A PDF file is created after you have finished editing the original document in any program which can print to paper. In fact, Acrobat at the basic level is a print driver not a save format. To create the PDF document, first open the original document in the program in which it was created (Word, ClarisWorks, PageMaker, Excel, etc.).
What happens next will depend a great deal on your operating system and/or the program you used to create the document. There are really too many combinations to cover them all here but make here are some of the most common possibilities.
In OS X, PDF is the default format for all document previews so you can create a PDF file without actually owning Acrobat. You won’t be able to edit a PDF file without the program but creating it is easy.
1. With the document open, select Print… from the File menu.
2. At the bottom of the Print dialog box click Save As PDF…
3. Give your file a name, find the folder in which you want to save the document, make sure the file extension is .pdf, and click Save.
Acrobat 6 will not work with any system before OS X 10.2. Here is how to create a PDF document using Acrobat 5:
1. From the File menu, select Print…
2. In the Print dialog box, click on the popup menu that now says General and pull down to Save as File.
3. From the popup menu next to Destination: select File.
4. From the popup menu next to Format: select Acrobat PDF.
5. The Print window will now show a variety of options, none of which should be changed unless you have a good reason. Click Save.
6. In the Save dialog box, find the folder in which you want to store this file, give it the name you want to use (make sure it has the .pdf extender) and click Save.
7. The file will now be sent to your desktop printer and then to the Acrobat Distiller program. You may be able to see part of the Distiller window behind your document window. Don’t worry about seeing the whole thing – there is nothing to do at this point but wait. The first time you use Acrobat 5 the process will take a little longer since the program must build a register of all your fonts. The more fonts you have, the longer it will take. If you have added fonts since the last time you used Acrobat, the program will need to add those fonts to the register.
1. Hold down the Control key and select Print… from the File menu.
2. In the next window select the range of pages you want to include in this file, select any of the other options shown and click OK.
3. In the Save dialog box that appears next, locate the folder in which you want to save the file and enter the name of the document. Click Save.
Normally, the PDF document you get will display and print well. However, if it doesn’t, you may need to change the Compression or Fonts settings. You can find these by holding down the Control key and selecting Page Setup from the File menu.
If you plan on creating many different PDF documents, you can also select the PDF writer as the default printer. Do this by opening the Chooser and selecting Acrobat PDFWriter or selecting PDFWriter from the Printer Selector in the Control Strip.
Creating a PDF file in a Windows application is pretty much the same whether you have Acrobat version 4, 5 or 6. The main difference is that in version 4 you have a choice of using PDFWriter or Distiller. In versions 5 and 6, Distiller is the only option.
2. In the Print window select Acrobat Distiller from the Printer Name popup menu and click OK. If you have Acrobat version 4, choose Distiller if the application can output in the Post Script format. Otherwise, use PDFWriter.
Normally, the PDF document you get will display and print well. However, if it doesn’t, you may need to change some of the settings that lie in the background. You can find these by clicking on the Properties button in the top part of the Print window.
In the Properties window, you can choose a set of predefined settings based on the purpose of this document. If you need to refine those settings even more, click the Edit Conversion Settings… button to find many more options.
If you plan on creating many different PDF documents, you can also select the PDFWriter as the default printer. Do this by opening the Printers folders (in My Computer or by going to the Start menu, then to Settings and then to Printers), right click on PDFWriter and select Set As Default.
Since Adobe publishes Acrobat you won’t find it surprising that they would make it easy to create PDF documents in their other programs. In Photoshop, PageMaker, Illustrator and other applications, Save As PDF is either a choice under the File menu or one of the format choices in the Save dialog box. I can’t guarantee this is true in absolutely every program they publish, but it is for the major ones. I also don’t know how far back in their versions this goes.
When you install Acrobat after Office, a two-button Acrobat tool bar is added to the already large collection of tool bars in Office. Clicking on the first of the two buttons sends the currently open document to Distiller and is saved as PDF. In Office 2001 on the Mac, this requires Acrobat version 5.05 (an updater from version 5 is available on the Adobe web site) or 6.
- If you are using a Macintosh and plan to give the file to someone using Windows, you must make sure the name has the .pdf extension (as in overview.pdf). In Windows the program automatically adds this extension but it is usually not seen in file name.
- If you are planning on linking this file to a web page, you must follow the naming rules of the server on which the file will reside. Generally this means no characters other than letters and numbers and no more than fifteen characters before the .pdf extension.