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File format options for PDF export

  1. Acrobat User Guide
  2. Introduction to Acrobat
    1. Access Acrobat from desktop, mobile, web
    2. What's new in Acrobat
    3. Keyboard shortcuts
    4. System Requirements
  3. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Opening and viewing PDFs
      1. Opening PDFs
      2. Navigating PDF pages
      3. Viewing PDF preferences
      4. Adjusting PDF views
      5. Enable thumbnail preview of PDFs
      6. Display PDF in browser
    3. Working with online storage accounts
      1. Access files from Box
      2. Access files from Dropbox
      3. Access files from OneDrive
      4. Access files from SharePoint
      5. Access files from Google Drive
    4. Acrobat and macOS
    5. Acrobat notifications
    6. Grids, guides, and measurements in PDFs
    7. Asian, Cyrillic, and right-to-left text in PDFs
  4. Creating PDFs
    1. Overview of PDF creation
    2. Create PDFs with Acrobat
    3. Create PDFs with PDFMaker
    4. Using the Adobe PDF printer
    5. Converting web pages to PDF
    6. Creating PDFs with Acrobat Distiller
    7. Adobe PDF conversion settings
    8. PDF fonts
  5. Editing PDFs
    1. Edit text in PDFs
    2. Edit images or objects in a PDF
    3. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    4. Edit scanned PDFs
    5. Enhance document photos captured using a mobile camera
    6. Optimizing PDFs
    7. PDF properties and metadata
    8. Links and attachments in PDFs
    9. PDF layers
    10. Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs
    11. Action Wizard (Acrobat Pro)
    12. PDFs converted to web pages
    13. Setting up PDFs for a presentation
    14. PDF articles
    15. Geospatial PDFs
    16. Applying actions and scripts to PDFs
    17. Change the default font for adding text
    18. Delete pages from a PDF
  6. Scan and OCR
    1. Scan documents to PDF
    2. Enhance document photos
    3. Troubleshoot scanner issues when scanning using Acrobat
  7. Forms
    1. PDF forms basics
    2. Create a form from scratch in Acrobat
    3. Create and distribute PDF forms
    4. Fill in PDF forms
    5. PDF form field properties
    6. Fill and sign PDF forms
    7. Setting action buttons in PDF forms
    8. Publishing interactive PDF web forms
    9. PDF form field basics
    10. PDF barcode form fields
    11. Collect and manage PDF form data
    12. About forms tracker
    13. PDF forms help
    14. Send PDF forms to recipients using email or an internal server
  8. Combining files
    1. Combine or merge files into single PDF
    2. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    3. Add headers, footers, and Bates numbering to PDFs
    4. Crop PDF pages
    5. Add watermarks to PDFs
    6. Add backgrounds to PDFs
    7. Working with component files in a PDF Portfolio
    8. Publish and share PDF Portfolios
    9. Overview of PDF Portfolios
    10. Create and customize PDF Portfolios
  9. Sharing, reviews, and commenting
    1. Share and track PDFs online
    2. Mark up text with edits
    3. Preparing for a PDF review
    4. Starting a PDF review
    5. Hosting shared reviews on SharePoint or Office 365 sites
    6. Participating in a PDF review
    7. Add comments to PDFs
    8. Adding a stamp to a PDF
    9. Approval workflows
    10. Managing comments | view, reply, print
    11. Importing and exporting comments
    12. Tracking and managing PDF reviews
  10. Saving and exporting PDFs
    1. Saving PDFs
    2. Convert PDF to Word
    3. Convert PDF to JPG
    4. Convert or export PDFs to other file formats
    5. File format options for PDF export
    6. Reusing PDF content
  11. Security
    1. Enhanced security setting for PDFs
    2. Securing PDFs with passwords
    3. Manage Digital IDs
    4. Securing PDFs with certificates
    5. Opening secured PDFs
    6. Removing sensitive content from PDFs
    7. Setting up security policies for PDFs
    8. Choosing a security method for PDFs
    9. Security warnings when a PDF opens
    10. Securing PDFs with Adobe Experience Manager
    11. Protected View feature for PDFs
    12. Overview of security in Acrobat and PDFs
    13. JavaScripts in PDFs as a security risk
    14. Attachments as security risks
    15. Allow or block links in PDFs
  12. Electronic signatures
    1. Sign PDF documents
    2. Capture your signature on mobile and use it everywhere
    3. Send documents for e-signatures
    4. About certificate signatures
    5. Certificate-based signatures
    6. Validating digital signatures
    7. Adobe Approved Trust List
    8. Manage trusted identities
  13. Printing
    1. Basic PDF printing tasks
    2. Print Booklets and PDF Portfolios
    3. Advanced PDF print settings
    4. Print to PDF
    5. Printing color PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Printing PDFs in custom sizes
  14. Accessibility, tags, and reflow
    1. Create and verify PDF accessibility
    2. Accessibility features in PDFs
    3. Reading Order tool for PDFs
    4. Reading PDFs with reflow and accessibility features
    5. Edit document structure with the Content and Tags panels
    6. Creating accessible PDFs
  15. Searching and indexing
    1. Creating PDF indexes
    2. Searching PDFs
  16. Multimedia and 3D models
    1. Add audio, video, and interactive objects to PDFs
    2. Adding 3D models to PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    3. Displaying 3D models in PDFs
    4. Interacting with 3D models
    5. Measuring 3D objects in PDFs
    6. Setting 3D views in PDFs
    7. Enable 3D content in PDF
    8. Adding multimedia to PDFs
    9. Commenting on 3D designs in PDFs
    10. Playing video, audio, and multimedia formats in PDFs
    11. Add comments to videos
  17. Print production tools (Acrobat Pro)
    1. Print production tools overview
    2. Printer marks and hairlines
    3. Previewing output
    4. Transparency flattening
    5. Color conversion and ink management
    6. Trapping color
  18. Preflight (Acrobat Pro)
    1. PDF/X-, PDF/A-, and PDF/E-compliant files
    2. Preflight profiles
    3. Advanced preflight inspections
    4. Preflight reports
    5. Viewing preflight results, objects, and resources
    6. Output intents in PDFs
    7. Correcting problem areas with the Preflight tool
    8. Automating document analysis with droplets or preflight actions
    9. Analyzing documents with the Preflight tool
    10. Additional checks in the Preflight tool
    11. Preflight libraries
    12. Preflight variables
  19. Color management
    1. Keeping colors consistent
    2. Color settings
    3. Color-managing documents
    4. Working with color profiles
    5. Understanding color management

