Styles' Free Lesson
to Convert any Document to PDF
only with the full program, not the Acrobat Reader.]
is a program to transmit, view and print documents from an originating
PC to another PC with “perfect” reproduction of fonts, styles, graphics
and all other details. In effect, AA takes a "picture" of each page so
that the PDF version you see or print on another PC is exactly the same
as the original. It's helpful to view AA as a way of "printing" a
so that it always looks the same as the original.
AA converts files
printer called Adobe Distiller. If you go to Start/Settings/Printers,
you will see an Adobe Distiller icon (Distiller is a “virtual”
Right click the icon and then click Properties to review all the
default settings. Look them all over, but only one is important -- Adobe
PDF Settings. If you click the window, you will see entries
for Press, Printer and Screen (maybe some others, but they're
important). Selecting Screen as the default gives the least
exact result (and minimum file size). Press gives
exact result (and maximum file size). I select Printer as my
but the type can be changed before each conversion (I'll get to that
Also, when you have decided on your default, click the Edit
Settings button and then the Fonts tab.
Be sure that Embed
all Fonts is checked. (If you don't, AA will select the nearest
match of fonts loaded on the other PC.) This adds to the size of the
but file sizes are still relatively small because everything is
There are several
convert a document to PDF. You will find menus in Word (and probably
Microsoft products) that invite you to click for the conversion.
okay, but the following procedure seems to work for all applications:
were developed to use with WordPerfect and other Corel products. Other
programs may vary the conversion process. For example, when you invoke
the Print command using Acrobat Distiller as your virtual printer, you
may be asked whether you want to save the PDF file in a folder rather
on your Desktop. Also, other programs may automatically open the PDF
file in Adobe Acrobat. Do not assume, however, that your PDF converted
file has been automatically saved to your disk. To be certain, always
a Save As in Adobe Acrobat. Another thing to remember is that PDF files
can only be opened in Adobe Acrobat (or Acrobat Reader). In other
you can convert other formats to PDF, but (so far as I know) you cannot
convert (or open) a PDF file to another format.
your document on the screen. Enter print mode (Control
P). Select Adobe Distiller as the printer, instead
can skip this step, but I always cancel out of Print mode and then
review the document to be certain it looks exactly as I want in PDF
particularly pagination. Make any changes you want, and then get back
Print mode. (If you have made any changes in your document, it's a good
idea to Save As the altered document under an altered file name so that
you can get it on the screen the next time without having to re-enter
this point you can change the default Adobe setting (see above)
to Press, Printer or Screen, if you want to (usually by
a Properties box). This changes the setting only for this conversion;
system will return to the default when you are finished with the
You will be asked whether you want to save the document
with a PDF extension), usually on your Desktop. ClickYes.
Then wait for everything to stop making little noises. There is usually
no bell or visible sign that the conversion is complete. It should take
only a few seconds, depending on the length of the document.
of the document and out of your program. There should be an icon on the
screen for the converted document. (If there isn’t and your PDF file is
no where else to be found, the conversion process failed. There should
be a .log file that you can open -- in a word processor, not in AA --
find the problem.) Double click the PDF icon (or drag
over your Adobe Acrobat icon) in order to open the converted document
AA. Assuming you want to save the result, do a Save As in whatever
you keep your documents. You can now send this PDF file (not the icon
the screen) by e-mail attachment, put it on a disk, take it to a
or whatever. You can also add or delete pages and do other things in
but that's another lesson.
you have done all this, you might as well delete the screen icon (and
accompanying log icon), because it is now useless. It is there, in
only as a transitional step.
Michael H. Styles
for providing these instructions.