11 November 2007

#45. Send PDFs and Faxes Free – From Your Phone

Welcome once again to my Tool Bar & Grill, where every week you can find the coolest solutions to problems you might not even have known you had. Glad to be of service. And now, so is Qipit.

What the heck is a Qipit? I don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s slick.

Qipit is a Web service the enables you to send PDF files from your mobile phone. However, that’s just scratching the surface. Here’s one way to use Qipit:

1. Register for a free account at http://www.qipit.com, and tell it your cell phone number.

2. Take a picture with your cell phone camera (minimum 1 megapixel resolution). I took a shot of my computer screen:

3. Send it by MMS (multimedia message service) to Qipit’s email address. Put the intended recipient’s email address in the message body. I sent it to myself.

4. A minute or two later, the recipient gets an email with both the JPG photo you took and a PDF rendering of it (including a small Qipit logo). Here is the PDF I received (faithfully reproducing the yellow-stripe distortion that the camera phone added):

(PDF stands for Adobe’s Portable Document Format, a universally accepted way to share documents while preserving their original appearance. Normally, you need special software to create PDF files.)

I think that’s pretty neat. But wait, there’s more. You can email the picture from your cell phone or upload it to the Qipit Web site instead of MMSing it. You can use a digital camera instead of a cell phone; copy the picture to your computer and upload or email it to Qipit on the Web. You can send the document to any email address or fax number anywhere in the world. And you can designate multiple email or fax recipients.

You can use Qipit to copy and distribute presentations, white boards, billboards, paper notes, or whatever your imagination comes up with. With a good enough picture, you even could run OCR (optical character recognition) software on the PDF, converting it into a text file that you can manipulate on your computer.

As always, I encourage you to share your thoughts by clicking the “comments” link below, or by emailing me at jonathanstoolbar@gmail.com. And of course, I encourage you to visit every week for more great information, and to tell all your friends about Jonathan’s Tool Bar & Grill.


  1. Once again you've dug up a fascinating and useful application.

  2. Aw shucks, the pleasure's all mine. Thanks very much for your comment. Must you remain anonymous?