How to Create PDF Files

Printing to PDF

When you install Adobe Acrobat on your computer, Adobe automatically installs a virtual printer that's called Adobe PDF. You can use this virtual printer to print a file from any other program to a PDF that's saved on your computer.

Let's learn how to use it. 

Let's say we want to convert your Microsoft word document to a PDF. We simply navigate to print within the program we're using. In our example, it's Microsoft Word.

Go to where you select the printer that you want to use to select our file, as shown in the snapshot below. Remember, this is Microsoft Word we're using as an example.

Select Adobe PDF, as shown below.

 Click to print.

Select a location on your computer where you want to save the file. 

Adobe then creates a PDF of your file. You can then open it in Adobe Acrobat. 

Using PDF Maker

If you download the Windows version of Acrobat, there's a set of tools that's also installed into your Microsoft Office program. These tools are known as the PDFMaker. You'll see PDFMaker in the Menu bar of the Microsoft Office that you're using. We are using MS Word. You can see that Acrobat was added as one of the options on our Menu bar in MS Word 2010.

If you click on the Acrobat tab, you can see the tools you can use:

You can:       

  • Create a PDF out of the current document.  


  • Email the document as a PDF. 


  • Send the document to people for a PDF-based review, which we'll learn about later. 

    The Create PDF and Email PDF functions are available in all versions of Office. 

    Create a PDF

    To create a PDF, click on Acrobat in the Menu bar of an Office program. Then, click Create PDF on the ribbon.

    You'll then see the Save dialogue box. Enter a name for your PDF, choose the location on your computer you want to save it to, then click OK.

    Email a PDF

    To email an Office document as a PDF file, click Acrobat on the Menu bar, then click the Create and Attach to Email button on the ribbon.

    Follow the same steps listed above to create a PDF. When you're finished, your email client will open with your PDF as the attachment.

    Convert Images and Other Files to PDF

    Acrobat can also convert image and other types of files into a PDF file. Below is a list of file types that Adobe Acrobat can convert into PDF: 


  • BMP 


  • GIF 


  • HTML 


  • InDesign 


  • JPEG 


  • JPEG2000 


    Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Adobe Acrobat course?
  • PCX 


  • PICT 


  • PNG 


  • PostScript/EPS 


  • Text 


  • TIFF 

    To convert one of these file types to PDF, go to Acrobat. Next, go to File>Create PDF>From File. You can also go to the Tasks toolbar, then choose Create>PDF from File.

    Choose the file you want to convert to a PDF:

    Click on the file to select it, then click Open.

    The file is then converted to a PDF file and opens it in a new document window.

    Scanning to PDF

    You can also scan documents into your computer using a scanner, then convert them directly to PDF. Acrobat can operate any scanner with a TWAIN driver or a Windows Image Acquisition driver. Just remember that if you scan a text document, the result will be a picture of the text, not the text itself.

    To scan a page to PDF, go to File>Create PDF>From Scanner. You can also go to the Tasks toolbar, then Create>PDF from Scanner.

    Next, choose how you want it to scan:

    This will be the ouputted PDF file.

    Once you choose the output, the Acrobat Scan dialogue box will appear:

    Choose the scanner you want to use, as well as the settings for the scan. When you're finished, click Scan.

    Adobe will then scan the document and open the new PDF file in a new document window.

    Convert Web Pages to PDF

    Acrobat can convert one web page or an entire site to PDF. It produces a self-contained PDF of the web page with the images and graphics intact. It will also have functioning links.

    To convert a web page to PDF, go to File>Create PDF>From Web Page. You can also go to the Tasks toolbar and choose Create>PDF from Web Page.

    Enter a URL for the page you want to convert to PDF:

    If you click Capture Multiple Levels, you'll be presented with more options. These options are for capturing more than just one web page, or an entire website.

    Click Get Entire Site if you want the entire site turned into a PDF. Or choose how many levels you want Acrobat to get.

    If you choose a value of 1 - or 1 level - you're telling Acrobat just to grab the page that's located at the address (URL) you've specified. A value of 2 - or 2 levels - tells Acrobat to get the page you specified plus any pages linked to by that page. A value of 3 captures the page you've entered, all pages it links to, then all pages THOSE pages link to, and so on and so forth as you enter larger values.

    The more levels you specify, the longer the conversion will take.

    Next, make sure Stay on Same Path and Stay on Same Server are checked.

    Click Create when you're finished.

    You'll then see a Download Status dialogue box. You can stop the conversion at any time by clicking Stop.

    When the conversion is finished, Acrobat displays the new PDF in a new document window.

    Merge Files into a Single PDF

    To convert a screenshot to a PDF, go to Create PDF>Merge Files into a Single PDF.

    You'll then see this dialogue box:

    Now, click Add Files at the top left of the dialogue box:

    As you can see, you can add files, folders, or open files.

    Let's click Add Files. Choose the files you want to add:

    To select more than one file, hold down the Ctrl button while selecting files.

    Click the Add Files button. Remember, you can add any file type that can be converted to PDF.

    Now, click Combine Files.

    The Save As dialgoue box appears once the files have been combined.

    The default name for these types of files are Binder with a number after it.

    You can change the file name if you want, then click Save.