Create PDFs by printing to file

In many authoring applications, you can use the Print command with the Adobe PDF printer to convert your file to PDF. Your source document is converted to PostScript and fed directly to Distiller for conversion to PDF, without manually starting Distiller. The current Distiller preference settings and Adobe PDF settings are used to convert the file. If you’re working with nonstandard page sizes, create a custom page size.

Note:

(Windows) For Microsoft Office documents, the Adobe PDF printer does not include some of the features that are available from PDFMaker. For example, you cannot create bookmarks and hyperlinks using the Adobe PDF printer. If you’re creating a PDF from a Microsoft Office document and you want to use these features, use PDFMaker.

The Adobe PDF printer creates untagged PDFs. A tagged structure is required for reflowing content to a handheld device and is preferable for producing reliable results with a screen reader.

Create a PDF using the Print command (Windows)

  1. Open the file in its authoring application, and choose File > Print.
  2. Choose Adobe PDF from the printers menu.
  3. Click the Properties (or Preferences) button to customize the Adobe PDF printer setting. (In some applications, you may need to click Setup in the Print dialog box to open the list of printers, and then click Properties or Preferences.)
  4. In the Print dialog box, click OK.

    Note:

    Your PDF is saved in the folder specified by the setting of the Adobe PDF Output Folder in the Preferences dialog box; the default location is My Documents. If you specify Prompt For Adobe PDF Filename, then a Save As dialog opens when you print.

Create a PDF using the Print command (Mac OS X)

The method for creating PDFs using the Print command changed in Mac OS v10.6 Snow Leopard with Acrobat 9.1 and later. The following procedure describes the method in both Snow Leopard and earlier versions of Mac OS X.

  1. Open the file in its authoring application, and choose File > Print.
  2. Choose Save As Adobe PDF from the PDF menu at the bottom of the dialog box.

  3. For Adobe PDF Settings, choose one of the default settings, or customize the settings using Distiller. Any custom settings that you have defined are listed.

    For most users, the default Adobe PDF conversion settings are adequate.

  4. For After PDF Creation, specify whether to open the PDF.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Select a name and location for your PDF, and click Save.

    Note:

    By default, your PDF is saved with the same filename and a .pdf extension.

Adobe PDF printing preferences (Windows)

Printing preferences apply to all applications that use the Adobe PDF printer, unless you change the settings in an authoring application by using the Page Setup,Document Setup, or Print menu.

Note:

The dialog box for setting printing preferences is named Adobe PDFPrinting Preferences, Adobe PDF Printing Defaults, or Adobe PDFDocument Properties, depending on how you access it.

To access printing preferences:

  • Open the Printers window from the Start menu. Right-click the Adobe PDF printer, and choose Printing Preferences.

  • In an authoring application such as Adobe InDesign, choose File > Print. Select Adobe PDF as the printer, and click the Properties (or Preferences) button. (In some applications, you may need to click Setup in the Print dialog box to access the list of printers, and then click Properties or Preferences to customize the Adobe PDF settings.)

PDF-specific options appear on the Adobe PDF Settings tab. The Paper Quality tab and Layout tab contain other familiar options for the paper source, printer ink, page orientation, and number of pages per sheet.

Note:

Printing Preferences are different from printer Properties. The Preferences include Adobe PDF-specific options for the conversion process; the Properties dialog box contains tabs of options that are available for any type of printer.

Adobe PDFConversion Settings

Select a predefined set of options from the Default Settings menu or click Edit to view or change the settings in the Adobe PDF Settings dialog box.

Adobe PDF Security

To add security to the PDF, choose one of the following options, or click Edit to view or change the security settings:

Reconfirm Security For Each Job

Opens the Adobe PDF - Security dialog box each time you create a PDF using the Adobe PDF printer. Specify settings in the dialog box.

Use The Last Known Security Settings

Uses the same security settings that were used the last time a PDF was created using the Adobe PDF printer on your computer.

Adobe PDF Output Folder

Choose an output folder for the converted PDF, or click Browse to add or change the output folder. Choose Prompt For Adobe PDF Filename to specify a location and filename at the time of conversion.

Adobe PDF Page Size menu

Select a custom page size that you have defined.

View Adobe PDF Results

Automatically starts Acrobat and displays the converted document immediately.