Before you begin

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File format options for PDF export in Acrobat

When you export PDFs to different file formats using the Export a PDF tool in Acrobat, each file format includes unique conversion settings. To view the various formats, export the PDF in Acrobat, go to All tools > Export a PDF.

Adobe PDF options (Acrobat Pro)

You can resave PDFs as optimized PDFs using settings in the PDF Optimizer dialog box. The PDF Optimizer lets you change the compatibility version of your PDFs so they can be viewed using older versions of Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. When you change the compatibility setting, newer features may be unavailable in the PDF. For an explanation of each compatibility setting, view PDF compatibility levels.


If you want to use the same settings every time you convert PDFs to a particular format, specify those settings in the Preferences dialog box. In the Convert From PDF panel, select a file format from the list and select Edit Settings. You can select the Defaults at the top of the Save as Settings dialog box to revert to the default settings.

Image conversion settings

JPEG and JPEG 2000 options

If your PDF contains a collection of images, you can export them individually as JPEG, PNG, or TIFF files by choosing All tools > Export a PDF > image format, and then select Export all images.

Select the settings    options to set your export preferences. Note that options depend on whether you're exporting a document to JPEG or JPEG 2000. 

File Settings

  • Grayscale/Color: Specifies a compression setting that balances file size with image quality. The smaller the file, the lesser the image quality.
  • Tile Size: Divides the image being compressed into tiles of the given size. (If the image height or width is not an even multiple of the tile size, partial tiles are used on the edges.) Image data for each tile is individually compressed and can be individually decompressed. The default value of 256 is recommended. This option is available only for JPEG 2000 format.
  • Format: Determines how the file is displayed. Available only in JPEG format. It provides the following options:
    • Baseline (Standard): Displays the image when it has fully downloaded. This JPEG format is recognizable to most web browsers.
    • Baseline (Optimized): Optimizes color quality of the image and produces smaller file sizes but is not supported by all web browsers.
    • Progressive (3 scans-5 scans): Downloads the image first as a low-resolution image, with incremental quality improvements as downloading continues.

Color Management


Specifies the type of color management to be applied to the output file and whether to embed an ICC profile.


