As I was reading SPalm’s post about PDF files, it reminded me of something I do that might be of use to some of you.
I’m sure most of you keep all your tool manuals and parts lists. I do too, but when I needed to refresh my memory about something covered in the manual – or wanted to look up a part number – I found digging it out of the file, using it, and putting it back was more time consuming than I wanted it to be. Now I keep all that information in my computer in PDF format.
To make it convenient, I created a folder on my computer desktop named “Tool Manuals”. In that folder I’ve downloaded the tool manuals and parts lists for all of my major tools – as well as many others – from the manufacturer’s website. It cost nothing but a little time, and now I have them all in a readily accessible place.
If I need a page of the manual or parts list in the shop, I print it out. Then, if it gets torn or dirty, I haven’t messed up my hard copy. When I need to order a part, I bring the parts list up on the screen, grab the phone and order it. Over the past couple of years I’ve really found this method useful.
My PDF reader is by a company called “Foxit”. Their free version works very fast and well, but by paying a small fee, the upgrade comes with a couple of functions I’ve found very useful. One is a typewriter function that lets me insert any notes or other information I wish in the manuals and parts lists (such as telephone numbers, contact person, order date, etc.). Another is a ‘snapshot’ feature that lets me select and print any part of a page I want – at any scale. I’m sure many other readers have similar functions.
If this has any appeal to you, give it a try. I think you’ll like it.
-- Dave O.