Creating a PDF

About PDF
Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) is a universal file format making it possible for you to capture the formatting information — such as page layout, fonts and images — of any source document, send and have it appear on the recipient’s monitor or printer as it was intended.

PDFs typically compress to a smaller file size version of the original, allowing for easy emailing. They can be viewed and printed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program.

How to create your own PDF file
There are many ways to create PDFs but not all give good results. Some of the settings applied behind the scenes during the PDF-making process discard important information. The key things we require to provide quality printed output are:

  • good resolution — the detail of any image (measured in DPI / Dots Per Inch) needs to be retained to provide a sharp print

  • fonts — all fonts used in your original document must be embedded in your PDF

Windows PC in Microsoft Office programs
If you own the full version of Acrobat, it’s easy: In your original document, go ‘Print’ and choose ‘Adobe PDF’ as your printer. Click on the ‘Properties’ tab. Click the ‘Adobe PDF Settings’ tab and change the ‘Default Settings’ to High Quality Print. You’re ready to print to PDF.

The same principle applies for creating a PDF from any program — hunt around to find your Adobe PDF Settings and make sure they’re set to at least High Quality.

If you don’t own full Acrobat there are a number of free PDF creators available — try a web search. PDF995 and PDFCreator have been recommended.

Apple Macintosh OS X
Mac OS X has in-built ability to create PDFs. In your document go ‘Print’, in the print dialog box click the PDF button and select ‘Save as PDF...’. This is suitable for some business documents but when creating from Adobe programs it’s better to use Adobe PDF Presets like High Quality Print.


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