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Stop Acrobat Reader from converting or saving files as Word documents

New Here ,
May 04, 2024 May 04, 2024

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I am working with a group of people editing a set of PDFs. I and another person have experienced Acrobat occasionally saving PDFs files as Word documents (or converting them) instead of keeping them as PDFs (which is crucial).  I'm on Windows 11 and the other person is on a Mac.  We were working on different files.  The files are in OneDrive for shared usage.  Since it's happened to two different people, it seems unlikely that we both made the same error in working with the files.  Any ideas how to stop these conversions?

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Edit and convert PDFs , General troubleshooting , Modern Acrobat , PDF

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Community Expert ,
May 04, 2024 May 04, 2024

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Hi, @Eggplant16, I have to say that when I first saw this, the question I was going to ask is if some of the people in your group actually have Acrobat Pro instead of Reader. This is because Reader CANNOT convert PDFs into other formats (e.g., Word), but Acrobat Pro (or Standard), can. This would be like Opening up Word and expecting to export a Photoshop document out of it. 

 

But, diligent tester that I am, I figured I better take a look at Reader and run a test "just to make sure." 

 

I opened up a PDF, then looked at the "Save as…" window and saw this on the bottom left corner of the Save as window:

2024-05-04_09-01-35.png

 The catch here is that you need to check that one little box for "Convert to." What that box does is to "sneakily" turn your Acrobat Reader into Acrobat Pro. However, this is only valid for the seven days testing period that Adobe has for all of its applications.

 

If you were to check that box, you will then see this window pop open which is where you see the warning:

2024-05-04_09-01-15.png

 I do not work for Adobe, I just volunteer here. But I do find it shameful that Adobe choses to make it seem like you can do anything that Acrobat Pro can do within Acrobat Reader. This tends to confuse or confound Reader users and only gets them upset.

 

Anyhow, please have your group verify if they have inadvertently clicked that checkbox. 

 

Meanwhile, when doing a "Save as…" operation, just make sure that all you're doing is saving the file as a PDF file and not as a Word file.

 

Let me know if I figured this out. If not, I'll take another stab at it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Here ,
May 04, 2024 May 04, 2024

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Hi @gary_sc,

 

Thanks for your experiments.  We are indeed using the Reader; I think none of us uses a more advanced version.  We're not actually changing the text (the publisher would send a hit man), just adding comments and the occasional insert mark or strikeout.

 

Unfortunately I don't think the checkmark caused the issue, because I had worked on a few other files before one decided to become a Word file.  (The box isn't checked off in my Reader; I'll run the question by the others if another possibility doesn't turn up, but I've already warned everyone to keep an eye out.)  No file has done it to me since then.  So the behavior gives the appearance of occasional program flakiness, but maybe it's something else that others have already sorted out.  On the other hand, I didn't find a previous discussion in the forums.  I don't use "Save as" unless I specifically want to change a file name or format; otherwise, my fingers are trained to press Ctrl-S at pretty much any pause.  FWIW, I haven't had to mark up someone else's PDFs before (beyond highlighting), so I'm unfamiliar with potential problems that might involve. 

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