Creating PDFs from Word documents
Video: Creating PDFs from Word documentsHere I am, in Microsoft Word, and I want to create a PDF. But before I start showing you the PDF conversion settings, I want to show you something important about this document. As I scroll through, you can see that there's a table of contents. That's an automatically generated table of contents. I didn't type that from scratch. I let Microsoft Word do it for me. So how did it do that? It's all based on using styles. So, if I click in this text here, this white text in the blue bar, you'll see that it uses a style called Heading 1. So styles of course change the way your text looks, but they do something else important.
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Take a tour of Acrobat XI, compare its three editions, and get a fresh look at what you can do with Acrobat. This course demonstrates the basics of working with PDFs: how to create, combine, edit, export, and review documents. Author Claudia McCue also shows how PDFs integrate with Microsoft Office applications and introduces the basics of working with forms.
- Understanding the Portable Document Format (PDF)
- Inserting, replacing, and extracting pages
- Combining PDFs
- Creating PDFs from Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
- Converting web pages to PDF
- Scanning hard copies of documents
- Printing to PDF
- Exporting to other formats from Acrobat (such as the Excel .xls)
- Adding hyperlinks and bookmarks
- Marking up a PDF with annotations and drawings
- Using shared reviews
Creating PDFs from Word documents
Here I am, in Microsoft Word, and I want to create a PDF. But before I start showing you the PDF conversion settings, I want to show you something important about this document. As I scroll through, you can see that there's a table of contents. That's an automatically generated table of contents. I didn't type that from scratch. I let Microsoft Word do it for me. So how did it do that? It's all based on using styles. So, if I click in this text here, this white text in the blue bar, you'll see that it uses a style called Heading 1. So styles of course change the way your text looks, but they do something else important.
They act as sort of a tagging mechanism, and that tagging mechanism lets Word find those paragraphs, harvest them, and then turn them into a table of contents. So, first of all, it saves you some typing, and if you change the contents, if you move something from one page to the other, when you update this table, that table of contents number is going to be correct. So it saves you a lot of work, and it's very nice even result. And it also pays off when you make PDF because that TOC is going to turn into active clickable bookmarks in the PDF. So, a little work upfront using styles really pays off in the long run.
Now, in Microsoft Office 2010, which is what I'm using, there actually is a built-in feature for making PDFs, and it's much better than that feature in previous versions. I am going to show you the official Adobe Acrobat method first, but then I'll show you the Microsoft method, because you may have colleagues that don't have Acrobat installed on their computers, and it would be nice for them to make good PDFs with all these features in them. So first, the Adobe method. When you install Acrobat, after you've installed Office, you're going to see this additional little item up here for Acrobat.
And the most important part here for what we're doing is this first little part about Preferences and Creating a PDF. But just to give you a quick look at some of your other options, you could create the PDF and immediately attach it to an email, right from within Word. You can create a Mail Merge document. If you want to send it to somebody to participate in commenting and review, they can put little sticky notes and markups on it. Here's an interesting thing. There's a sort of relationship between a PDF that you make out of this document and this document. So you can actually harvest comments from within a marked-up PDF that was made from this document, bring them back into this document as little notes. Very cool thing! You could run actions and embed Flash. Those options are kind of beyond what I want to show you in this course. Let's look at what's really important right now-- the Preferences--and then you can create a PDF.
So, when I choose the Preferences, I will tell you that most of the time coming out of Word, that Standard option, which is what's chosen by default here, is probably going to work just fine for you. Some of the other options are really appropriate only for print, the PDF/X ones are, and usually if you're preparing something for print you're not creating it in Microsoft Word. And Press Quality would be also related to print. So these you're pretty much aren't going to worry about while you're in Word. The PDF/A, if you're curious, is for archive. This is a format that's been agreed upon to be readable in the future.
If somebody a hundred years from now has a PDF Reader, supposedly, it will be able to read your PDF/A, and it will last forever. That's probably not what we care about here though. I am going to choose Standard, because as I say, that's usually the appropriate one from within Word. And these options are kind of handy. View Adobe PDF result, you can see it immediately. It's going to launch Acrobat and show you your file. Prompt for Adobe PDF file name does two things: it lets you name it of course, but it also lets you specify where it's saved, so you don't have to wonder where on your hard drive you saved that PDF.
