In the Part 1 of this two part series, I explained how to access and find any deed or other instrument recorded in the Cuyahoga County Recorder’s office. After a little experimenting on different computers with different installed software, I am confident that you will be able to view, save, and print deeds to your heart’s content – and all for free. Not having access to a computer with Vista or Windows 7, the following advice is for Windows XP users, but could be easily adapted for Vista or Win7.
Things you probably need for this experiment (or at least things I know how to tell you to use):
- Part 1 of this series
- Firefox or (gasp) Internet Explorer browser
- PDF Creator, which can be found HERE
- A sense of adventure and small dose of patience
Let’s get started:
We have two goals in this part: 1) to view the image on our computer, and 2) to save the image in a way that will be easy to print and/or view later. While it might be a mistake, because of the variety of configurations possible, I am going to assume that most users either will not have a program associated with TIF files (the file type that the deeds will be downloaded as), or if they do it will be the default, which is Microsoft Picture and Fax Viewer.
If you want to be sure this tutorial works – you might want to first delete the TIF file association before beginning. If you are not comfortable making system changes – DON’T. For those who are adventurous and want to do this, go to: My Computer>Tools>Folder Options…>File Types tab> scroll to find TIF, select it, then click delete.
Next let’s download and install PDF Creator:
- Download PDF creator at http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/
- Install following prompts, but I suggest disabling the following when you get to these options:
- Uncheck the box “Set Yahoo as my default…’
- Uncheck the box “PDF Creator Add On …”
- Uncheck the box “Create a desktop icon”
- Click Finish to complete installation
Okay, now we have everything in place and ready to download, view, save, and print.
Step 1: Follow the steps in Part 1 to get to the verification and download page. Enter the required anti-spam code that appears, and click the “View Image” button. You should get a screen similar to the one below. Leave the “open with” option checked, and click “OK”. After the image downloads, the deed should open with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer
Step 2: Verify that all of the pages are there. At the bottom task bar of Windows Picture Viewer, you can select which page you would like to view. It is just to the left of the red”X”:
Congratulations! You’ve now downloaded and viewed the deed. Now we need to save it and format it for future use.
Step 3: To save the file, click on the disk icon (second from right on Windows Picture Viewer toolbar). Rename the file to fit your filing scheme, and save it to the appropriate location. In the example, I will save it to the desktop. Leave the file type as is. Click “Save”
Now we have the file on our desktop and will now convert it to a PDF format. Why? Because this will be the easiest way to print and view the file in the future. This is where our PDF Creator comes into play. The conversion process is identical to printing it, except we will print to a file rather than the actual printer.
Step 4: Navigate to where you saved the file, then right click on the file. From the menu options, select “print’
This will open the Photo Printing Wizard. Note that this wizard will show ALL of the photos in the folder where the file is located. As you go through the steps in the next section, make sure you are working with the correct images.
Step 5: Make sure all the images from the deed are checked.
Step 6: Select “PDF Creator” as the printer
Step 7: Select “Full Page Photo Print”
Step 8: Name the PDF file appropriately
Step 9: Click “save”
TA-DA! You now have the deed you need in a handy PDF format, ready for printing or saving for future use. One thing you should consider doing is putting the source citation on the face of the image so years from now you or someone interested in your work will know where to find copies of these documents. This may have seemed like a number of steps to get to this point, but after a few attempts, it will be old hat. The time you spend doing this will pale in comparison to the time you would be spending if you were actually on-site researching. I have the benefit of Adobe AcrobatPro, which I’ve configured to do much of this automatically, but even the long way – you can’t beat the price! I think this is a really great step forward.