Join Brian Wood for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a PDF from Excel, part of Acrobat 9 Pro Essential Training.
We are going to take a look at creating a PDF file from Microsoft Office, particularly Excel now. After this video, you should feel comfortable creating a PDF from Excel, no matter what the circumstances or conditions are. Now, when you work with creating a PDF file from Excel, there are two ways to do it. So we have the ability to go through and print to a PDF. We also have the ability to use a macro, which is basically installed with the program when you install Acrobat. Now, the Mac platform has one way to do things, which is File Print to PDF. I'm going to go through the File Print method and then we will talk about working with the macro.
With an Excel file open, I have grun_marketanalysis_excel.xls open right now. We can see the file out here and the file itself actually has two worksheets in it. I could see at the very bottom there are two tabs. What I would like to do is I would like to make a PDF out of this. So the two ways here are to File Print and use the macros. So we are going to use the Print Method first. Clicking the Office button or in the File menu in the Mac, you can see the Print menu, I will choose Print. Now, when we choose to Print the file to PDF, we are going to go through and actually pick the Adobe PDF print driver, which installs with Acrobat.
If you use the Print method, what's going to happen is it's going to utilize the document size setup that was setup in the Print properties dialog box here. So in other words, if you take a look you're going to see the active sheets, things like that. Fitting the Entire workbook. If you print it this way and move the dialog out of the way, you will see a line show up out there. This is going to be edge of your sheet. Now, one of our worksheets out here, the expenses actually goes beyond that line right there. So it's going to get cut off basically. So if we print to this, we are going to hope that it all fits in there, otherwise we can set some Document Properties.
Once you choose Adobe PDF print driver, choosing the Properties over here, you can set how it basically sets it up. So it how actually creates a PDF file. Now that Properties button might be located in a different location if you're on Mac or at the Windows platform. If you look under here, you're going to see the Adobe PDF settings in this dialog box and you will see the Default Settings. Clicking on the arrow to the right, you will see all the different ways we can generate a PDF. Now, there is a lot in here. We are not going to cover all these because a lot of these are very specific. But just three that you're probably going to use quite a bit. We got High Quality Print, Press Quality and Smallest File Size.
By default you're on Standard, which is a pretty standard way of doing things. It doesn't take into account where you're sending this file. If you're creating a PDF, and let's say you need it to give it to somebody the email, you can use Smallest File Size. It's going to try and compress everything in small so it can get. If you're trying to send it to somebody so it can just print it on your Desktop printer. You can use High Quality Print and if you want to print it at an actual professional printer you can use Press Quality. The difference there has to do it how it handles the color. So we are going to do this time is we are going to choose Press Quality to save this out. You can set Security on a file, which we will cover in a later video.
Output PDF folder, it's going to ask you for a file name. You can also tell it to go to your documents folder or wherever it set by default. I typically have it ask me the filename. It's going to ask you the Page Size. Now, if you look out there and you see that that line is cutting off some of your content, you can change the Page Size or the PDF Page Size right here, but you're kind of guessing, you're kind of trying something here. Once you have the PDF generated, it's going to ask you to show it, so as you're going to see Adobe PDF results, it's going to open in Acrobat. You are going to see any Excel document information can be added to the information in the PDF, which is searchable, and any fonts that you have got.
So I'm going to use the fonts that are on your system, which is a good thing. So you can grab them out of there and then log files, it just says, hey look what I did. It deletes them by default, and if you're going to make a lot of PDFs and you're going to keep trying this and trying this again, you might want to ask it to replace the existing PDF file. So I tend to turn that on. So with these settings set right now, clicking OK we can go out and simply print. So by clicking OK, I'm only doing the Active worksheet right now. It's going to go right down. I'm going to simply save it. You can save it wherever you like to.
It's going to ask you to do that. It's going to run through create the PDF file, pretty quick. It's going to open up Acrobat and show you what it looks like. So there we go. So I have got the individual worksheet out there. Now, that's using the File Print method. Go back to Excel. Second method we could use on the Windows platform is working with the macro. By clicking Acrobat up in the ribbon up there, you will see that we have a button called Create PDF. Now, why would you use one over the other? The File Print method works perfectly fine for most files. The Create PDF does give you some extra options and we will see those in just a few minutes here.
Before you create the PDF, you want to choose your Preferences or how it makes the PDF file. Clicking Preferences will open up a dialog box, the Acrobat PDFMaker dialog, and show you some things that we have already seen and then some other options as well. Looking at the top you will see we have the Conversion Settings. We saw this in the File Print dialog, so we choose how we want the PDF made. We are going to email this one. So let's choose Smallest File Size that will go through and compress it, make it as small as it can. It's going to ask you to see the PDF after it's done which is almost always a good thing. It's going to prompt you for the file name.
It's going to convert the document info. In a later video we will take a look at that and in here we have the ability to create a PDF/A compliant file. That allows you to archive the file so later on down the road you can easily open this file. There is a button on the right here called Advanced Settings. Clicking Advanced Settings will take you into the inter workings of the PDF creation engine and if you really want to get in here you can take a look and see how things are made but we are not really going to go here. So click Cancel. The Conversion Settings set up for us already worked for the most part.
