Converting Word Files to PDF

At Pothi.com PDF is the best format to submit your books in. Any other format your submit gets converted to PDF and that PDF is used for printing. If the book is submitted in any format other than PDF and the conversion is done at our end, there might be some issues. For example, if you have used a font that is not available on our system, converted document won’t have those fonts and will not look good.

Its not a surprise that the most common format we receive the books in is MS Word format. So, here are a few tips to convert MS Word to PDF.

Table of Contents

Popular PDF converters

  1. Adobe Acrobat: This is a paid option from Adobe. It is expected to create most standard compliant PDF. Some of the POD providers insist that the PDF submitted to them should be created through Adobe’s product. Pothi.com does not have that requirement, but if you do have Adobe, you should use it. Once you have the product installed, you will have “Adobe PDF” as a printer option. You need to press “Ctrl-P” and select “Adobe PDF” as the printer.Screenshot showing Adobe PDF in printer listIf you just click “OK” from here and save the resulting file, it will create a PDF, but it will result in one of the most common problems we see in the files submitted as PDF. The page size in the resulting PDF won’t be the page size you had set up for the book. It will letter (8.5″x11″) or A4 (8.26″x11.69″).We will discuss how to correct this, later in this article.
  2. Office 2007 – Save as PDF: If you are using Microsoft Office 2007, you can install and use its “Save as PDF or XPS” plugin. Once you have this plugin installed, you will have the option to save as PDF available in your office menu.This option will work out of the box. The pdf file created will have the correct page size too.
  3. Cutepdf Writer: This is a Free option and works very well. You can download the Free CutePDF Writer. After installing it, “CutePDF Writer” will be one of the printers listed, when you Press “Ctrl-P” on your MS Word Document. You can create a file by selecting this option and clicking on the “OK” buttom. It will, hwoever, give the same problem as “Adobe PDF” of not creating the right page size. How to solve this will be discussed next in the article.

Getting the right Page Size in the converted PDF


Right Size in the MS Word file

The first step is to ensure that you have set up the intended page size in the MS Word itself. The default page size in MS word is either A4 or letter. Most of the time a print book will not look good in these sizes. You can check out these MS Word Formatting related FAQs on Pothi.com to ensure that you have set the correct page size in MS Word. A list of supported Book Page Sizes on Pothi.com is available in our FAQs.

Once this is taken care of  “Save as PDF or XPS plugin” for Office 2007 works out of the box.

For Adobe PDF and CutePDF Writers, you need to set the the correct page size.


Adobe PDF

After Pressing “Ctrl-P” and selecting “Adobe PDF” as the printer, click on properties. You will see a screen like following. If you don’t get it, make sure you click on “Adobe PDF Settings Tab” on the screen that comes.

Click on the “Adobe PDF Page Size” drop down. If your intended size is there in the drop down, you can select it from here, click “OK” and proceed as usual.

If the page size is not there, you need to click “Add” button next to the drop down. It will give you a screen like following

Enter a name of your choice in “Paper Names” and enter the intended width and height in “Paper Size”. Remember to select the right “Unit” (inch or mm). The following will create a size of name “My Book Size” of the page size 5″x8″, which you will be able to use going forward.

Click on “Add/Modify”, then click on “OK”. You will be back to the following screen with printer list

Screenshot showing Adobe PDF in printer list

Now click on the “Properties” again and this time, “My Book Size” will be available in the “Adobe PDF Page Size” drop down.

Select the “My Book Size”, click “OK” and proceed to create the PDF file.


Cute PDF

In CutePDF the option for changing the page size is almost hidden.

Press “Ctrl-P”, select CutePDF writer as the printer and then click on “Properties”. On the resulting screen select the tab “Paper/Quality”

Now click on “Advanced” Button. On the resulting screen, click on the “Paper Size” Drop down. If your intended paper size is available, you should choose that.

Else, you should select “Post Script Custom Paper Size”. The resulting screen will let you specify the page size. Enter suitable width and height. Remember to select the right unit (inch or mm) The following selection will make the page size 5″x8″.

 

Click “OK” (4 times) to create the PDF of the desired size.

Queries?

Have more queries about submitting PDF files on Pothi.com? You can shoot them as comments here and we’d try to answer them.

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3 thoughts on “Converting Word Files to PDF

  1. Dilraj June 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm Reply

    The above process doesn’t work with MS WORD 2003. Any idea about how to get actual page settings in the converted PDF output file as defined in Word 2003?

  2. KP April 26, 2014 at 10:37 am Reply

    I have to upload a document to pothi.com which contains lots of pretty colourful paintings. When converting to pdf the resolution of the paintings changes and they do not look as pretty as they were in the word document. What should I do to ensure the colourful pictures retain their original look and feel ?

    • Jaya April 26, 2014 at 11:06 pm Reply

      Word is really not recommended if your manuscript is image heavy. It does some optimizations, which are difficult to control. Either get it typeset in indesign, or at least try and use Microsoft Publisher.

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