Create a PDF from a File

There are three different ways to create a PDF from a file.  It all depends on what program you are starting from.  If you want to convert a saved file (any program) to a PDF, use Method 1.  If you have a Microsoft Office application open (Word, Excel, etc.), use Method 2.  If you have any other application open (Text Edit, etc.), use Method 3.

Method 1
This is the most basic method of converting a saved file to a PDF.  The saved file can be saved in a variety of programs, from any of the Microsoft Office products to the very basic text editing programs, like TextEdit.

First, open Adobe Acrobat Professional.  On the icon toolbar, you will see an icon labeled “Create PDF” tag.  Click on this and a menu will appear.  Choose the first option, “From File.”  Alternatively, you can type Control + N (or Apple + N on Macs).

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A browse window will pop up, allowing you to search for the file.  After you’ve found the correct file, click on the file name and click Open.

Method 2
Let’s say you are working in an open application of one of the Microsoft Office products, (such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint).  You want to convert your source document to a PDF, so you can easily email it.  This is an easy method to do that.

screen shotOnce your source document is open, click on “Convert to Adobe PDF” icon on the Adobe toolbar.




If the toolbar is not visible, got to the View menu, Toolbars, Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker.

Click here for an image of this menu

Once you’ve clicked on the “Convert to Adobe PDF” icon, a window will pop up asking you to save the file.  Only a saved file can be converted.  So if you do not agree to save the file when this window pops up, the file that will be converted is the last saved copy of the document.  After you have agreed (or not) to save the file, a menu will pop up prompting you to choose a location to save to.  After you have chosen your location, click “Save.”  The file will then convert to a PDF.  To view the new PDF, click on “View File,” and the document will open in Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Method 3
This method could be used when you are in other word processing applications.  Let’s say you are working on coding HTML in TextEdit.  You want a colleague to look at the code and give feedback, but you do not want this colleague to be able to directly edit your text.  In this case, converting to a PDF would be important, because your colleague could read the document but could not directly edit it.First, open your source document.  On the tool bar, open the File menu and select “Print," or alternatively, Control + P (or Apple + P on Macs).   After the Print window pops up, select as your print Adobe PDF and click OK.

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A menu will pop up prompting you to choose a file name and a location to save the file.  Notice on the bottom of this window that the file is being saved as .pdf. 
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After you have done this, click Save.  This step uses a function similar to “save as” to convert the saved file to a saved PDF.

To open the file as a PDF, open Adobe Acrobat Pro.  Within the File menu, select Open, and browse for the location where you saved the converted file.


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