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Adobe Acrobat does an incredibly great job exporting PDFs to Word format. It can export to older Word format .doc, and also to the more recent .docx format. So to do that, you go to the File menu, go down to Save As, and then choose Microsoft Word. All right, so here is the Word Document more recent, and here is the old version. Since I have 2010 installed, we will do Word Document. And it wants to know where to export it to, and I will export it to the Desktop, docx.
Before I go there, I am going to check Settings. We have two basic kinds of philosophies about what we want to do with this document afterwards. If we want to still continue to format it very heavily, and we want everything to flow correctly, then you want to turn on Retain Flowing Text. If you want the resulting document to look almost exactly like the PDF, you can still edit it, but it might be a little clunkier to edit because it's going to use boxes to position items with, then you choose Retain Page Layout.
We will look at that in a second. You can choose to include comments, which is really slick. So if you have added comments to the PDF from a review cycle, from anything in the Comment pane, then those comments are supported, and can be viewed and read and reply to in the Word document. If you want to include the images, you can include that as well, and the images will appear in place. And then as always you want to keep this turned on Run, OCR if needed. This is Acrobat's really cool high- end engine for converting typefaces, or little instances of text that it doesn't quite recognize its text.
It will go ahead and run it through its OCR engine to make sure that it exports as editable text. So if you don't have the typefaces used in this document, it's still going to be editable, and it's going to make its best guess as to which default typeface that you do have installed it should use. So let's just click OK, and we are going to save this again to the Desktop. You get a little processing bar that tells you what it is doing: Preprocessing file for export, meaning it's sort of like scanning through the document to see what kind of problem children its going to find, and then it takes care of that.
And it will be nice if it would open it up right after, but it doesn't. You have to jump over to Word yourself. Oh, so much work. File > Open, Desktop. Here we go. And look at that. So we chose the option to go with the flow. All right, so it's still very editable. So if I decide it to make a couple paragraphs here, it goes ahead and does that. It's matching the same line breaks. It's even matching the colors behind the text.
It's not creating styles. Notice everything is styled normal up here. So everything is sort of like locally formatted. It was smart enough to convert this stuff in the header to an actual header. So it's only editable when you show the header. However, the text appears in this weird frame. I am not quite sure why it does that, but it is neat that it does repeat the header throughout... and the same thing with the footer. So each one of these instances of text as I anchored frame, but it does a very good job of it.
Let's take a look at something else. Well, we said to include comments, right? And if we look back here at the Acrobat file, we open up the Comment pane, there are actually three comments in this PDF. If I double-click on one, you can see there are some comments in this one section, 3.4 Probationary Period, on page 6. So let's take a look to see if those made it through. We go to Word, and we want page 6.
Scrolling, scrolling. Before I get there, I guess I should go to Review to make sure that we are seeing it. Yes we are. Okay, Final: Show Markup. There it is: Probationary Period For New Employees. So you can see that here is the strike out and the replacement. Here is the highlighting of text. Here are my little sticky notes that appeared next to these comments, and my name is also identified as well. So if you had multiple users who had commented on this, their names would appear differently here too.
Let's jump back to Acrobat. I am going to show you a different kind of document. So here we have a single page from a very highly formatted catalog, and we are going to export this to Word as well. If I go to File > Save As > Microsoft Word, and we will put this on a Desktop, and we will call this "flow," because we are going to use the setting of Retain Flowing Text, we want to compare the two formats. And this is a good idea to do with your documents too, if you need to convert or export files to Word format to see which one of these settings would be best for you.
All right, that's done. Let's do the other way: Save As > Word > Word Document, Settings, Retain Page Layout, on the Desktop, and we'll call this "-layout". Now, they are both done. Let's jump back to Word. So File > Open. On the Desktop, we want to open flow and layout.
I am Shift+Clicking so we can open both of them. Okay, so we are looking at Layout, and look at it. It did a fantastic job. Let me reduce the scale here a bit, so we can see it better. And all this text is editable, but notice that when I click inside the frames that they are in these little boxes; maybe that's what you want. Let's take a look at the other one, Switch Windows, and let's look at it with the Flow option selected. So it actually did a very good job as well.
Let me sort of zoom out a bit. But these things are not in boxes; instead, it's using section breaks and returns. All right, so then as I start editing one, then things start to get all messy. But if I go back to the other one, that was layout, as I start editing it, the box doesn't resize. It doesn't jam into the pictures below here, and I can just edit it to fit. All right, so if it's important to maintain the same layout but keep it editable, that's the format that you want to choose.
It's probably the best format to choose very highly designed documents, but if you have something that is mainly text, as we have with our employee handbook, then probably the best option to choose would be the regular flow one. It's really nice to know that not only is it easy to move from Microsoft Word to Adobe Acrobat, but it's not that difficult to move back from Acrobat to Microsoft Word as well. It's almost as though they were created by the same company. There weren't, of course. But I think that Adobe is aware that a lot of people who use Acrobat also use Word, and vice-versa.
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