If you've put document information into your Word file, such as author name, that's going to be carried through into the document information of the PDF. Here again, I don't care about PDF/A Compliance. I don't care if this PDF lives forever. But I want it to make bookmarks based on my table of contents, which is based on using my Heading style. If there were hyperlinks that I had entered in this document, I'd want to make sure that they are carried through, and that they became clickable links within the PDF. And if I had to consider section 508 accessibility features, this will tag the PDF and make it reflowable in Acrobat on somebody's computer, which is very handy for somebody who is visually impaired.
I will tell you this, if you have really long complex document and you find that it's taking a really long time to make a PDF or if it--and this is rare-- fails to make the PDF, what you can do is uncheck the things that aren't pertinent to this document. So if I know it's never going to have to accede to 508 features, I can uncheck this and often that will speed up the result. This is not a very big document, so I can afford to leave that checked. But kind of keep that in the back of your mind if you ever have trouble making one. Let's look quickly at some of the other options. Under Security, if you want, you can put two passwords on the document. One is required by the recipient to open the document and the other one is your password that locks the document.
It's grayed out here, but you can prevent them from copying text or images or any kind of other content. But it still leaves it open for somebody who is visually impaired and using a screen reader software in order to read. So it protects the contents, but makes it available for a screen reader. Under Word, if you had put comments in here, they will become notes in the PDF, and if you had put signature fields, you could have them carried through. That's not in this document. We won't worry about it. But here under Bookmarks, if I needed something other than the Heading 1 to be converted to bookmarks--for instance if I'd use some of these other little styles--I would specify it here.
So if I had something like Caption and I wanted that to be a bookmark, this is a way to make it recognize that as it converts to a PDF. In truth these are all styles; it's just that Word considers Headings sort of particular kind of style. So if I want to use other styles beyond the main headings and have them converted to bookmarks, I'd have to check this and I'd have to come down there and check the particular other style that I want. I don't have any Word bookmarks in here, so they don't need to be converted. So, all my preferences are good here. Now, I am going to set it in motion.
So here where it says Create PDF, I am just going to save this on my desktop, and you can't see my file extensions, but it's going to add .PDF. And then when I hit Save, it's making my PDF. And now it's opened to PDF in Acrobat. It would be nice to see the whole page. And let's see if it made my bookmarks for me. Yup, there are my bookmarks. So, just remember that about styles: they're more than just an appearance for text; they're also a tagging mechanism for text. So, a little work upfront really pays off in the long run.
This is great. The end user can go right to the topic they want to look at by selecting it out of the Bookmarks pane. But now let's take a look at the Microsoft method for doing this. So let's go back to the Word file and under File, you'll also see this entry Save as Adobe PDF. That's exactly the same as going up to Acrobat and choosing Create PDF. It's just two different ways to get to the same end. But under File > Save As--and I am just going to put this on my desktop as well--instead of Word Document, if I choose PDF and I click Options--now this is all happening from within Word.
This is not as a result of Acrobat being installed. This is built right in by Microsoft. Here I could say that I want to leave my headings in and create bookmarks using them. Usually, that is not checked by default, I believe so. If you want your bookmarks made from your headings, then check that. Notice that you don't get to go a little farther though. Here at least you can't pick other styles beyond headings. So if you want to get more granular, you're definitely going to have to use the Adobe process. Document properties can be converted, so forth and so on, Document structure tags for accessibility.
So they really add a lot in 2010. And again, if you have coworkers that don't have Acrobat installed, they will still be able to give you a PDF that carries these special features through. So, when I click OK and then click Save again, then I would have a PDF that's very similar to what I made using my Adobe Acrobat settings. I am going to cancel. I am not going to finish this out; I just wanted you to be aware of it. So, what's the takeaway from this? Well, always install Acrobat after you've installed Office. There is a way to add in the little Acrobat PDF Maker, which is what this guy is called.
It's called PDF Maker. There is a way to add it in after the fact, but it's just a lot neater and cleaner if you just install them in that order. And just remember to choose the appropriate settings. Then when you make your PDF, that way you can carry through all those special features that you worked so hard to create with your headings and your table of contents.
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