Down here where it says Application Settings, you will see specific things that you can only get when you use the Create PDF button, the macro in here. If you want to, you can attach the source Excel file directly to the PDF. The end user can open the Excel file outside of Acrobat. This is great for workflow if you want to do a lot of commenting back and forth or marking up the document or even document changes. Creating Bookmarks, if you turn that on, it's just a great thing. It creates a little table of contents that you can click and go to every sheet and worksheet. Adding links, any links out here, which are URLs, which are web links, are going to become active links in Acrobat.
You can click on and go to a website. Enable accessibility and Reflow, it's an important feature simply because if you have somebody who needs an assistive device to read a PDF allowed. This is going to make it so it understands a document better. I guess you could say. It's going to make it so it reads it a little bit easier. It's going to tag it so it has the correct flow. I almost never turn this off. Convert Comments. If there any Excel comments in here, it will convert them to PDF comments, which are viewable in the PDF file. Now, there's two options down here. These are really great. They are brand new. They allow you to simply fit the whole Worksheet to a single page.
Before when you went to File Print, like we say we paid attention to that line on the page because we said that's the biggest our pages can be Now, that you choose Fit Worksheet, it's going to fit the whole thing by either shrinking it or growing it to fit. If you don't want to do that, if you want to do something different here, we have another option. Turning off Fit worksheet allows you to fit to paper width. That makes it so that the width of the table or the Excel Chart will definitely fit within the PDF, but if it's really tall, it will let it go to multiple pages. So that's fit the paper width.
So what I like to do is just fit it to the paper width right now and if you look when you make it using the Create PDF macro, it's going to ask you which sheets you want to include in the PDF. So we are going to keep that on. There is a button up top also called Security. We are going to look at this in the later video but security allows you to set permissions on the file for yourself. I almost never did it in Excel. So click back on Settings, we have got everything set we need. Click OK. When we go to PDF now. We set the preferences. You simply click Create PDF. Next time, a week from now, a year from now you go to make a PDF the same way, the Preferences are sticky.
They are going to remember them. So click Create PDF, it's going to come out here and open up the Acrobat PDFMaker dialog box. This is something new in 9, which allows you to pick the Entire Workbook. Every worksheet will get created as a separate page. The Selection you can also select a chart, a graph, part of a table and have that convert to a PDF, which is new and exciting and you could tell what sheets to include. Click on Sheet(s). Look down the left you will see Sheets in Excel. These are all the different worksheets in the workbook. On the right-hand side you're going to see which sheets you want to include.
Right now, I have got Projected Growth. I want to do both. So you can say Add All or click Add All or you can click on them one at a time and add them to the sheet it's going to create over here. Now, the sheet it's going to create, these are going to be separate PDF pages in the PDF and if you want to you can change your order. So Projected Growth is going to come first. If I want that to come second as a second page in the PDF, I can choose Move Down. That will change the order here. So we have the Acrobat Maker settings set. I'm just ready to convert now. So if you click Convert to PDF, it's going to set both sheets out there.
It's going to ask where you want to put it on. I will set it on my Desktop out here and just save it. You can save it with the same name. If you go through and you go to create the PDF using this macro, the Create PDF macro, if you forgot to set your Preferences, they always give you a button here called Options. If you click Options, it will show you some of the things that we already set but it gives you a last chance to take a look and see what you may have missed or what you need to set. So I will click OK and Save it. Click Save. So it's going to go to the process of setting up the sheet here, working it out.
Take you over to Acrobat once it's done, it should publish it out for you and you should be able to see it within Acrobat and once it's done, you can see right there. I have got my sheets out there. I change the ordering and I can see I have got -- if you use the scrollbar, scroll down, you can see what it's doing here it's actually fitting it to the sheet. Typically, if you use File Print to create this, it would have cut off your table here and you would have that as a separate page. So using the macro there is a great way to get it to fit. So learning to create PDFs, I think is an essential part of Acrobat and understanding the different ways to create PDFs from Excel and the settings involved, you would definitely be able to create or generate PDFs, no matter what settings you have available.
- Understanding the difference between Adobe Reader and the Acrobat family
- Creating PDFs from Office files, web pages, scanned pages, and other Adobe files
- Creating bookmarks and links
- Exporting and batch-process exporting to other formats
- Annotating PDFs and attaching files or audio comments
- Using Buzzword in various PDF workflows
- Setting encryption, passwords, and other security features
Skill Level Beginner
Q: After scanning a file to PDF, the text is not editable, despite following the steps in the “Editing text” movie. How do I make a PDF with editable text?
A: Text may not be editable after scanning to PDF since most scanners scan a document and convert the contents to a digital image. To check if text is editable, open the PDF and select the Text and Image tool. Position the pointer over the "text" in the PDF, and if a I-beam cursor appears, it's text. If not, it's most likely an image. In that case, the image needs to be converted to text first by choosing Document > OCR Text Recognition > Recognize Text Using OCR, then choosing ClearScan as the method.