Posts in Category "PDF Makers and Preferences"

Creating a PDF at the Right Output Size and Dimensions

Most of us are familiar with typical document sizes such as letter (8.5″ by 11″), legal (8.5″ by 14″) and ledger/tabloid (11″ by 17″).

A recent email I received made me realize that not everyone knows how to actually format their documents to match:

I have the attached document that I need to output at 14 inches wide by 14 inches high. When I print to PDF, there is not a choice for this. I’ve attached the Word file so you can take a look . . .

When I opened the document, I realized that the document was set to Letter size in landscape orientation (11″ by 8.5″). I was able to work with the customer to find a solution, so I thought I would share it here.

Setting the Page Size in Microsoft Office

If you are using an Office application, such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you should create and edit your document at the desired print dimensions. That way, your editing process will reflect the physical page size.

When you change the page size in Word, the layout will adjust automatically and text will reflow.

Here’s how to change the page size of a document in Word. This is for Office 2013, but 2007 and 2010 versions are substantially identical.

  1. Go to the Page Layout Ribbon in Word
  2. Click the Size button
  3. Choose More Page Sizes at the bottom
  4. Enter your desired page size and click OK
  5. Click the Acrobat ribbon in Word
  6. Click Create PDF

Checking the Page Size in Acrobat

Acrobat will convert the document to the exact page size specified in Word.

Here’s how to check. With the file open . . .

  1. File> Properties
  2. Click the Description tab
  3. The PDF Page size is listed:

Using the PDF Printer and Preserving Page Size

Maintaining page size is tricker when printing via the AdobePDF printer. For example, when I created a 5.25 X 7.25 custom page size and printed to the PDF printer, the output looked like this:


It is possible to maintain the PDF page size by creating a custom page size for the PDF Printer. Here’s how . . .

  1. Create your document in the tool of your choice and make note of the page size
  2. Choose File>Print
  3. Select the AdobePDF Printer
  4. Click the Settings option for the Adobe PDF Printer
    Note: The labeling and position of this option will vary depending upon the application used
  5. In the Adobe PDF Document Properties window, click the Add button . . .

  6. Give the new page size a name
  7. Set the dimensions of the new page size and click Add/Modigy

  8. Choose the new page size from the Adobe PDF Page Size menu and click OK.

  9. Print the document. The results should match the page size:

Note: Word and other applications may complain about margins and paper size when you go to print.. You can ignore these issues.

In my testing, the page size setting wasn’t “sticky”, at least in Word. That’s probably a good thing since I think most of us create standard letter-size and other documents.

Creating a "Near to PDF/A" PDF Setting

Since the Federal Courts have announced their intent to require PDF/A for court submissions, I’ve received a number of inquiries along these lines:

Would it be a good idea to always create PDF/A documents?

I do not advise law firms to use PDF/A all of the time. PDF/A view mode in Acrobat will not allow you to do many of the day to day edits you need. For example, if you want insert pages in a PDF/A document, PDF/A View mode will prevent the change.

Instead, I advise creating PDF documents using a PDF Setting which is easy to conform later to PDF/A.

Creating an “Near PDF/A” Setting

Using the steps below, you will modify the existing PDF/A setting provided by Acrobat to create a new one.

  1. In Acrobat, choose Edit> Preferences.
  2. Click on the Convert To PDF category item in the list at left
  3. Select Microsoft Word from the middle list
  4. Click the Edit Settings button
    Edit Settings veiw
  5. In the Adobe PDF Settings window, make sure that PDF/A-1b:2005 is selected, then click the Edit button:

  6. Choose the Standards section in the Edit Settings window:
  7. At the top right, under Standard Reporting and Compliance, set the Compliance Standard to None.
  8. Click the Save As . . . button:
    Saving a new setting
  9. Name the file. I named mine Near PDFa.joboptions

    The PDF Setting file will be saved in the users default Acrobat PDF Settings folder:

  10. Click Save, then OK twice.
Download the Near PDFa Setting File
I’ve already created the Near PDFa setting. You can download the setting and save it in the location below instead of making your own.

Near PDFa Job Setting

Where do copy the settings file to?
WinXP C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe PDF\Settings
Win7 C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe PDF\Settings


Multiple Ways to Create PDF

Acrobat offers a multitude of methods for creating PDFs from Office documents:

  • Via the AdobePDF Print driver
  • Via the PDFmaker buttons installed into popular office applications
  • By combining native documents using the Combine function in Acrobat

Each approach will require some set-up to ensure that all documents created have fonts embedded.

