Converting a PostScript File to PDF

Editor’s Note:
The following is excerpted, published with the expressed permission of the author and publisher, from an introductory chapter of ‘Adobe Acrobat 6: Complete Course‘ book.

There are several ways to convert authored application documents to PDF. One of the ways to convert to PDF is to first print a PostScript file to disk, and then convert the PostScript file to PDF with the Acrobat Distiller software. In this segment of the Confidence Builder, you learn to use the Acrobat Distiller software to convert a PostScript file to PDF.

  1. Launch Acrobat by double-clicking the program icon.

Note: You can launch Acrobat through several means. You can open the Adobe Acrobat folder and double-click the program icon or a shortcut/alias on your desktop. Windows users can open Acrobat by opening the Start menu and choosing Acrobat from the options.

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  1. Choose Advanced > Acrobat Distiller Acrobat Distiller opens in the foreground while Acrobat remains in the background.

Note: Acrobat Distiller is a separate program installed with Acrobat and executable from within the Acrobat program. The Acrobat Distiller software is used to convert a PostScript file to a PDF document. Distiller can be launched from within Acrobat or independently as a separate program. Distiller can also be called upon to convert a PostScript file to PDF by clicking the Create PDF task button and choosing From File from the options. When Distiller is launched from within Acrobat, Distiller opens in the foreground while Acrobat remains open in the background.

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  1. Download [PS: 7.6 MB]
  2. Click the pull-down menu in the Distiller window for Default Settings.

    Notice the different choices available for the Adobe PDF Settings. Choose High Quality from the options. High Quality is used for printing high-quality images. Among other choices you have settings that are optimized for commercial printing, screen views, and creating the smallest file sizes used for Web hosting.

  3. Choose File > Open.

    Choose the recently downloaded and click Open.

    The target file is a PostScript file printed to disk from an authoring application that has been prepared for you. The Acrobat Distiller software converts the PostScript file to a PDF document, and the PDF is saved to the same folder where the PostScript file resides. The newly created PDF document can be opened in any Acrobat viewer. When you click the file and click Open, the Acrobat Distiller — Specify PDF File Name dialog box opens. In this dialog box, you navigate your hard drive for a folder destination and provide a filename for the converted PDF. By default, the filename appears as cb_annualReport.pdf.

  4. Leave the default filename as it appears in the Acrobat Distiller ? Specify PDF File Name dialog box and click Save.

    The file is converted to PDF and saved to your folder. If your preferences for Acrobat Distiller are not set to prompt you for a file destination, the file is automatically saved to the same directory as where the PostScript file resides. To view the preferences, choose File > Preferences and check the box for Ask for PDF file destination if you want to be prompted for a filename and destination.

  5. Click the Close button in the Acrobat Distiller window.

    Acrobat Distiller quits while Acrobat remains open.

If for some reason you experience difficulty converting the file to a PDF document, download the converted file cb_annualReportRaw.pdf [PDF: 1.1 MB] and follow the remaining steps in this session.

In Windows, the Close button is the top-right button in the title bar. On the Macintosh, the Close button is the top-left button in the title bar. You can also use the Control/Command+Q keyboard shortcut to quit Acrobat Distiller.

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About the Author: Ted Padova

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