Creating PDF from Postscript files


If the word processing files which make up your dissertation materials contain complex formatting details, it is possible that a conversion to PDF may not come out as cleanly or as accurately as you might like. In this case, it may be necessary to take the intermediate step of saving your word processing file into Postscript format prior to attempting a conversion to PDF.

Even if your intention is to have some commercial service do the PDF conversion for you, in most instances you will need to submit your files to them in Postscript format. This document outlines the steps necessary to save word processing files as Postscript files.


Illustrations taken from a Windows NT 4.0 machine. The Print popup box on Windows 95, 98 or Macintosh will all allow the same procedure outlined here.

  1. Open your dissertation in your word processing software.
  2. Within your word processor, under the File menu select Print.
  3. A Print popup box will appear. Select a printer under the Name: drop down menu which uses a Postscript printer driver. (Most laser printers produced in the last 10 years already do this, so merely confirm that a laser printer is the selected printer for the computer you are using.*) Next, check the Print to file checkbox. Select the OK button to finish this step.


  4. A Print to file popup box will appear. Choose where you wish the Postscript file to be saved on your computer. Your converted file should retain the same basic name, only with a ".ps" ending instead of ".doc" or ".wp". Select the OK button to finish this step.


You are now ready to either forward this file on to the people doing the PDF conversion for you, or you are ready to open the Postscript version of your dissertation in Adobe Acrobat Distiller where it will automatically be converted to PDF.

*If the computer you are using is not attached to a laser printer, you will need to go through the process of "adding" a laser printer driver to your desktop resources (even though there is obviously no laser printer attached -- you will note the instructions here never actually send anything to a printer, so having the laser printer itself is not necessary, just the software driver which allows your computer to talk to a laser printer). Most current operating systems include several such printer drivers, you merely need to load one of them as if you are adding a printer to your system.


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