I have a lot of Excel spreadsheets I want to put into portable document format (PDF) files. What is the best way to do that? Also, how can I get tables out of PDF and into Excel? Doing this manually takes a long time. Name and address supplied DQ: There are many applications that will do these chores; some are free and others are not. Most will let you use the product a few times before you are prompted to buy. However, the free version may only let you convert two pages or it might print 'Demonstration' across your grid. If you find something you cannot test, it's a sign you should avoid it. PDF-Convert, at www.pdf-convert.com/xls2pdf/index.htm , offers all sorts of options to meet your requirements. CutePDF, at www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/Writer.asp , is free and will turn anything you want to print into a PDF. Before testing these programs, check your software. You must have the latest version of Acrobat or Acrobat Reader and you need to know which versions of your operating system and Microsoft Office you are using. Many of the programs for conversion do not work on older editions of the software. However, if you have Windows Vista running, you can be certain it is supported by these programs. I have a design studio with machines based on Macintosh and on Windows. I want to establish a database system that can be accessed by everybody, but it must be simple to design and use. Lots of people have told me about the Microsoft relational database management system called Access. But can a Mac access Access? Ricky, Wan Chai DQ: If you have already invested heavily in a set-up that runs on a Windows server on Microsoft's Access database, you will be reluctant to change it. But if you are starting from scratch, you have some options. I suggest you try downloading Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection for the Mac, at www.microsoft.com/mac/download/misc/rdc.asp . This program is designed to connect a Mac machine to a Windows computer and use the software on it. I haven't tried it myself. Much will depend on various aspects of your network, including the speed of your server, the connections and the data traffic. Setting it up could be a problem, unless you call on a Windows' expert. If you are starting from scratch, check out FileMaker Pro at www.filemaker.com.This program has been around for more than 20 years. It is known for its ease of use, stability and ability to run on both the Mac and Windows platforms. I used the program many times years ago with great success. So long as the latest version has kept up with its original standards, it could solve most of your problems.