It makes sense to save Word documents as PDF (Portable Document Format), as MS Word in its native format keeps a lot of information embedded in the document, which means that the person reading the document can also see this "extra" information that you did not want to leave the office. More on the exposure in Word documents in a future article, but for now let us see how to convert or save the document as a PDF file which does not contain all this "extra" information.
In Word 2010 and 2007
In the old days, pre 2007 we had to convert a MS Word document to a PDF to be able to send it as a PDF file. However with MS Word 2010 and 2007 it is rather easy and if I were creating legal documents, being lengthy agreements or simple one paragraph correspondence I would ensure that all documents leaving my computer were in PDF format.
So easy in fact, it seems silly to have to show people, but here goes:
When you are ready to save the file, instead of saving the file as a Word Document, click the "Saves As" drop down arrow and scroll down until you get to "PDF", select that and MS Word will ask you where you want to
save the PDF file.
On the "SaveAs" pop-up screen you will see the "Optimize for" radio buttons to save it either as an "Minimum size" for an online PDF (for email or web pages or reading on the PC) or "Standard" for printing or publishing quality which is slightly larger in file size but will give you a better resolution for printing. Obviously choose the one your readers are going to be using.
Then in the "Options" pop-up remove the tick from the check box option "Document Properties" which is used to include all the "extra" document properties under section "Include non-printing document information". That will ensure that you don't send all of that MS Word document information.
For MS Word 2003, 2000 and 97
All is not lost, but it is not as simple as clicking "Save As".
There is a PDF application called CutePDF Writer (http://www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/Writer.asp), which allows you to "Save As" or "Print" your document in a PDF format. This application is very slick and can be used with any application you use, allowing you to send the document straight to a PDF formatted file.
I'm not going to illustrate word for word how it works, but once it is installed you will use the "File" "Print" menu and for the printer you will choose the "CutePDF printer" which then asks for a PDF file name just like the "Save As" in Word 2007 - the application then saves the format as PDF.
The application can be downloaded for free, but most times it needs a PS2PDF application like GPL Ghostscript 8.15 which they recommend, to be able to install. On their site they have a link to the Ghostscript download which is also free.
Does anybody have MS Word or WordPerfect tips we can share with other readers?