Microsoft Word is no doubt the most popular word processor in the world today, partly because the Microsoft Windows operating system is so widely used and also because of Word’s time-saving features such as grammar and spell checking, and auto-correction.
PDF is short for Portable Document Format and is a file format that was created by Adobe; PDF files are popular for websites as it maintains the original formatting and layout of the original document. Various types of free software are available for reading PDF files such as Adobe Reader and Foxit Reader and there are also a lot of options for editing PDF files but these are typically programs that must be paid for.
Although it is possible to convert Word documents to HTML for internet use, files are often converted to PDF instead because the files are so easily accessible when they are converted properly; here are the steps needed for converting Word documents to PDF.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED
• PC or laptop
• Conversion software
1. Start a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.
2. Navigate to a search engine such as Google.
3. Search for PDF conversion software. Popular choices include CutePDF and DoPDF as free solutions with Adobe Acrobat and Foxit PDF Creator being popular paid solutions.
4. After deciding on a solution, download and install the software.
5. After installation a new printer will be installed on the computer which is a virtual printer for creating the PDF files.
6. Start Microsoft Word from the Start Menu of the computer.
7. Open any document that may be required for conversion to PDF.
8. If the document only needs to be converted to PDF then go to FILE then PRINT from within Microsoft Word and select the new virtual printer from the list and then hit the button to print. A dialog may appear asking for the name of the file and save location. Save the file to an easily accessible location such as the desktop.
9. If the document needs to be searchable with selectable text then this feature may not be available in some free solutions and depending on the software installed may be completely impossible; if you do have a program installed with the feature then OCR (optical character recognition) options should be set. On completion the OCR scanner will prompt for assistance in identifying any character that may not be immediately recognized by the software; a prompt may then appear asking for the file name and save location – ensure the file is saved in an easily accessible location such as the desktop.
10. Open the output file using the installed PDF reader to ensure conversion was properly done
DO’s AND DONT’s
Not all software will be able to create searchable PDF files. Inquire about the need of this feature before deciding which software suite to use.
Don’t delete the Word document after the conversion has been done unless you will not need to edit the file again; converting to a PDF makes the text un-editable in many instances so keep a copy of the original.