How to Make a PDF Document

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Portable Document Format, or PDF, was developed by Adobe Systems and has become the industry standard for document sharing. A PDF document is an exact replica of the original document, whether it's a word-processing or text file, graphical drawing, photo, map, or even video. And it can be password protected so that access to features like editing and printing are restricted [source: Adobe].

In order to create and view a PDF, you must have the proper software installed. The most well-known PDF-creation software is Adobe Acrobat. Although you must purchase this software, Adobe offers a free PDF viewer called Adobe Reader, which you can download from their Web site.

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In addition, several good third-party PDF applications can downloaded for free. Some of these can covert PDFs back into the original documents. Some products, such as Microsoft Office 2007, have built-in PDF converters. Here's how to convert an MS Word document into a PDF in MS Word 2007:

  1. Click the Office button.
  2. Move the mouse pointer over the arrow next to the Save As button and select PDF or XPS.
  3. Type a name for the PDF in the File Name box or select one from the list of files.
  4. Choose PDF in the Save as type drop down list.
  5. Select Open file after publishing to open the new PDF after it has been created and saved. This option is only available if your computer has an installed PDF reader.
  6. Choose Standard (publishing online and printing) or Minimum size (publishing online) under Optimize for, depending on whether or not you want better print quality or lower file size, respectively.
  7. Click Options and set the appropriate print options.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Click Publish to start the PDF creation process. If you need to make any corrections or changes to the PDF, make them to the original Word document and then create a new PDF document [source: Microsoft Office].

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Make PDF FAQ

How do you make a PDF document from Word?
If you have your file saved in any format (.doc, .xls, etc.) and you want to convert it into a .pdf extension, open your Word Document and go to File and click the dropdown menu Save As. Select PDF and choose the location where you want to save your file. Click Save and you have your document converted to PDF.
How do I combine multiple files into one PDF using Adobe?
Open Adobe Acrobat, select Tools and click Create PDF. You’ll be prompted to create single or multiple PDF files. You can also select Scan if you want to take pictures to be directly converted to PDF. Now select your desired option and click Create. This will combine all your files into one PDF document.
How do I convert image files to PDF directly in Windows 10?
You can convert your images to PDF without using any third-party software. Simply double click the image file you want to convert to PDF and open it using Windows default image viewer – Photos in Windows 10. Now press Ctrl + P to go to print mode. Select “Microsoft Print to PDF” and click Print. Your image is converted to PDF.