I use OpenOffice 1.1 for creating the Portable Document Format (PDF) documents. This is a great office package and a great alternative to Microsoft Office.

OpenOffice comes free with various linux distributions. I use the SuSE distribution. (www.suse.de)

If you have Windows installed then I advise you to copy the fonts from the Windows 'fonts' directory and install them for use under Linux.

Before you can convert a printed document into a PDF, you will need to scan and OCR each page of the document. The program that comes with the scanner is often good enough. Once done, export the text as plain ASCII.

Now you can typeset this text so that it will look identical to the original printed document.

Follow these tips to give you a head start.