Setting the Near PDF/A Setting for the Adobe PDF Print Driver

Follow these steps to set the Adobe PDF Print Driver to always use the "Near PDFa" setting:

  1. From any application, choose File> Print
    A) Select the Adobe PDF from the Name list.
    B) Click the Properties button
    Changing Adboe PDF print driver setting
    Your Print Window might look Different . . .
    : The print window may look quite a bit different depending on the application you use and whether you are on XP or Windows 7. Look for a button or link labeled Properties, Print Options, Print Properties or Printer Properties

  2. A) Choose the Near PDFa setting from the Default Settings list
    B) Click OK.

Setting Embed All for the PDFmaker Buttons installed in Office Applications

Acrobat Standard installs 1-button PDF conversion buttons into popular Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Acrobat Pro additionally offers support for Visio, Project, Access, Publisher and Internet Explorer.

Follow these steps to set an Office PDFmaker button to always use the Near PDFa setting. The example below is from Microsoft Word.

  1. Launch the application of your choice, but do not open a document.
  2. For Office 2007 and 2010 apps such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint, choose the Acrobat ribbon then click Preferences

    For Office 2003 apps such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint, Choose AdobePDF> Change Conversion Settings
  3. Choose Near PDFa from the Conversion Settings list
  4. Click OK

Setting Embed All for Combine or Create from Desktop in Acrobat

Acrobat allows users to convert several different kinds of native files using the Combine function or via the desktop.

When conversion takes place using these direct methods, you need to specify the desired conversion setting in Acrobat Preferences for each application supported.

  1. In Acrobat, choose Edit> Preferences
    A) Click on the Convert to PDF category from the list at left
    B) Choose an application such as Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint from the list
    C) Click the Edit Settings button
    Acrobat conversion Prefs
  2. In the Edit Settings window, change the Conversion Setting to “Near PDFa”
  3. Click OK
  4. Repeat for all applications

Related Font Embedding Issues

The main reason to use this setting is that it embeds all fonts and sets the color space correctly for PDF/A conformance later on.

Occasionally, you may run into issues where certain fonts cannot be embedded.

Corrupt Fonts
Fonts can be complex beasts and occasionally become corrupted. Try replacing the fonts on your system with known, good versions of fonts.

Non-Embeddable Fonts
Some fonts contain a “Do Not Embed” flag placed in the font by the font manufacturer as a license restriction.

OpenType fonts from Adobe do not have embedding restrictions, but some other manufacturers may not allow their fonts to be embedded. The only workaround is to replace the typeface with one without any restrictions.

On Windows 7, you can see if a TrueType font may be embedded by following these steps:

  1. Click the Start button and open the Control Panel
  2. Double-click the Fonts category
  3. Right-click on a font and choose Properties
  4. Click the Details tab. If Editable is listed, then the font may be embedded:

Continue reading…

Ensuring that Word TOCs create Hyperlinks in Acrobat

TOC Picture

Not long ago, I received the following email from a large law firm which was creating some internal documentation:

I am having trouble converting a Table of Contents in Word to PDF so that all the hyperlinks work. I have all the settings checked in the Acrobat PDF Maker, but no links are being created in the resulting TOC in the PDF. Help!

I did some research on this and it turned out to be an easily fixable issue in Word itself.


Microsoft Word’s TOC function creates hyperlinks to Headings found in the Word file.

Acrobat provides two ways to create PDF from Word:

  1. Adobe PDF Print driver
    Use this print driver to create a PDF from any application that can print
  2. Adobe PDF Maker
    The special integration Acrobat installs into Microsoft Word that offers additional functionality such as bookmark creation and hyperlink creation.

You will need the latter to convert Word TOC hyperlinks to PDF hyperlinks.

The PDF Maker for Word won’t create links in these two situations:

  • You’ve unchecked “Create Hyperlinks” in the PDF Maker settings
    (It’s on by default, so this should not normally be an issue unless you changed it)
  • The TOC in Word is not set to create hyperlinks
    It usually isn’t, so you’ll need to change this setting!

How do I create a Table of Contents in Word to begin with?

First, apply Word’s built-in Heading styles to the headings in your text. (Headings 1, Heading 2, etc.)

Word 2007 and 2010

References > Table of Contents > choose an option from the menu

In Word 2003 and earlier

Insert > Reference > Tables and Indexes. Click on the Table of Contents Tab. Click OK.


Ensuring that Word Creates Hyperlinks for TOC Elements

You need to tell Word to create hyperlinks for TOC elements. The instructions below are for Word 2010, but they should also work for Word 2007. The process is much the same for earlier versions of Word.

  1. Click anywhere inside the Word TOC to select it.
    All the text in the TOC should highlight as below:
  2. Right-click on the highlighted text and choose Edit Field:
    Edit Field for Word TOC
  3. Word’s Field window opens.
    A) From the list on the left, choose TOC
    B) Click the Table of Contents button
    Edit Field Window for TOC in Word
  4. Click the "Use Hyperlinks instead of Page Numbers" checkbox.

