Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Converting an Electronic File into a PDF File

Note

The following instructions were created for use with Adobe Acrobat version 9. If you are currently using Adobe Acrobat version 8 or earlier, please contact the Helpdesk.

Benefits of Converting an Electronic Document into a PDF File

Note

There are 5 options for creating a PDF file, all of which are described here:

  1. Using Microsoft Office 2007's Save As PDF feature.
  2. Using Adobe Acrobat on your own computer or any machine on campus.
  3. Using printers
  4. Using PrimoPDF
  5. Using Remote Desktop

Using Microsoft Office 2007

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button.
  2. Point to the arrow next to Save As and then click PDF or XPS.
  3. In the File Name list, type or select a name for the document.
  4. In the Save as type list, click PDF.
  5. If you want to open the file immediately after saving it, select the Open file after publishing check box. This check box is available only if you have a PDF reader installed on your computer, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  6. Next to Optimize for, select Standard for high quality printing, or Minimum size if print quality is not important and you want a small file size.
  7. Tip

    Submitting a project report? Click the Adobe PDF Conversion Options button to save your file as PDF/A compliant. Selecting this option ensures longterm compatibility or your document when archived in an electronic database.

  8. Click Publish.

Option 2: Creating a PDF with Adobe Acrobat

Note

Creating a PDF file from within Adobe Acrobat requires the full version of the application, not just the Acrobat Reader. The full version is available on all WPI-owned machines. Please contact the Helpdesk to acquire a copy, or consider using one of the other options described on this page.

  1. On a PC, click on the Start menu and select All Programs > Adobe > Adobe Acrobat.
  2. When Acrobat opens, click File - Create PDF - From File.
  3. Select the file you want to convert by browsing to it in the dialog box that appears.
  4. Choose Open this begins the process of converting your file into a PDF file. The speed at which the file is converted into a PDF file depends upon the size of the original file. It should also be noted that as your document is being converted a number of windows may appear on your screen. This is entirely normal.
  5. Once the file has been converted, the PDF version of the file appears. Choose File > Save as, select the folder where you want to save the PDF file, and choose Save.

In addition, you may also create a PDF document from within Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint in two different ways:

  1. Open the Word document as you normally would and choose File > Print.


    On the dialog box that appears, click the dropdown menu for the printer name.


    In the dropdown menu, choose the Adobe PDF printer and click OK.
  2. Open the Word document as you normally would, choose Adobe PDF > Create PDF. You will be prompted to choose a location to save the new PDF file, as well as to choose a name for the new PDF file.
    This feature is a plug-in for Adobe Acrobat Pro and may not be enabled on all computers.

Option 3: PDF Printer on printers

How to Install the PDF Printer

  1. If you are off-campus, first follow the steps on the Off Campus Drive Mapping page to connect to \\filer.wpi.edu\yourusername.
  2. Go to Start -> Run.
  3. Note

    Windows Vista & Windows 7 owners can use the Search programs and files instead. This is the small search box that appears when you click on the Windows Start Button.

  4. Type \\printers.wpi.edu\printtopdf and press Enter. This installs the printer on your computer.

    Note: you may be required to login using your ADMIN or STUDENT credentials.

How to Print to PDF

  1. Open the file that you want to convert to .pdf.
  2. Go to File > Print.
  3. Select the Print to PDF on printers printer.
  4. Click Print.

You will receive an e-mail notifying you that the document was converted to a pdf file. The e-mail will include a link to the pdf document on your filer drive. The .pdf file can be located in My_Documents folder located in your personal file share \\filer.wpi.edu\home\My_Documents. This drive is automatically mapped to R: if you are logging into the ADMIN domain. Please note that the file name may not be representative of your .pdf document. You will most likely want to rename the file to something more appropriate and move it to another location.

Here are some examples of .pdf filenames created using this method:

Option 4: Creating a PDF Using PrimoPDF

The CCC Helpdesk suggests using PrimoPDF to convert to PDF from any application by simply "printing" to the PrimoPDF printer - it couldn't be easier! Within minutes, you can create high-quality PDFs by converting from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and virtually any other printable file type.

Check out the PrimoPDF User Manual to get started.

Note

The CCC Helpdesk has found this free solution to create .PDF files that works for most people. It is important to note that this is not a supported product, has not been fully tested and may not work in all situations.

Option 5: Creating a PDF Using the Remote Desktop

The remote desktop option provides access to Adobe Acrobat Version 7, so you need to follow the instructions below when creating your file. Also, if you are off-campus, you need to connect to the VPN in order to use the remote desktop feature.

  1. Hook into the Remote Desktop by opening the Start menu, going to Accessories, then Communication, then Remote Desktop.
  2. Connect to windows.wpi.edu and login with your WPI network username and password.
  3. On a PC, click on the Start menu and select All Programs > Adobe > Adobe Acrobat.
  4. In the upper-left corner, choose File > Create PDF > From File.
  5. Select the file you want to convert by browsing to it in the dialog box that appears.
  6. Choose Open this begins the process of converting your file into a PDF file. The speed at which the file is converted into a PDF file depends upon the size of the original file. It should also be noted that as your document is being converted a number of windows will appear on your screen. This is entirely normal.
  7. Once the file has been converted the PDF version of the file appears. Choose File > Save as, select the folder you wish to save the PDF file into, and choose Save.
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Last modified: Oct 22, 2010, 12:05 EDT
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