While entrenched in the arduous task of moving all of the materials on the Materials Exchange to a new platform this summer, I became painfully aware that many materials had many pages, some up to 20 (gulp!), because if you don’t know the trick to making multiple pages at once in Boardmaker, each page you create will be saved separately. For example, a Go Fish game about fruit for 12 players would be saved “Fruit1, Fruit2, Fruit3,” etc. That meant 12 downloads, 12 titles typed into the new site, and 12 links to be made for uploading. If you take a look at the many pages on the Materials Exchange, you’ll see this process had to be repeated over and over and over….I’m starting to feel faint, just recalling the experience. No wonder my family started fearing for my sanity.
Having taken a couple of months off from the site to focus on the new school year (which also induces lightheadedness, I must admit), I am ready to start adding new contributions to the Materials Exchange. Some new /r/ materials were just posted, and a number of core language stories for AAC users will be posted in the next few days. I welcome YOUR materials for the Materials Exchange because, as I’ve been saying for over 15 years, sharing is what Speaking of Speech.com is all about. It’s a wonderful way to pay back for all of the materials that you’ve used from others. (Clicking the “donate” button on the top of the site is another way to show your appreciation for the new site and to help keep it going. So far, 23 SLPs and teachers have kindly donated $5 or more to help defray the considerable out-of-pocket costs for this site, and I send my heartfelt thanks to each one).
Now for today’s tech tip — an answer to the problem! There is a wonderful site called PDF Join that will allow you — for free! — to join multiple PDFs together to create one multi-page document! This works with Windows or Mac. Had this technology been available years ago when files were initially uploaded, my summer would have been much easier. Given the sheer volume of work I had to do with thousands upon thousands of files to organize and go through, I simply couldn’t use this tool on existing materials — the volume and chance for error were too great, and I was battling against a looming deadline. However, I will certainly be using it with all new materials that are contributed. But, hey! You can use it, too! You don’t even have to download any software; simply follow the instructions on the website. How awesome is THAT?! This is just one such tool that I’m sure you’ll find helpful. Like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” you may discover that you’ve had this power all along! Here are instructions for using Preview on Macs. And here on instructions for using a PDF merge tool in Windows 10. Do you have another easy resource to share? Please add to the Comments so we all enhance our knowledge.