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partyparty's avatar

Computer help please:- Saving documents as pdf files?

Asked by partyparty (9139points) May 10th, 2010

I have some work to type, and have to save the documents as .doc, .rtf and .pdf files.
I have many equations, figures and structures (chemsketch) to save also.
I can save the .doc files and .rtf files, but I don’t know how to save the .pdf files. The fonts have to be embedded.
I really don’t know how I would do this. Do I have to purchase software?
Any help would be appreciated.

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22 Answers

simone54's avatar

You need Adobe.

partyparty's avatar

@simone54 Ah thanks for that. Do I get Adobe reader, photoshop, acrobat or professional? Do you know what it means by the embedded fonts?

myopicvisionary's avatar

download a free utility called Cute pdf writer . Install the free app and when you click on print from Word or Excel or any app, choose “cutepdf writer” as the printer. It will convert the document to a pdf file and prompt you for a name to save to your hard drive.

partyparty's avatar

@myopicvisionary Many thanks for the information. Will the Chemsketch programme files be recognised? How are the fonts embedded, do you know?

myopicvisionary's avatar

I’ve never used Chemsketch but it will work from virtually any application that has print capabilities. It’s free and only 3 megs or so. Give it a try.

Sariperana's avatar

Adobe is the best that I have used. Adobe reader is free to download and you will be able to convert files to .PDF format.
Adobe Acrobat has a price but allows you to edit .PDF documents.
When you save your files, in the dialogue box that opens up, underneath the file name is a drop down option of what type of file you want to save it as- choose .PDF.
Alternetively, I believe you can export word files (under file>export to pdf)
PDF files are easy to manage and maintain, esp. If you have lots of information that you need to transfer around.

partyparty's avatar

@Sariperana Great thanks for the answer. I really don’t understand why I would need to save the document I have in three different formats. And I don’t understand the embedded fonts.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I use CutePDF at work all the time. It’s just going to give you a WYSIWYG (remember wizzy-wig? What You See Is What You Get). If you can make the file look like what you want when doing a Print Preview in any application (Excel, Word, Visio, Project, Access, or any other Windows application—not just Microsoft), then CutePDF can make it look exactly the same in a .PDF output.

Perhaps the reason you need the different formats is so that your work can be checked within the native application… but I’m just guessing there.

Sariperana's avatar

@partyparty I believe that when things are embedded into the document that it becomes a part of the image, and looses all external links to it. That is my understanding of it anyways.
Not quite sure why you would have to save it in three different formats- if it’s a work thing you are doing most companies would house the basic software to read those files.

partyparty's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Ah yes, I am beginning to understand. I am typing a book for a friend – they already have a publishing contract – and I am used to just saving things as a .doc file. It is going to be 400 pages when completed.
I was just concerned about whether I would be able to save something as a .pdf file – and indeed embed the fonts, because I really don’t have a clue what that means.
I didn’t want him to sign the contract if I couldn’t keep my side of the deal.
One last question please, is it easy to embed the fonts?
Thanks again

Jewel's avatar

You save your file as a PDF to retain your formatting. The fonts will generally embed if you use Acrobat Distiller to make your PDF files. Fonts may embed in anything that will create a PDF file. The problem with the fonts is that if the fellow recieving your file doesn’t have the same fonts, your document won’t look the same. A publisher/printer will want a file from you that won’t need any work from them to print. If there is any question about the fonts, include copies of your fonts, just as you do all graphics. I make a folder and include my document in PDF form, all graphics and all fonts. That way, should there be any problem, they have the items they need. Also, send a hardcopy of your document so they can check it against your electronic file so that the printer knows what it is supposed to look like.

partyparty's avatar

@Jewel Many thanks. There will be many greek letters, mathematical symbols, chemical structures etc etc. Do you think the .pdf file will save these exactly as I have saved them in my .doc and .rft files? I am so unsure

CyanoticWasp's avatar

You’re way overthinking this.

1. Download and install CutePDF.
2. Make up the most outrageous file you can imagine in any font or combination, plus graphics (embedded photos, scanned images, whatever).
3. Do a Print Preview in the application software that you’re using.
4. “Print” the same file to CutePDF.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. If you have fonts available to use in your application software, then they will appear in the .PDF. You don’t have to link, install, embed, or anything else. If you can “see” it or print it to paper with your application software, then CutePDF will reproduce it in a file that can be printed and will appear exactly the same.

Just do it.

Jewel's avatar

It should, but there is always a small chance that it won’t. Especially if you aren’t using Adobe Acrobat Professional. To find out, save your file to a disk and go to someplace with another computer and printer and print out some, or all of the pages in question. Then you will have a better idea about what might happen. Personally, I would go to a printshop or copyshop because if it doesn’t work for you, they can explain clearly what is happening and how to correct it.
If you get stuck, write me. My address is in my profile.

partyparty's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Yes you are absolutely correct – I just need the confidence to tell my friend ‘yes I can do it for you, get the contract signed’.
I am confident in what I know, just not sure about how complicated this will be.
Thanks anyway, it doesn’t sound too complicated, and you are right I am overthinking. (I’m too much of a perfectionist)
Dare I ‘go for it’??

partyparty's avatar

@Jewel That is so very kind of you, many thanks

Lightlyseared's avatar

If you are using Office 2007 then you can export directly from Word as a PDF by using an extension you can download from Microsoft. (Search for “save as PDF)

I tried to include a link to the page but it wouldn’t work.

jaytkay's avatar

Here’s the extension @lightlyseared mentioned, it works great:
2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS

If you are not using Office 2007, I have run into cases where the free CutePDF does not print web pages accurately. (Word files have always worked fine for me)

On the problem pages, Nova PDF ( $49.95) did the job.

dpworkin's avatar

In my opinion, Adobe is a bloated piece of crap, urgently to be avoided. Check out Foxit software, or stick with CutePDF.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@partyparty if you’re still not completely convinced (and I can understand and appreciate your reluctance to enter into a contract that you’re not 100% convinced that you can fulfill), then go ahead and make the test. Download and install the software, and check it out until you have some confidence. It should take no more than a half-hour.

CutePDF (download the freeware version; the paid version is always an option for later if your document needs require that)

@Lightlyseared may have a point about printing Web pages. That’s not something I do, but I can imagine with the wide variability in layouts that there could be problems that CutePDF may not handle properly. But for anything I’ve ever designed to be printed in Excel, Word, Access, Visio, Project, Primavera or IrfanView, and set up to print on 8–½×11, legal-size, ledger size, B&W or color, even drawings in ANSI large-format sizes up to “E”, and Portrait or Landscape layouts, CutePDF works.

But you won’t know it for yourself until you try it.

Akiora's avatar

A quick way that I often use is to upload a .doc to Google Docs. There is an option in the GDocs save menu labelled, “Save as PDF.” The problem with this is that I don’t know how well Google Docs currently supports embedded images and fonts. It might be worth a try.

jerv's avatar

Another vote for CutePDF here, though OpenOffice can also export to PDF natively.

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