Word Settings for Acrobat PDF Maker

Acrobat, Bookmarks and Microsoft Word

The goal of any author is simple—get people reading their work. In this age of near ubiquitous PDF distribution online, a little extra effort can greatly improve the readability of your PDF document online.

Acrobat PDF Makers add Readability Features

Acrobat installs one-button PDF creators into Microsoft Word that go far beyond simply “printing” to an Adobe PDF file.

You’ immediately notice two items added after installation:

PDF Maker Tolbar Conversion Settings screenshot

The 1-button PDF creators—also called PDF Makers—automatically create hyperlinks, accessibility tags and structure, create links for footnotes and cross references and create PDF bookmarks.

NOTE: In Office 2007 and Office 2010, you will see an Acrobat ribbon, but the functionality is identical.

Bookmarks = Good

Bookmarks are navigation aids that allow your reader to quickly and easily navigate a PDF.

Bookmarks enhance readability by offering a Table of Contents that tempts readers to dive deeper into the document.

Controlling Bookmark Creation from Microsoft Word

Acrobat can create a set of hierarchical bookmarks from a Microsoft Word document authored using Styles, Another term for Styles is Headings.

Using Styles is a best practice, regardless of how you plan to distribute your document. They ensure consistent formatting and repeatability.

In Word, you can set Heading styles from the either the Formatting toolbar or the Styles and Formatting task pane.

After you click the one-button PDF Creator button in the Word Toolbar, Acrobat automatically converts Headings 1 to 9 to PDF bookmarks indented up to nine levels deep. Thus, the bookmarks match the structure of the styles in your document, from most important to least important.

Mapping Custom Styles

If you create your own styles—or – use a Word add-in that creates styles, you will need to map them to PDF bookmarks.

To map styles in Microsoft Word:

  1. Go to the AdobePDF menu and choose Change Conversion Settings.
  2. Click on the Bookmarks tab in the Change Conversion Settings Window

Mapping Bookmarks Permanently

If you have your own house styles, you will quickly find it tiresome to set the mappings for each document. Fortunately, you can map the styles in your Word Template file once for all future sessions.

Assuming you already have created Word styles and saved them in the normal.dot template:

  1. Launch Word
  2. Ensure that no Word documents are open, but leave Word running.
  3. Follow the mapping instructions in the previous section.
  4. Quit Word and re-launch.


If you don’t use Styles in Word, learn how! Styles map automatically to PDF bookmarks enhancing the reading experience for viewers.