Create Adobe Acrobat PDFs and XPS files from Microsoft Office

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Creative Commons License photo: tarotastic

It’s often very useful to distribute your  Word documents in the PDF file format as not everybody has Word and the same fonts you’ve got on your computer.

If you had used an early beta version of Microsoft Office 2007, you will have noticed there was a built in feature to export your documents into Acrobat PDF files or Microsoft’s obscure XPS (XML Paper Specification) format. That disappeared in the final version of Office 2007 but it’s available as a free plugin. According to Microsoft, it’s compatible with:

  • Microsoft Office Access 2007
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007
  • Microsoft Office OneNote 2007
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
  • Microsoft Office Publisher 2007
  • Microsoft Office Visio 2007
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007

This is a really useful plugin. Sending your documents as PDF has a lot of benefits: recipients won’t inadvertently edit them and the document will look more like it is supposed to (fonts are embedded for example). Especially as Office 2007 users have new fonts such as Calibri and Cambria which many people may not have, this comes in really handy.

Once installed, save as PDF by going to Office Button > Save As > PDF or XPS.

If you want to save as PDF from other programmes, the best thing to do is to get a PDF printer. I personally use PrimoPDF which is totally free and works really well. For open source junkies, PDFCreator does a pretty good job too – although I had issues with certain documents.

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