Add Document Information

Includes information such as the filename and date and time of creation.

Rely On System Fonts Only; Do Not Use Document Fonts

Deselect this option to download fonts when creating the PDF. All your fonts will be available in the PDF, but it will take longer to create it. Leave this option selected if you are working with Asian-language documents.

Delete Log Files For Successful Jobs

Automatically deletes the log files unless the job fails.

Ask To Replace Existing PDF File

Warns you when you are about to overwrite an existing PDF with a file of the same name.

Set Adobe PDF printer properties (Windows)

In Windows, you can usually leave the Adobe PDF printer properties unchanged, unless you have configured printer sharing or set security.

Note:

Printing Properties are different from printer Preferences. The Properties dialog box contains tabs of options that apply to any type of printer; the Preferences include conversion options specifically for the Adobe PDF printer.

Set Adobe PDF printer properties

  1. Open Devices and Printers from the Start menu, and right-click the Adobe PDF printer.
  2. Choose Properties.
  3. Click the tabs, and select options as needed.

Reassign the port that the Adobe PDF printer uses

  1. Quit Distiller if it is running, and allow all queued jobs to the Adobe PDF printer to complete.
  2. Open Devices and Printers from the Start menu.
  3. Right-click the Adobe PDF printer, and choose Printer Properties.
  4. Click the Ports tab, and then click Add Port.
  5. Select Adobe PDF Port (Windows XP) or Adobe PDF Port Monitor (Vista/Windows 7) from the list of available port types, and click New Port.
  6. Select a local folder for PDF output files, and click OK. Then click Close to quit the Printer Ports dialog box.
  7. In the Adobe PDF Properties dialog box, click Apply, and then click OK.

    Note:

    For best results, select a folder on the same system where Distiller is installed. Although remote or network folders are supported, they have limited user access and security issues.

Delete a folder and reassign the Adobe PDF printer to the default port

  1. Quit Distiller if it is running, and allow a few minutes for all queued jobs to Adobe PDF to complete.
  2. Open Devices and Printers from the Start menu.
  3. Right-click the Adobe PDF printer, and choose Printer Properties.
  4. Click the Ports tab.
  5. Select the default port, Documents, and click Apply.
  6. Select the port to delete, click Delete Port, and then click OK to confirm the deletion.
  7. Select the Documents port again and click Close.

Create and use a custom page size

It’s important to distinguish between page size (as defined in the source application’s Document Setup dialog box for your document) and paper size (the sheet of paper, piece of film, or area of the printing plate you’ll print on). Your page size might be U.S. Letter (8-1/2-by-11 in. or 21.59-by-27.94 cm), but you might need to print on a larger piece of paper or film to accommodate any printer’s marks or the bleed area. To ensure that your document prints as expected, set up your page size in both the source application and the printer.

The list of paper sizes available to Acrobat comes from the PPD file (PostScript printers) or from the printer driver (non-PostScript printers). If the printer and PPD file you’ve chosen for PostScript printing support custom paper sizes, you see a Custom option in the Paper Size menu. For printers capable of producing very large print areas, Acrobat supports pages as large as 15,000,000 in. (38,100,000 cm) by 15,000,000 in. (38,100,000 cm).

Create a custom page size (Windows)

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Open Devices and Printers or Printer And Faxes window from the Start menu. Right-click the Adobe PDF printer, and choose Printing Preferences.

    • In an authoring application such as Adobe InDesign, choose File > Print. Select Adobe PDF as the printer, and click the Properties button. (In some applications, you may need to click Setup in the Print dialog box to open the list of printers, and then click Properties or Preferences to customize the Adobe PDF settings.)

  2. In the Adobe PDF Settings tab, click the Add button next to the Adobe PDF Page Size menu.
  3. Specify the name, width, height, and unit of measurement. Click Add/Modify to add the custom page size name to the Adobe PDF Page Size menu.

Create a custom page size (Mac OS)

  1. In an authoring application such as Adobe InDesign, choose File > Page Setup.
  2. In the Paper Size pop-up menu, select Manage Custom Sizes.
  3. Click the + button.
  4. Specify the name, height, width, and margins. The unit of measurement depends on the system language.

Use the custom page size

  1. Choose File > Print.
  2. Click the Page Setup button.
  3. Select the new custom page size from the Paper Size menu.

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