I purchase a lot of tutorials both here and out on the WWW, and it never ceases to amaze me, the number of tutorials that aren’t secured in any way. It’s sad to have to think about it, but in this day and age, it has to be considered.
Why? If your tutorial is not secured, anyone having a copy of it can easily lift both photos and text and place them in a document of their own. Now I know what you’re thinking – “I have a copyright notice at the end of my tutorial, so I’m protected.” No you’re not! These days, a simple copyright statement is not near enough. Anyone with little to no moral values, can and will swipe your content.
Now if they are really determined, there are programs out there that will get past the security by brute force – but why make it easy for them?
There are 2 wonderful inexpensive options out there for you. (Probably a lot of options, but these 2 are my favorites.)
First (and free) is OpenOffice –http://www.openoffice.org/ This is a wonderful alternative to Microsoft Word. It will even allow you to open a completed Word document in Open office, and retain your Word formatting. To create a PDF, you simply “export to PDF’ which opens a wonderful host of options – how the tutorial is viewed; the ability to change the quality percentage to reduce the file size if needed; and add very specific security features. They (Open Office) has great support features to help with any questions about the program you might have. One of the nicest features is the ability to set the pages at “continuous” so the reader sees the information flow, rather than “jump” from page to page. They can view, say the bottom of one page and the top of the next page at the same time, which helps in viewing a complex set of steps.
Second is Deskpdf by Docudeskhttp://www.docudesk.com/desk_pdf_product_home.shtml This one is not free, but for $25.00 is not bad either. This one I consider my “quick and dirty” PDf converter. It has the wonderful option to sit on your desktop, and convert ANY FILE to PDF. It’s quite useful even outside the primary objective of converting a tutorial. The security features in this one are a bit higher than OpenOffice, and a little more intuitive, but it does lack the option to set the PDF to continuous – the pages automatically flip to the next page, when you scroll down to the bottom.
I’ve had several conversations with other artists, that really don’t see the need for securing their document; but you put a lot of work into creating your tutorials and sending them out in the world unsecured is asking someone to steal your hard work.
Thanks for listening 😀 – if you have any questions about these 2 programs, just holler – I’m always happy to help.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Bhuddha