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How Do I Make a PDF Out of Almost Anything

Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Make a PDF Out of Almost Anything
PDF files offer many advantages...they are easy to share across multiple operating systems, easy to view and email, and are easy to create. But, it's not always clear how to convert your Word Document, PowerPoint Presentation or other files into a PDF. We'll show you 4 easy ways to create a PDF from almost any file type.

You will need

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro* or a free PDF printer application
  • A document you want to convert
* If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Pro on your office computer contact the ITS Helpdesk at x7676. If you're faculty or staff, they may be able to install it on your office computer for free (subject to licensing availability).

Technique 1 - Right Click

Once you have Adobe Acrobat Professional installed on your computer, converting documents to a PDF is really easy.
  • Hover over the document you want to convert, right click and go to "Convert to Adobe PDF" It will launch the application.
  • Name it and save it in an appropriate folder. Click OK. It will then launch Adobe Acrobat so you can review it and make sure everything worked.

Acrobat Right Click

Technique 2 - Save As

Converting a Microsoft Office 2007 document to a PDF is also easy.
  • Go the marble, Save as, PDF or XPS.
    Office PDF

  • Click options for more flexibility, to print handouts, frame slides, etc. Creating a PDF this way makes the file more accessible. It maintains the documents tags used by many screen readers.

Office - PDF Options


Free Options

The first 2 options require the expensive Adobe Acrobat Professional...that can cost hundreds of dollars. The next 2 options are absolutely free. Also, it works with any file you can print.

Technique 3 - Free PDF Printer

You'll need to download and install a free PDF writer. A couple of the more popular applications are CutePDF Writer and PrimoPDF. CutePDF is really simple. PrimoPDF has more options and is more powerful.
 Disclaimer: Contact ITS to install new software.
  • Once installed, open your file and click print...as if you where sending it to the office printer.
  • Change the printer name to Cute PDF or PrimoPDF. Click print.
  • Name it and save it in an appropriate folder. Click "OK".

PDF Printer

Technique 4 - Online Conversion

The last option requires no extra software and can be done from any computer. Go to www.youconvertit.com or www.zamzar.com. These are online file conversion utilities.Or visit PDFonline.com.
  • Enter your email address, choose the file you want to convert, select convert to PDF and hit convert.
  • When the file is converted, they will send you an email with a link to the download your file.
Though this option is really easy there are a few downsides to online conversion. Conversion times can very...anywhere from instant to hours. The fonts sometimes don't embed. If you are using nonstandard fonts, they may not translate into the PDF. Be aware that results may very.
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