search for PrimoPDF). For Microsoft Office 2010 users, that capability is built-in (Save to PDF…). A free add-in for Office 2007 is available at; search for SaveAsPDFandXPS.exe.

About a month ago, I received an email that claimed to be from one of my sons. His name was in the "from" window of the email. The only thing in the message part of the email was a link. I clicked on the link, which took me to what looked like a website infomercial. I thought it was a joke. Later, while talking with my son via Skype, I mentioned the email, but he said he had not sent it and suggested that I forward it to him so that he could investigate. I recently received a similar email from my sister.

These emails may be spoofed (made to look like it is from someone other than the real sender) or perhaps you or someone you know inadvertently made their address book available through a social website. It is not uncommon and is not necessarily a virus. It's always a good idea to report this to the person being spoofed. To be on the safe side, tell them to consider changing their email password. You should do this as well.

The Windows 8 interface is radically different from previous versions, nothing like what I was used to. Is there an option that will allow Windows 8 to use the older, more familiar interfaces?

This is a common sentiment for many people regarding the new Windows 8 interface. I recently helped a good friend transition his old Windows XP PC to a new Windows 8 PC. Like many, he felt a little lost with the new interface. Unfortunately, there isn't a built-in Windows 8 option for changing the interface. However, I came across a free program by the name of Classic Shell ( After a quick and easy installation, the familiar Start button was back along with all the familiar folder-structured menu of programs and options. The Windows live tile interface is still there, but one click to the Desktop and you're back in familiar territory.

I've heard that Microsoft Security Essentials is not compatible with Windows 8. Why?

Windows 8 comes with a very robust antivirus built in to the operating system. It is now called Windows Defender (once again). I know the revolving names are confusing, but this was a good move by Microsoft. If for some reason you decide to install a third-party antivirus solution made for Windows 8, you must first disable Windows Defender.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Options are out there for free PDF creation tools 12/28/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 28, 2012 8:37pm]
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