Making the TOC Look like Hyperlinks

You might have noticed that the TOC elements in the screen capture above look like web hyperlinks.

I believe it is a good practice to ensure that hyperlinked elements in the PDF are evident to the reader of the document. You can change the appearance of the TOC elements in Word in the Table of Contents window in Word. Here’s how:

  1. In the Table of Contents window, click the Modify . . . button.
    Click the Modify button to change the Word TOC style
  2. The Style Window opens.
    A) Select a TOC level from the list
    B) Click the Modify button
    Style window for Word TOC
  3. The Modify Stylet window opens.
    Set the font color to Blue and click the OK button.
    Set style to Blue for the TOC heading
  4. Repeat Step 3 above for all the TOC levels used in your document.
    By default, Word only uses three levels for the TOC, so you probably only need to change theTOC1, TOC2 and TOC3 styles.
  5. Click OK twice.
  6. Word will ask if you want to replace the TOC. Click OK.
    TOC Replacement Warning dialog screen capture

More Word TOC Tricks

Here is a link to Word TOC resource that might helpful to those of you who want to more fully customize your TOC in Word:

Using Switches to choose Separators for TOC Elements

Continue reading…

Batch Printing PDFs (and other files) using Acrobat 9

Maybe it isn’t popular or “green”, but law firms still print a lot.

For example, recently I received this email from a paralegal:

Can I batch print PDFs? We received a few hundred files on a CD and the attorney wants me to print them all out. I can’t convince her to review them online . . .

While we’d all like to print less, evaluating documents on the computer screen is challenging for many legal professionals for both physiological and cultural reasons.

Batch Printing Illustration

I’ll discuss how you can:

  • Convert and batch print a variety of types of documents such as PDF, Word, and Excel files
  • Preferences to smooth the process
  • Tips

Continue reading…

PDF Creation and Font Embedding for USPTO Submissions

Law firms that file the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) need to heed the agency’s specific requirements for PDF generation.

The USPTO PDF specification does not allow PDFs to contain:

  • Images (including entire scanned pages) above 300 DPI resolution
  • Security of any kind
  • Embedded multimedia (e.g. sounds or movies)
  • Hyperlinks
  • Layers

TIP: The PDF Optimizer in Acrobat 8 Professional can ensure compliance with these restrictions. Images may be downsampled, layers flattened and security, links and multimedia elements removed.  The PDF Optimizer may be accessed using the Batch Processing facility, too!

Many federal agencies have long relied upon PDF because of Acrobat’s ability to faithfully render all aspects of printed pages including layout, tables, images and fonts (typefaces).

The USPTO requires that PDF must be:

  • Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) or higher
    (See note at end of article)
  • No larger than 8.5” by 11” or A4 page size
  • Have all fonts embedded and subset

The last item—fonts—is a critical aspect of displaying documents.

Acrobat offers three font choices that balance file size versus view fidelity:

  • Fonts Substitution
    Acrobat renders—on the fly—a “faux font” representation using typeface information included in the PDF.
  • Fonts Embedding
    All typefaces necessary to render a font are embedded in the file.
  • Fonts Subsetting
    Only the typeface characters necessary to render the file are embedded. Typefaces may have thousands of characters. Only embedding the actual characters used can reduce file size.

While Font Substitution keeps file sizes small, it can be problematic for submissions as non-standard fonts and specialized math symbols may not render faithfully for reviewers.

Font Embedding places a copy of the entire typeface in the PDF document.

Font Subsetting balances file size and faithful display because it renders all the characters in a document accurately while keeping file size to a minimum.

Unfortunately, the “Standard” conversion setting in Acrobat does not embed the most common office fonts. These fonts such as Arial and Times Roman are normally installed as part of the operating system.

A recommended best practice is to create a new PDF Conversion setting and employ it for creating all PDFs when filing with the USPTO.

Read on to learn how . . .

Continue reading…

Word Settings for Acrobat PDF Maker

Acrobat, Bookmarks and Microsoft Word

The goal of any author is simple—get people reading their work. In this age of near ubiquitous PDF distribution online, a little extra effort can greatly improve the readability of your PDF document online.

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Acrobat Preferences: My Personal Favorites

One of the first things I do when exploring a new software application, is to look at the application preferences. I’ve talked to several software trainers that start every class they teach that way.

Adobe Acrobat has a plethora of preferences. The sheer number– 29 different types– can be a bit daunting, so I thought I would share a few of my favorites.

Have your own? Let me know!

Continue reading…

AdobePDF Print Driver vs 1-button PDF Creators: Which to use?

You’re in Microsoft Word. You can create an Adobe PDF file using either the:

  1. AdobePDF Print Driver
  2. 1-button PDF Creators installed by Acrobat in Word’s toolbar

Which should you choose and what is the difference?

Continue reading…