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Old 11-02-2007, 12:37 PM   #1
Michael Rowley
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Default Adobe PDFMaker annoyances

Yesterday and today I found that I couldn't convert a Word document to a PDF document with Make PDF supplied by Acrobat 8.1.1; the strange thing is that I succeeded with another, very similar document.

The successful document was made by going through the right stages, which involved the intermediate formation of another Word document in a temporary folder, then conversion of that to PDF and removal of the temporary file.

The document whose conversion failed left the temporary file intact and the conversion was not completed, although PDF Maker went through all (apparently) the motions.

Explanations will be gratefully received!

   
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Old 11-03-2007, 04:07 PM   #2
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I've finally succeeded in making a PDF document from the Word document that gave trouble, which I suspect was faulty in some obscure way (it's now an XML document).

I could have made my PDF document without using PDFMaker, but that would have just had a printed TOC without the clickability when viewed on screen. Or is there a way to make TOCs active when they've been converted to PDF via Adobe PDF Printer?

   
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:14 AM   #3
Steve Rindsberg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley View Post
I've finally succeeded in making a PDF document from the Word document that gave trouble, which I suspect was faulty in some obscure way (it's now an XML document).

I could have made my PDF document without using PDFMaker, but that would have just had a printed TOC without the clickability when viewed on screen. Or is there a way to make TOCs active when they've been converted to PDF via Adobe PDF Printer?
You could always spend hours creating links for each TOC entry in Acrobat.

You did say "a way" rather than "a good way" or "a practical way" or even "an acceptable way".

But a serious question: You can save from Word as a web page, then re-open that web page back into Word (aka "round-trip it") I think. If so, try doing that to your original problem file. In some cases, that can rid a document of obscure corruption problems; at least that's the case with PPT and may well be with Word.

   
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:01 AM   #4
Michael Rowley
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Steve:

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In some cases, that can rid a document of obscure corruption problems
Thanks for that (I didn't think of it at the time). I have cured the corruption problem—that's probably what it was—by saving the file as a docx file and letting Word 12 repair the file, which earlier versions of Word won't do.

Acrobat will convert TOC links to bookmarks, but it doesn't, of course, recognize headings. Any program that will form 'live' TOCs would do, but I don't suppose Postscript files do that, and any conversion that involves making a PDF file via Postscript won't do.

I read quite a lot of PDF documents, and few that have a contents table are really suitable for on-screen viewing, because knowing that what you want is on p. 57 is no help at all if you've no help in getting there.

   
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Old 11-04-2007, 03:18 PM   #5
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Michael--

How big is your Word document? Using the Acrobat link tool (as Steve suggested) isn't really that bad if you're dealing with only a few tens of pages. I do it all the time. If you only want to link your TOC to the appropriate chapter pages, even a long document should take a matter of minutes to link, rather than "hours". Of course, you can also use the Bookmarks panel as a TOC, which is quick to do.

For massive documents of many tens or hundreds of pages, DTP applications like InDesign have link tools built in that transfer the links to PDF output and therefore would be more practical than Word in that respect.
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Old 11-04-2007, 04:18 PM   #6
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Howard:

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How big is your Word document? Using the Acrobat link tool (as Steve suggested) isn't really that bad if you're dealing with only a few tens of pages.
The document had not many pages (16), but had been added to over about nine years (it started out as a Word 6 document!), so I should have expected corruption of some sort. I eventually solved the problem by saving it as a Word 2007 document (xyz.docx), and then Adobe PDFMaker 8 accepted it and produced an xyz.pdf. But not before I had tried the directer way of printing to Adobe PDF Printer, which also produced an xyz.pdf, but without the 'live' TOC.

My second question was what other methods are there to make PDF documents with live TOCs from a Word document, and the answer seems to be, 'I shouldn't start from Word'.

PDFMaker caters for linked TOCs by changing the links to bookmarks, which Acrobat can handle easily, but some (or all) of the other PDF converters fail to convert the links.

Incidentally, saving the file as a Word 2007 document halved the size of the file, confirming Microsoft's claims.

   
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:44 PM   #7
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the answer seems to be, 'I shouldn't start from Word'.
I'm afraid I'm unqualified to talk about Word, having never used it, so can't offer any advice on the "live TOC" topic, other than to say that there are definite advantages to dedicated DTP applications, if you do enough DTP to make them worthwhile.

I do remember that in an earlier version of Acrobat (on the Mac platform at least), the "PDF Maker" plugin (or function, or driver or whatever you want to call it) was a really bare-bones affair that generated "lowest common denominator" PDFs. If you wanted to make anything more complicated than plain-text PDFs, you had to use Distiller. IIRC, The PDF Maker feature was dropped altogether in a later Mac version (5? 6?) of Acrobat. I don't know much about the Windows versions, but perhaps Distiller would give better results with balky files.

Last edited by Howard Allen; 11-04-2007 at 05:45 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo!
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:45 AM   #8
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Howard:

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I do remember that in an earlier version of Acrobat
The first PDFMaker for Windows Word was with Acrobat 5 or 6, and was a straightforward VBA macro—rather a crude one, but it worked. Later ones were more sophisticated, and can now tackle Word 2007 documents, but that was first achieved with v. 8.1.

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perhaps Distiller would give better results with balky files
It is Distiller that actually makes the PDF files, after PDFMaker has prepared the Word file (or Excel etc.file) for conversion. And I think it was Distiller that baulked at converting my difficult, probably corrupted, file: the conversion always failed at that point.

   
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:17 AM   #9
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Howard, I think you're confusing PDFMaker (an add-in to Word, PowerPoint, etc. still included with Acrobat and which DOES call on Distiller) with PDFWriter (a different printer driver from Distiller and which fits your description to a "T")

   
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