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Exporting to Other Formats

Acrobat can save a PDF document to a variety of other formats, such as TIFF, PNG, and EPS. This is easily done through the Save As dialog box.

To save a file to a different format

  1. Select File > Save As, or click the Save button on the File toolbar (Figure 3.1)

    In either case, Acrobat will present you with a standard Save-a-File dialog box (Figure 3.2).

  2. Choose a file format from the "Save as type" pop-up menu.

    Acrobat offers a large number of file formats to which it can export (Figure 3.3).

    Figure 3.3

    Figure 3.3 The "Save as type" pop-up menu lets you choose from among a large number of file formats to which Acrobat can convert a PDF file.

  3. Optionally, click the Settings button, and choose any of the options you need.

    The Settings dialog box opens for the file format you selected (Figure 3.4). You can usually use the defaults with no problems. (See the sidebar "TIFF and EPS Options.")

    Figure 3.4

    Figure 3.4 Each output file format has a set of controls that dictate the details of the conversion.

  4. Navigate to the folder on your disk in which you want to save your file.
  5. Click Save.

    Acrobat saves your document in the file format you specified.

Export file types

Acrobat can export PDF files to a variety of other file types, listed in the Save As dialog box's "Save file as" pop-up menu (Figure 3.3). Unfortunately, in most cases, the conversion changes the document's appearance: Items move around, fonts change, illustrations come out pixilated, and other problems occur. The conversions work best for simple documents.

That said, there are reasons you may want to save a PDF file to some of these formats. Following is a list of the file types to which Acrobat converts most successfully and the purpose of each.

  • Adobe PDF Files (vector). Acrobat's default file format. Acrobat saves the PDF file as-is.
  • Adobe PDF Files, Optimized (vector). Still a PDF file, but internally reorganized for viewing in a Web browser. Use this type if you'll be posting your PDF file on the Web for people to read online.
  • Encapsulated PostScript (vector). A file format used for illustrations in high-end graphics and page-layout software. EPS is usually your best choice if the PDF file will be used as an illustration (Figure 3.7, top).
    Figure 3.7

    Figure 3.7 Here is PDF text exported to (from top to bottom) EPS, TIFF, and JPEG. The JPEG artifacts are somewhat exaggerated, because the text was created with the nondefault "low quality" setting.

  • JPEG (bitmap). A compact bitmap format widely used for images, including digital photography. It's useful only for photographs; it's particularly bad for general PDF files, because line art and text usually become surrounded by a halo of artifacts, as in the bottom text in Figure 3.7.
  • Rich Text Format (vector). A format that's commonly understood by a wide range of applications, although conversion to it isn't always successful. If you want to convert your PDF file into a word-processing document, this is worth trying.
  • Text (Plain). A format that extracts the text in the PDF file, removing all formatting information and illustrations. The text may come out in a scrambled order if it's formatted in multiple columns.
  • Text (Accessible). A format that extracts the text from the PDF file and attempts to preserve internal information that makes it easier to use the text with Braille readers. This information must have been put into the PDF file by the creator and is usually absent.
  • TIFF (bitmap). The best format if you need to convert your PDF pages to a series of images. The format is reasonably compact, and text and line art look much better than in JPEG (Figure 3.7).
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