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Business news solutions items — April 13

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GAS PRICES

Sites to search

The hunt for low gasoline prices will become a priority for motorists headed out to enjoy the warmer weather. Here are a few websites that compare and update gas price data:

• Automotive.com: Check gas prices in a specific area by state and county. Site: www.automotive.com/gas-prices/index.html.

• FuelMeUp.com: Search for the lowest prices in an area by providing a city and state or ZIP code. Site: www.fuelmeup.com/.

• GasBuddy.com: Select a U.S. state or Canadian province to begin search for lowest local gas prices. Site: www.gasbuddy.com.

• GasPriceWatch.com: Track gas prices by state and town, and examine gas price and crude oil price trends. Site: www.gaspricewatch.com.

• U.S. Department of Energy: Interactive states map takes user to local links with gas price information. Site: www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/gasprices/states/index.shtml.

— By Chuck Myers

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

SOFTWARE

Quality PDF program

There is no shortage of software that can produce a PDF file. PDF programs range from the expensive (Adobe Acrobat) to inexpensive. Most people whose needs aren’t great will accept the trade-offs that a low-priced program offers. Corel’s PDF Fusion for Windows PCs catches your eye, not to mention your wallet.

If you know how to drag and drop, you’ll shout huzzahs from the rooftop when you put Fusion through its paces. Fusion is big on drag and drop. To create a PDF file, just drag a document onto its friendly splash screen. The original document isn’t affected either. Want to add a note? The colleague who added a sarcastic note just because he’s a jerk is easily identified by name. You can flip through pages of a PDF (Fusion calls the action “flicking”), but don’t expect high resolution.

You can also go retro by converting the PDF to a document, edit the document and drag and drop to create a PDF again. There’s a tool for merging documents and rearranging them. Pages that offend or are redundant can be deleted.

Some will argue that Fusion is nowhere near as powerful as Acrobat, but for most people who need to create and edit PDFs, Fusion should do just fine. And at its current discounted price of $40, it compares well with Adobe Acrobat’s $20 monthly subscription.

A 30-day free trial can be downloaded from http://www.corel.com.

— By Harold Glicken

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

CAREERS

Advice to young person

Q: My son is a college student and is questioning the direction he is going with his studies. He had been thinking about health care but now isn’t so sure. How can I help him figure out the right path to take?

A: Ask questions without leading and help him find his inner direction.

Many parents feel they have the right answer for their kids, so guard against this. What futures can he imagine for himself? Is he moving around or at a desk? Is he working with people or more independently? Does he see himself helping individuals or is he more drawn to less hands-on work? The more expansive he can be at the imagining phase, the better.

Talk to friends, family and business associates: Many will know people in health-care roles or be in those roles.

Look for an opportunity to shadow someone in their job. Looking for part-time or summer work in settings where he could observe the work would be great.

Keep in mind — this is his path. He needs to be doing the legwork.

— By Liz Reyer

Minneapolis Star Tribune


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