The Portable Document Format (‘PDF’) is an open standard document format which has gained widespread use around the world. Since its release in 1993, PDF’s formal specifications have undergone a number of updates, and today, it's a fully functional and user-friendly document standard used by businesses and everyday users. As we’ll see in this article, converting a word document into PDF does not have to be difficult, though Adobe courses are useful for those seeking in-depth understanding of the PDF standard.
Benefits of PDF
The PDF format comes with distinct advantages. Some of PDF's advantages:
- Preservation of Visual Elements. PDF allows you to have an exact version of paper documents on screen, with the same font, sizing, and layout. This may be particularly useful if you’re dealing with documents which incorporate graphic design or visual features.
- Universal Format. Many users of PDF prefer it for documentation transfers because it’s easily saved and transferred. Compared to a complicated document such as a web page, PDF documents are easier to share with others.
- Publishing. PDF documents are easy to publish for quick sharing. Many free online reports are presented in PDF format for this reason.
- Compression. With a scanner, it’s easy to convert enormous amounts of printed records and files into digital (and space-efficient) format, whether for storage or for sharing. PDF compression is highly effective and can achieve reduction ratios from 2:1 up to 8:1, without compromising on detail or visual quality.
- Interactive Elements. While PDFs are not easily edited, the format supports interactive elements such as hyperlinks, markups, attachments, text notes, and more.
- Security features. PDFs can be secured by adding watermarks to your documents, locking documents with passwords, using encryption, and by using other security features.
While PDF has enormous advantages, a major limitation is the fact that it’s more difficult to edit. However, users can still edit their PDF documents if they’re able to first convert it into Word or other editable document types.
Converting Word Documents into PDF
As the PDF is an open standard, there different software programs you can use to convert word documents into PDF and vice versa. These instructions are for using Acrobat to convert documents. Ensure that you have the latest Acrobat version before attempting to convert your document.
- In Microsoft Word, open the file to be converted.
- In the Acrobat ribbon (the Acrobat PDFMaker Toolbar), click Preferences to adjust preferences. If you’re using other versions of Office: select Adobe PDF>Change Conversion Setting and change the conversion settings.
- Click the ‘Create PDF’ button on the Acrobat ribbon.
Converting PDF Documents into Word
Again, there are various programs you can use to convert PDF into Word. These instructions are for Acrobat.
- Select File>Export. Choose your desired text format (Microsoft Word, Rich Text Format, or Text).
- Click Settings and choose the options you’d like for your document. Click OK and then Click Save.
For advanced users looking to better utilise Acrobat or Adobe software programs, training sessions such as Acrobat or InDesign training are available for creating professional standard PDF and other desktop publishing documents.