Generate and distribute PDFs for universal access while preserving the integrity of your source file.

Conceptual graphic of conveyor belt with PDF icons on one side being processed through a machine coming out as Office documents at the other end of the conveyor belt.

The Portable Document Format, or PDF, is a universal format that allows all parties to review your content, retaining the intended design regardless of the program it was created in. There are multiple ways for you to create a PDF, both within Acrobat and within other partner products.

Microsoft Word Screenshot of Acrobat Ribbon showing highlighted buttons for Create PDF and Preferences

Create a PDF from Microsoft Office products

You may be aware that several products, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, provide a Save As PDF option within their File menu. However, the Microsoft Office suite now offers an Acrobat ribbon to convert source files directly to a PDF with a click of a button. For example, the Acrobat ribbon within Microsoft Word offers Create and Share PDF, which automatically converts your Word document into a PDF and immediately opens the share settings within Acrobat for efficiency.

Alternatively, you can open Acrobat and choose any Microsoft file (DOCX, XLSX, etc.) or TXT file to save as a PDF without actually opening the Microsoft product.

Adobe InDesign Export PDF options screen showing page, viewing and include options for PDF conversion

Create a PDF from other Adobe products

Other Adobe programs, such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, allow you to save or export to a PDF easily so that you can provide your intended design while maintaining universal access to your teammates or clients without them needing the software. 

  • Illustrator: File > Save As contains options for you to share Illustrator documents with others while retaining file integrity as an Illustrator-compatible PDF. 
  • Photoshop: File > Export exports your native PSD file as a PDF with options for reduced file sizes.
  • InDesign: File > Adobe PDF Presets contains 5 popular formats for exporting PDFs. You can also File > Export as an Interactive PDF for accessibility and other interactive formats as well.

Create a PDF from image formats

Just as you can save word processor file types to a PDF, so can you also collect different image formats like PNG, JPG, and SVG to save as a PDF. You can save these individually or in batches for proofing and portability. Pro tip: Select multiple image files from your desktop, right-click, and choose Save As PDF

Create PDF from any format dialog box with options for scanned page activated

Not only can you create a PDF from within other programs, but you can also create a PDF directly from Acrobat without having to open any other program. You can access the Create PDF tools by the traditional File > Create method. Acrobat also provides Create PDF access from the Tools menu at the top of the screen, or through the convenient icons in the toolbar on the right side of the screen.

Create a PDF from a scanned document

Import files directly from your scanner. Acrobat will recognize any connected scanner and give you the option to append (add) the scanned document to an existing file or create a new one. 

  1. Open Acrobat.
  2. Select the Create PDF tool from the right menu and choose Scanner
  3. You can adjust your scanner settings or use the default profiles based on document type: Auto Detect Color Mode, Black and White Document, Color Document, Grayscale Document or Color Photograph.

Create PDF from your clipboard

There may be some instances where you’ll want to create a PDF from an item you copied onto your computer’s clipboard. This could be a screenshot from a web page, or an image or copy inside another program. As a general rule, if you can copy it, then you can create a PDF from it. 

  1. Select and copy the content from the desired source to your clipboard. 
  2. Open Acrobat.
  3. Select the Create PDF tool from the right menu and choose Clipboard
  4. Acrobat will instantly create a PDF from your copied content. 
  5. Save the PDF to the location of your choice.

The universal nature of PDF documents provides a standard platform that almost any user can view, on virtually any device that runs Acrobat Reader. Creating PDFs within Acrobat and other partner products means delivering consistent-looking content no matter what the source. 


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