Saving a Word Document to PDF

Community Beginner ,
Aug 03, 2020

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Hello,

 

I'm having formatting issues when saving a complex word document to PDF, I've read through lots of posts about this subject but non have fixed my issues.  I'm using the latest Word for mac and adobe software; the .docx document is a 188 page text book which contains linking contents, headers, footers, tables, images and formulas. Here are the issues I've been experiencing:

 

  1. Simple save to PDF: Screws with the formatting - moves text and images around, line tickness are not consistent
  2. Print to PDF: Same as above
  3. Create PDF in Acrobat: Layout is fine however, incorrect fonts, kerning inconsistent, forlmulas do not display correctly (some not all), images are low res.

 

I'd usually just create something like this in InDesign but it doesn't support formulas, hence my use of Word.

 

Any help would be appreciated and my apologies if this has already been solved elsewhere.

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Saving a Word Document to PDF

Community Beginner ,
Aug 03, 2020

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Hello,

 

I'm having formatting issues when saving a complex word document to PDF, I've read through lots of posts about this subject but non have fixed my issues.  I'm using the latest Word for mac and adobe software; the .docx document is a 188 page text book which contains linking contents, headers, footers, tables, images and formulas. Here are the issues I've been experiencing:

 

  1. Simple save to PDF: Screws with the formatting - moves text and images around, line tickness are not consistent
  2. Print to PDF: Same as above
  3. Create PDF in Acrobat: Layout is fine however, incorrect fonts, kerning inconsistent, forlmulas do not display correctly (some not all), images are low res.

 

I'd usually just create something like this in InDesign but it doesn't support formulas, hence my use of Word.

 

Any help would be appreciated and my apologies if this has already been solved elsewhere.

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Create PDFs

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Aug 03, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 03, 2020

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What's your version of Acrobat and Word? And what's your OS version?

And I'm 100% sure InDesign can be used to add formulas, but you'll need to ask over at the ID forum about that...

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Aug 03, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Aug 03, 2020

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Hi,

 

Thank you, I'm using Word for Mac version 16.39 and the latest Acrobat on CC, I'm on macOS Catalina version 10.15.

 

There is a plug-in for formulas in InDesign (not native) but it has an expensive licence fee, unless adobe have added something that i've not seen!

 

🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 03, 2020

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As of my understanding you are using 3 different products to create the PDF file:

1) uses a Microsoft engine to create PDFs

2) I tink (but I'm not a MacOS guy) Print to PDF uses a MacOS engine. 

3) uses the Acrobat engine.

Please allow me to say that from my experience a 188 pages Word document with graphics and images and other complex stuff is quite unmanagable. I've experienced many problems with that up to document losses. The best I can recommend is to put the graphics in tables as that looks like the most stable option for Word.

Inconsitent line thickness may have 2 problem sources: 

First is visual only, so when you zoom into the document, lines are ok. When you print the document, lines are also ok. I think acrobat does a quick and dirty optimization for this. 

A second source for problems of this kind is that the line thickness is really different, kind of 2pt and 1.9pt. 

 

Now to 3:

It looks like you have 2 or 3 problems with the document.

Low resolution graphics: Did you check the image settings for creating a PDF? It could be that the images get downsampled for size optimazation.

Incorrect fonts, kerning trouble and formulas that do not display correctly may be interconnected to oune comon cause: font substitution. Look into the embedded fonts. Are they correct?

 

Try a small Word file of one page with forumlas. Are they converted correctly?

 

A work around to the formula editior in InDesign may be to typeset the formulas in a different tool and to export to PDF. Then linking the PDF like any other external graphics source may do the trick. This does not work, however, if the formulas spread over several pages. 

Regards, Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer.

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Aug 03, 2020 0
chrisIST LATEST
Community Beginner ,
Aug 03, 2020

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Thanks Abambo - I totally agree this size of doc is unmanagable, the original was created in Word and beacuse InDesign doesn't have an easy, or reasonably priced, work around for formulas I thought it would be simpler just to update the fonts and formatting to fit with our house style - boy was I wrong!

 

Yes correct they are the 3 methods I have tried.  I think you might be right with the downsampling - I'm finding that there are not a lot of settings or options available in the Mac version of Word versus Windows. When I go to save I have 2 options: best for web or best for print, no extra settings at all.

 

I'll double check the font embedding, and the lines, no idea what's going on there - they all look different at different magnifications. I'm not intending to print the document either, so not too fussed about that.

 

And yes the formulas are over multiple pages, that was my first thought to link them in as a graphic, but because there are so many thought it would take up too much time...

 

Appreciate your help 🙂

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