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Producing PDF files from Word

If you intend mailing documents or installing them on the WWW it's important to choose the file format carefully. It's probably not a good idea to use a Word format because many people won't be able to view the files. A good alternative format is PDF: free viewers exist (see Adobe's Acroread page) and most computers already have them. The viewers have a print option, and files are likely to be an accurate representation of the original document. To produce PDF files from a Word file you'll probably need to buy Adobe's Distiller (CUED staff can use a copy on the Computer Operators' PC), though OpenOffice might work. Distiller's fairly easy to use but to get the best results (both in terms of file-size and quality) you should select the options carefully.

If you have a recent version of Distiller and Word, it's likely that you can "print to acrobat" from inside Word. If that's not possible, look at the Preparing file for use with Distiller section. Once you have Distiller running, select your options

If those options don't produce a viable file (maths can sometimes cause problems) try these alternatives

Preparing file for use with Distiller

If Distiller needs to be given a postscript file, load the Word file into Word and use "Print" then Select the "to File" option. At this point you'll be presented various options, the wording depending on what type of Windows or MacOS you're using. You want to save as a postscript job, binary data format and use the "All font inclusion" option.

© Cambridge University Engineering Dept
Information provided by Tim Love (tpl) and cas
Last updated: November 2008