If you use the Export To or Export All Images command on a PDF that contains JPEG and JPEG 2000 images, and export the content to JPEG or JPEG 2000 format, the resulting image may look different when opened in Acrobat. This can happen if the images have a color profile included at the page level but not inside the image data. In this case, Acrobat cannot bring the page-level color profile into the resulting saved image.



Specifies a color space and resolution for the output file. You can let Acrobat determine these settings automatically. To convert color images in the file to shades of gray, choose Grayscale.


Higher resolutions, such as 2400 pixels per inch (ppi), are suitable only for small page sizes (up to 6.826 inches or 173.380 millimeters).

PNG options

PNG format is useful for images that are used on the web.

File Settings


Specifies if the image is interlaced. None creates an image that displays in a web browser only after downloading is complete. Adam7 creates an image that displays low-resolution versions in a browser while the full image file is downloading. Adam7 can make downloading time seem shorter and assures viewers that downloading is in progress; however, it increases file size.

Filter: Lets you select a filtering algorithm.

  • None: Compresses the image without a filter. Recommended for indexed-color and Bitmap-mode images.
  • Sub: Optimizes the compression of images with even horizontal patterns or blends.
  • Up: Optimizes the compression of images with even vertical patterns.
  • Average: Optimizes the compression of low-level noise by averaging the color values of adjacent pixels.
  • Paeth: Optimizes the compression of low-level noise by reassigning adjacent color values.
  • Adaptive: Applies the filtering algorithm—Sub, Up, Average, or Paeth—best suited for the image. Select Adaptive if you are unsure of which filter to use.

Color Management


Specifies the type of color management for the output file and whether to embed an ICC profile.



Specifies a color space and resolution for the output file. You can let Acrobat determine these settings automatically. To convert color images in the file to shades of gray, choose Grayscale.


Higher resolutions, such as 2400 ppi, are suitable only for small page sizes (up to 6.826 inches or 173.380 millimeters).

TIFF options

TIFF is a flexible bitmap image format supported by virtually all paint, image-editing, and page-layout applications. Resolution is determined automatically.

File Settings


Specifies a compression format. CCITTG4 is the default and generally produces the smallest file size. ZIP compression also produces a small file.


Some applications cannot open TIFF files that are saved with JPEG or ZIP compression. In these cases, LZW compression is recommended.  

Color Management


Specifies the type of color management for the output file.



Specifies a color space and resolution for the output file. You can let Acrobat determine these settings automatically. To convert color images in the file to shades of gray, choose Grayscale.


Higher resolutions, such as 2400 ppi, are suitable only for small page sizes (up to 6.826 inches or 173.380 millimeters).

Microsoft Word & RTF options

You can export a PDF to Word format (DOCX or DOC) or Rich Text Format (RTF). In Acrobat, select All Tools Export a PDF. In the right pane,  select Microsoft Word or other format

Layout Settings

  • Retain Flowing TextSpecifies that text flow must be retained.
  • Retain Page LayoutSpecifies that page layout must be retained.

Comments Settings

  • Include CommentsExports comments to the output file.

Image Settings

  • Include ImagesExports images to the output file.

Text Recognition Settings

  • Recognize Text If NeededRecognizes text if the PDF contains images that contain text.
  • Set LanguageSpecifies the language setting for OCR.

HTML Web Page options

Select the drop-down menu next to other options, and then select HTML. You can select the settings      options to set your export preferences. 

The Export PDF to toolbar is shown and other format is highlighted.

File and Navigation Pane Settings

Single HTML Page

Specifies that a single HTML file is created when you export to HTML. To add a navigation pane, enable the following:

  • Add Headings-based Navigation Frame

  • Add Bookmarks-based Navigation Frame

Multiple HTML Pages

Specifies that multiple HTML files are created when you export to HTML. Choose one of the criteria to split the document into multiple HTML files.

  • Split by Document Headings

  • Split by Document Bookmarks

Content Settings

Include Images

Specifies if images are exported when you export a PDF as HTML.

Detect and Remove Headers and Footers

Specifies if header and footer content in the PDF should be deleted and removed from the HTML files.

Text Recognition Settings

Recognize Text If Needed

Recognizes text if the PDF contains images that contain text.

Set Language

Specifies the language setting for OCR.

Spreadsheet options

In Acrobat, select All tools > Export a PDF  and select Microsoft Excel. Select the settings icon to open the Save As XLSX Settings dialog box.

