Microsoft Word to PDF

Save a PDF straight from Word and you may be good to go, if the original Word document was made well. Sometimes you need to tweak a few things, though.

Why Word-to-PDF Matters

One of the top complaints from students who use screen readers is that their courses have PDF files that aren’t accessible. Many faculty prefer to put documents online as PDFs, though. An easy way to make an accessible PDF document is to make an accessible Word document and save it as a PDF.

Save PDF from Word for Windows

These instructions assume you have installed a current version of Adobe Acrobat, which includes a Word add-in called Adobe PDFMaker Office. You can get Acrobat through the Software Center, which is under the Start menu on university computers running Windows. Adobe Acrobat is not the same as Adobe Reader.

If you don’t have the add-in, Word can still make a tagged PDF for you. But you may need to do more work in Acrobat afterward.

  1. Make your Word document as accessible as possible, with headings, alternative text, meaningful link text, etc.
  2. Click “File” at the top left of the Ribbon.
  3. Click “Save as Adobe PDF,” choose where to save it, and click “Save.”
  4. Use Adobe Acrobat to check the structure and reading order and fix any problems.

Save PDF from Word for Mac

Although you can use the print command to make a PDF from almost any document on the Mac. These instructions assume you have a recent version of Word for Mac and Adobe Acrobat software installed. You can get the latest version of Word for Mac through your Office 365 subscription.

  1. Make your Word document as accessible as possible, with headings, alternative text, meaningful link text, etc.
  2. After you’ve saved your document to your computer, click the “Acrobat” tab on the ribbon at the top of the page.
  3. Click the “Create PDF” icon.
  4. Make sure the options is select that says, “Best for electronic distribution and accessibility.”
  5. Click “Export.”
  6. Use Adobe Acrobat to check the structure and reading order and fix any problems.

An alternative is to go to the “File” menu, choose “Save As,” change the file format to “PDF.” Then you’ll be at step 4 above.

Use Adobe Acrobat to Convert Word to PDF

Adobe’s Acrobat software for viewing and editing PDF documents can convert Word to PDF. If the Word document has proper headings and aternative text, the PDF will be too.

  1. In Acrobat, click the “File” menu, then “Create.”
  2. Choose “PDF from File” then find and select the Word file you wish to convert.
  3. After a moment, Acrobat will open the Word document as a tagged PDF file.
  4. Save the PDF wherever you want.
  5. While still in Acrobat, check the structure and reading order and fix any problems.

Save from Word Online

The Web version of Word will also let you save an accessible PDF. It’s useful if you don’t have access to Adobe Acrobat and have an older version of Word for Mac or use a word processor like Apple’s Pages that doesn’t make accessible PDFs.

There is more than one way to get a Word document into the online version of Word. But we’ll stick to one that works in a lot of circumstances.

  1. Make your Word document as accessible as possible, with headings, alternative text, meaningful link text, etc.
  2. From the “File” menu, click “Save” and save it to a place where you can find it easily.
  3. Go to your Wright State email online. Either log into WINGS and click “Office 365/Email,” or log in directly at “outlook.wright.edu
  4. You should see your Wright State email. Click the icon in the top left corner that looks something like a tic tac toe board.
  5. Click “One Drive.”
  6. Click the “Upload” link above the list of files in your OneDrive. You Word document should appear in the list shortly.
  7. Click the file name to view the document. Then click “Edit Document” near the top right of the window.
  8. Choose “Edit in Browser.”
  9. Click the “File” tab, then “Save As.”
  10. Click “Download as PDF,” click the link that comes up next, then save the PDF file to your computer.
  11. Use Adobe Acrobat to check the structure and reading order and fix any problems.