AdobePDF Print Driver vs 1-button PDF Creators: Which to use?
You’re in Microsoft Word. You can create an Adobe PDF file using either the:
- AdobePDF Print Driver
- 1-button PDF Creators installed by Acrobat in Word’s toolbar
Which should you choose and what is the difference?
Two Ways to Make PDFs
In the early days of Acrobat, the only way to create a PDF was to “print” to the Adobe print driver. This captured the print output of any program and created a PDF.
You can still do this today. Simply go to the Print Menu and select the AdobePDF print driver from any application:
Beginning with Acrobat 6 and extended in Acrobat 7, however, Adobe offers add-ins to popular applications to make creating PDF easier:
Microsoft Internet Explorer
For example, the add-ins to Microsoft Word look like this:
The official name of the Adobe add-in to Office is “1-button PDF Creator”, so we’ll refer to it that way.
More than a button’s difference . . .
The 1-button PDF Creators do more than automate selecting the AdobePDF print driver for you.
Using the 1-button PDF creators allow the user to create more robust, more useful PDFs:
AdobePDF Print Driver
Create a PDF
Control PDF Version
Tagged PDF for Accessibility
Create PDF Bookmarks
Convert TOC to PDF Links
Convert Cross References and Footnotes to Links
You can control the Office add-ins by choosing Change Conversion Settings from the Adobe PDF menu in each of the applicaitons.
Bookmarks, links and so on make the PDF easier to navigate for the user. I covered tagging and accessibility in a previous article.
Looking at the PDF Conversion Settings in Word
You may wish to change the PDF Conversion Settings in Word to better suit your workflow. Below are a few tips and techniques that I reccomend for my legal customers.
To change PDF Conversion Settings for all future work sessions in Word, make changes without a document open, then quit Word.
- Deselect Convert Document Information.
As mentioned in my article on Metadata, virtually the only metadata passed through from Word to PDF is the information in the Title, Subject, Author and Keyword fields. By deseleting this option, only the document title is passed through.
- Security Tab
If you’d like to ensure that every PDF you create is encrypted, you can set that in this tab. Some firms set usage restrictions on every PDF sent outside the firewall.