Create PDFs with Acrobat

There are various ways to create a PDF file using Acrobat. Generate a PDF quickly by using menu commands, dragging-and-dropping files onto the Acrobat application icon, or converting clipboard data.

Convert a file to PDF using Acrobat menu commands

  1. On the Acrobat File menu, choose Create > PDF From File.

  2. In the Open dialog box, select the file that you want to convert. You can browse all file types or select a specific type from the Files Of Type drop-down menu.

    Acrobat shows all Microsoft Word documents in the selected folder
    Acrobat shows all Microsoft Word documents in the selected folder.

  3. Optionally, click Settings to change the conversion options if you're converting an image file to PDF. The options available vary depending on the file type.

    Note: The Settings button is unavailable if you choose All Files as the file type or if no conversion settings are available for the selected file type. (For example, the Settings button is unavailable for Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel files.)

  4. Click Open to convert the file to a PDF.

    Depending on the type of file being converted, the authoring application opens automatically, or a progress dialog box appears. If the file is in an unsupported format, a message appears, telling you that the file cannot be converted to PDF.

  5. When the new PDF opens, choose File > Save or File > Save As, and then select a name and location for the PDF.

Note: When naming a PDF that’s intended for electronic distribution, limit the filename to eight characters (with no spaces) and include the .pdf extension. This action ensures that email programs or network servers don’t truncate the filename and that the PDF opens as expected.

Drag-and-drop to create PDFs

This method is best for small, simple files, such as small image files and plain text files, when the balance between file size and output quality is not important. You can use this technique with many other types of files, but you cannot adjust any conversion settings during the process.

  1. Select the icons of one or more files in the Windows Explorer or Mac OS Finder.

  2. Drag the file icons onto the Acrobat application icon. Or (Windows only) drag the files into the open Acrobat window.

    If a message appears saying that the file could not be opened in Acrobat, then that file type cannot be converted to PDF by the drag-and-drop method. Use one of the other conversion methods for that file.

    Note: You can also convert PostScript and EPS files to PDF by dragging them onto the Acrobat window or the Acrobat application icon.

  3. Save the PDF.

    Note: (Windows only) You can also right-click a file in Windows Explorer and select Convert to Adobe PDF.

Convert clipboard content to PDF

You can create PDFs from text and images that you copy from applications on Mac OS or Windows.

  1. Capture content in the Clipboard:
    • Use the copy command in the applications.
    • Press the PrintScreen key (Windows).
    • Use the Grab utility (Applications > Utilities > Grab), and choose Edit > Copy to place the content on the clipboard. (Mac OS)
    • In a PDF file, you can select objects using the Edit Object tool (Tools > Print Production > Edit Object), and then copy the selected objects.
  2. In Acrobat, choose File > Create > PDF from Clipboard. Or Choose Tools > Create PDF > Clipboard > Create.

    Note: The PDF from Clipboard command appears only when content is copied to the Clipboard. If the Clipboard is empty, the command is disabled.

Create a blank PDF

You can create a blank PDF, rather than beginning with a file, a clipboard image, or scanning.

This process can be useful for creating a one-page PDF. For longer, more complex, or heavily formatted documents, it’s better to create the source document in an application that offers more layout and formatting options, such as Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Word.

  1. In Adobe Acrobat, do one of the following:

    • Go to File > Create > Blank Page.
    Create a blank page PDF from the file menu

    • Choose Tools > Create PDF > Blank Page > Create.
    Create a blank PDF from Tools > Create PDF

    A new blank page PDF is created.

Note: To add a blank page to an existing PDF, open the PDF and then choose Tools > Organize Pages > Insert > Blank Page.

Create multiple PDFs from multiple files (Acrobat Pro)

You can create multiple PDFs from multiple native files, including files of different supported formats, in one operation. This method is useful when you must convert a large number of files to PDF.

Note: When you use this method, Acrobat applies the most recently used conversion settings without offering you access to those settings. If you want to adjust the conversion settings, do so before using this method.

  1. Choose File > Create > Create Multiple PDF Files.

  2. Choose Add Files > Add Files or Add Folders, and then select the files or folder.

    Create Multiple PDF Files dialog box
    Click Add Files in the dialog box, then choose the files that you want to convert to PDF.

  3. Click OK. The Output options dialog box appears.

  4. In the Output Options dialog box, specify your target folder and filename preferences, and then click OK.

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