Ureka! For more than a year (well, not steadily, but off and on), I have been searching for a convenient and economical method for converting certain files (specifically created by Microsoft Works, Microsoft Publisher and Corel's Word Perfect) to PDF. Being a Mac user, I have had little, if any, success in viewing these -- until now.
While I was researching and preparing for several sessions I will be presenting at the NICE Mini-Conference on Jan. 27, and the IL-TCE (Illinois Technology Conference for Educators) at the end of Feb., I landed on the Technology & Learning's Podcast Archives -- which sadly seems to have halted production in Aug. 2006. Texas educator Miguel Guhlin's entry on Feb. 13, 2006, a PDF Primer, lists several web-based conversion programs, including a free Online PDF Converter from Neevia: http://convert.neevia.com. Miguel writes, "While this online PDF converter has a 1 megabyte limit per file--which may limit you if you have a document that has lots of images -- you can convert from a wide variety of formats (easily over 50) to PDF. Two nice features is that it allows you to add a watermark image of any text you enter on multiple pages. It also enables you to encrypt your PDF document."
Using the Neevia converter, I was able to view several student papers created using Works, and a club flyer created with Publisher. This is one helpful tool for those of us supporting educational technology!