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Adobe Acrobat X for Windows and Macintosh: Creating PDF Files

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Acrobat has many powerful features that let you create PDF files: you can convert many common file types to PDF, scan paper documents directly into PDF, convert Web pages to PDF files, and combine several PDF files into a single document. In this chapter, you learn how to do all of these tasks.
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PDF is arguably the best file format for storing and distributing documents. It’s compact, it supports a wide variety of content (including text, images, line art, and multimedia), and you can use it for free without incurring licensing fees. However, all this capability is useless unless you can conveniently create PDF files. This is the topic we address in this chapter.

When you install Acrobat, you also install features into your computer system that make it easy and quick to generate PDF files from within virtually any Macintosh or Windows application. Furthermore, Acrobat has many powerful features that let you create PDF files: you can convert many common file types to PDF, scan paper documents directly into PDF, convert Web pages to PDF files, and combine several PDF files into a single document.

In this chapter, you learn how to do all of these tasks.

Printing to a PDF File

Acrobat makes it easy to create PDF files from any application—spreadsheet, database, image editing, word processor—by simply printing to a PDF file. If you can print your document, you can convert it to PDF.

However, the details are a bit different between the Macintosh and Windows.

Printing to Adobe PDF in Windows

When you install the Windows version of Acrobat X, you also install onto your computer system a virtual printer called Adobe PDF. When you print to this “printer,” it converts the document being printed into a PDF file rather than producing sheets of paper.

To print to a PDF file in Windows:

  1. Choose File > Print in your application.

    The standard Windows Print dialog opens circle-a.jpg.

  2. In the Printer pop-up menu, choose Adobe PDF.
  3. Click Print.

    A standard Save File dialog opens.

  4. Type a name for your PDF file.
  5. Click OK.

    After a short while, you will see a newly created PDF file on your disk.

Printing to Adobe PDF on the Macintosh

You don’t actually need Acrobat to either create or view PDF files on a Macintosh. Because the Mac’s internal drawing language is based on PDF, the Mac can display and create PDF files on its own. However, Adobe has a lot more experience working with PDF (they invented it, after all), and Acrobat reflects this by creating PDF files that much more completely support all of PDF’s capabilities: all the annotation types, the form fields, and so on.

In the past, Acrobat installed an Adobe PDF printer driver on the Mac, as it does in Windows. However, Acrobat X installs itself into the standard Mac printing mechanism, making for a more Mac-like experience.

Every Print dialog on the Macintosh has a PDF drop-down menu that offers a set of useful print-to-PDF functions circle-c.jpg. Acrobat X adds to this menu a Print to Adobe PDF item; when you select this, the document is printed to a PDF file using Adobe PDF rather than Apple’s built-in PDF generator.

To print to Adobe PDF on the Macintosh:

  1. Choose File > Print in your application. The standard Mac Print dialog opens.
  2. In the PDF drop-down menu, choose Save as Adobe PDF graycircle-c.jpg.

    You are presented with the Save as Adobe PDF dialog circle-d.jpg.

  3. Choose the settings you wish in the dialog.

    The Settings pop-up menu lets you choose parameters appropriate to common document types circle-e.jpg; Standard will work fine in most cases. The After PDF Creation menu gives you the option of opening the new PDF file in Acrobat circle-f.jpg.

  4. Click Continue.

    A standard Save dialog opens.

  5. Type a name for your PDF file.
  6. Click OK.

    After a short while, you will see a newly created PDF file on your disk.

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