Issue #36 July 8, 2003

1. Searching the Web

If you get frustrated trying to find a specific e-mail, a file or text in a document, the next few issues of the newsletter will be particularly relevant for you. I will be sharing excerpts from my latest e-book titled “The 20% You REALLY Need to Know About Finding Information on Your Windows PC”. Today I want to explain the differences between web search sites so you can decide which one would be best for you. The first type of search site is known as a portal. A portal site is one where people submit sites for review and if the search site staff think the site is of value, they add it to their index of sites. The best examples of portal sites are Yahoo!, MSN and dmoz. The advantage to portal sites is that they tend to exclude many of the useless sites out there. The disadvantage is that you will only find sites that have been submitted, so many useful sites may be missed. Some portal sites now charge to be listed, so you may be only seeing those who have paid to be listed. The second type of search site is known as a spider. A spider site is one where their computers search across the entire web (known as crawling the web) for all sites that exist. When they find a site, they index it based on the content and keywords supplied by the site. The most common spider sites are Google, AltaVista, Inktomi and AllTheWeb. The advantage to a spider site is that it includes the vast majority of the web (no spider can include every web site that exists) so you have more sites available to your search. The disadvantage is that the searches will return many more sites that are not relevant and it will require more time to evaluate the results. Whichever type of site you decide to use, check out this article from PC Magazine that rates the search engines and shares some strategies for using them:,4149,1047718,00.asp

2. Free PDF Creators

When you create Adobe PDF documents, I always suggest you use the real deal – Adobe’s software. But some people are looking for a cheaper way to create PDF files and don’t mind losing some of the features or tools that Adobe offers. Here are two free PDF file creation programs that I have heard of. The first is at They offer a free PDF creator that installs a print driver allowing any application to create a PDF file. If you pay $9.95 you can register and remove the nag screen that comes up. Another free PDF creation tool is at It claims to support many file formats, converts via e-mail if desired and can convert to version 3 for compatibility. While these may the a low cost way to go, if you are creating files for others to see and use, I still recommend the control of the Adobe Acrobat software. The ideas in my “How to Make Your E-Documents Stand Out From the Crowd” special report are only tested on Adobe’s software. Click this link for more information on the special report:

3. Useful Resource –

This is another good PowerPoint site, offering articles, ideas and a great links page. Geetesh Bajaj also publishes a newsletter which I find valuable. Check it out at: