Create PDF Files Using Adobe PDF Printer - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

When you installed Adobe Creative Suite, you also installed a new printer — the Adobe PDF printer — which is used to convert electronic documents to PDF files. The Adobe PDF printer captures all the same information that’s normally sent to your printer, and, instead of printing on paper, the information is converted into an Adobe PDF file.

To create a PDF file from any program, choose File→Print. In the Print dialog box, select Adobe PDF as the printer and click OK (Windows) or Print (Mac).

To change the type of PDF file that’s created, such as a smaller file for Internet Web posting or a higher quality file for delivery to a commercial printer, do this:

  • Windows: Click the Properties button in the Print dialog box to open the Adobe PDF Document Properties dialog box. Here, you can choose the settings you want to use to control the quality and size of the resulting PDF file.

  • Mac: Choose PDF Options from the Copies and Pages drop-down list in the Print dialog box and then select the PDF settings you want to use.

    You can change conversion settings when printing to the Adobe PDF printer.
    You can change conversion settings when printing to the Adobe PDF printer.

Using the Print menu to control the quality of PDF files created from non-Adobe programs may appear strange, but it’s the easiest way for Adobe to capture all the same information that you’d expect to see when you print your files. This provides an easy and standard method for generating PDF files from any program.

In fact, you can even use this method for creating PDF files from Adobe Creative Suite programs. It’s useful to have this option available if you’re having difficulty with the Export command. The Print and Export commands use different processes for creating PDF files, so you can use one option if you have difficulty with the other when creating PDF files from Creative Suite programs.

Bookmarks, links, page transitions, and multimedia aren’t exported if a PDF is generated with the Print menu option. You must use the Export option to have these items included in PDF files.