Excel Workbook Settings

Specifies whether to create a Worksheet for each table or page, or the entire document.

Numeric Settings

Specifies the decimal and thousands separators for numeric data. Select one of the following:

  • Detect decimal and thousands separators using regional settings

  • Treat the following as decimal and thousands separators. Then enter or selecct separators in the respective fields.

Text Recognition Settings

Recognize Text If Needed

Recognizes text if the PDF contains images that contain text.

Set Language

Specifies the language setting for OCR.

PostScript or Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) options

You can export a PDF to PostScript for printing and prepress applications. The PostScript file includes full DSC (Document Structuring Conventions) comments and other advanced information preserved by Adobe Acrobat Distiller. You can also create an EPS file from any PDF for placement or opening in other applications. The options available depend on whether you're converting a document to PostScript or EPS.


If you create EPS files for separations in Acrobat Pro, all image color spaces should be CMYK.

Printer Description File

The PostScript Printer Description (PPD) provides the necessary information to format a PostScript file correctly for a particular output device. Device Independent creates only composite (not color-separated) PostScript or EPS files. Acrobat Default provides a starting point and reference for creating all types of PostScript and restores all default settings for the conversion. Adobe PDF 7.0 is compatible with most devices. This option is available only in PostScript (PS) format.

ASCII or Binary

Specifies the output format of image data. Binary output yields smaller files, but not all workflows can accommodate binary output.


Specifies the level of PostScript compatibility. Use Language Level 3 only if the target output device supports it. Language Level 2 is suitable for EPS files placed in another document and color-separated as part of that document. Use Language Level 2 for EPS files that you import into Microsoft applications.

Font Inclusion

Specifies the fonts to be included in the PostScript. Embedded fonts are taken from the PDF; the referenced fonts are taken from the computer.

Include Comments

Preserves the appearance of comments in the resulting PostScript file.

Convert True Type to Type 1

Converts TrueType fonts to Type 1 fonts in the resulting PostScript file.

Include Preview

Specifies if a TIFF preview is created for the resulting EPS file. This option isn't available when saving as PostScript.

Page Range

Specifies the pages you want to export. When you export files to EPS output, each page in the range is saved as a separate EPS file.

Text and XML options

You can export from PDF to Text and XML formats.


To export a file in XML format, go to All Tools Export a PDF.  Select Microsoft Excel, then the drop-down next to Microsoft Excel, and then select XML.

The convert toolbar in Acrobat is shown and Microsoft Excel option is highlighted

 Select the settings icon to set your export preferences. 

PDF to Text

To export a file in text format, go to All Tools Export a PDF.  Select other format, then the drop-down next to other format, and then select TXT.

The convert toolbar in Acrobat is shown and other option is highlighted

Output File Settings


Refers to the binary values, based on international standards, used to represent the text characters. UTF-8 is a Unicode representation of characters using one or more 8-bit bytes per character. UTF-16 represents characters using 16-bit bytes. ISO-Latin-1 is an 8-bit representation of characters that is a superset of ASCII. UCS-4 is a Universal Character Set coded in four octets. HTML/ASCII is a 7-bit representation of characters developed by ANSI.

Use mapping table default uses the default character encoding defined in mapping tables, which appear in the Plug-ins/SaveAsXML/MappingTables folder. These mapping tables specify many characteristics of how the data is output, including the following default character encodings: UTF-8 (Save as XML or HTML 4.0.1) and HTML/ASCII (Save as HTML 3.2).

Generate Bookmarks

Generates bookmark links to content for HTML or XML documents. Links are placed at the beginning of the resulting HTML or XML document.

Generate Tags For Untagged Files

Generates tags for files not already tagged, such as PDFs created using Acrobat 4.0 or earlier. If this option isn't selected, untagged files are not converted.


Tags are applied only as part of the conversion process and are discarded after the conversion. This is not a method for creating tagged PDFs from legacy files

Image File Settings

Generate Images

Controls how images are converted. Converted image files are referenced from within XML and HTML documents.

Use Sub-Folder

Specifies the folder in which to store generated images. The default is Images.

Use Prefix

Specifies the prefix added to the image filenames if you have several versions of the same image file. Filenames assigned to images have the format filename_img_#.

Output Format

Specifies the final format of images. The default is JPG.

Downsample To

Downsamples image files to the specified resolution. If you don't select this option, image files have the same resolution as the source file. Image files are never upsampled.


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