How to Convert Word to PDF: Solving Common Document Conversion Problems

Posted by Derek Gerber on 12/14/18 4:05 PM

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Converting Word to PDF can be a nightmare. Such a seemingly-simple operation is much, much more technologically complex under the hood. In this article, we'll look at ways that a versatile, high-volume document conversion tool is solving common and well-known issues when trying to convert Word to PDF.

How to Overcome Everyday Converting Word to PDF Challenges

In a recent informal survey conducted by ActivePDF, these statements below were just a few common complaints when it came to converting Microsoft Word® files to PDF:

  • “The format is not retained and my margins are different when converted to PDF.”  
  • “All my metadata disappears after the conversion.”
  • “My hyperlinks are no longer active when converted to PDF.”  

If you've ever tried converting Word documents to PDF, you've most likely ran across many of these issues, because converting one file format to another often results in changes to the style and formatting of the content. To combat these issues, ActivePDF developed a PDF solution that tackles these common problems and more when converting Word to PDF.

Convert Word to PDF with DocConverter

It is not uncommon for a company’s chosen conversion application to suffer damages. This usually happens when high-volume conversion is needed on a daily basis, which slows down the system and translates into long waits for employees. When employees are spinning their wheels waiting on a slow system, their efficiency is wasted, money is lost, and eventually so is their overall satisfaction with their professional lives.

DocConverter was specifically created to work with massive volumes of documents without the need for a third-party application by utilizing it's available V12 Engine.

Therefore, the users' operating system and servers will not suffer due to high usage. The elimination of a third-party application has many benefits, including the ability to convert .doc/.docx and .xls/.xlsx files without the need of first converting them into a Microsoft Office® document.

DocConverter also allows you to schedule the time and duration of conversions through its configuration manager, which is also designed to add watermarks or images to the new document during the conversion process. This simple feature represents an increase in speed and a decrease of costs with a minimal number of licenses to manage.

With DocConverter, a conversion job that once required the use of several applications, can now be taken in a single action.

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How to Retain Metadata When Converting Word to PDF

Another common issue when converting Word to PDF is the loss of important metadata. A document’s metadata tells the story of that document at the backend. Proper metadata makes it much easier for someone to locate a specific document, or a document containing a certain subject. Losing this information could be detrimental to the integrity and searchability of any digital document – especially a Word file, which are the core features of the program.

In a Word document, the metadata includes the size of the file, the date of creation, the name of its creator, and the name of its most recent modifier. The engineers at ActivePDF understand the relevance of this data and the importance of keeping it. This is why DocConverter was designed to retain metadata when converting Word to PDF. With DocConverter, the converted PDF file will be just as easy to find among the thousands of documents saved on a company’s folders as the original Word document.

Challenge: Preserving Hyperlinks When Converting Word to PDF

Another known problem when converting Word to PDF occurs when the conversion server treats the PDF as a whole new document, thus changing the basic information in the original Word file. This causes basic elements such as hyperlinks to be lost. In the blink of an eye, a well-researched hyperlinked word or sentence turns into a plain static word or sentence with no interactive capabilities. 

With DocConverter, the hyperlinks presented in the original document are kept in the new PDF version without the need of inserting them again, saving an enormous amount of time and resources, especially when dealing with 1,000-plus page documents in a high-volume environment.

Can you imagine the time-wasting nightmares that would cause?  

Challenge: Preserving Formatting When Converting Word to PDF

Yet, another known (and all-too accepted) issue when converting to PDF is the repurposing to formats such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. The layout suffers changes, which can result in document disorganization and more wasted time on manually re-formatting in a PDF editor.

This is a useful feature that is unique to DocConverter because it maintains high-fidelity output for your files so they are pristine.

Best Document Conversion Software - More Benefits of DocConverter

The following may not be a problem related to document or PDF conversions, however, DocConverter does offer benefits beyond common issues that we want you know about:

Perpetual Licensing

One situation we believe you want to avoid: the per-user or per-document fee. When downloading and purchasing DocConverter, you only make one payment, which will give you the option of a perpetual license. Use the tool as many times as you need, regardless of the number of documents or the number of employees using it. If you want to learn more about the benefits of using DocConverter and the features it includes, you can download a free demo here.

CAD Conversion (Convert .DWG Files to and from PDF)

A very special feature of DocConverter is the successful conversion of CAD .dwg files. Mostly used by architects and engineers, CAD files are image file formats where 2-D and 3-D designs can be created. DocConverter can make the conversion of CAD files a simple process that involves no alterations to the document whatsoever, at no additional cost.

DocConverter also ensures font embedding, which means that the font used by the creator of a document will remain in the PDF file. No matter what fonts the reader has on his or her computer when receiving the file, it will look the way the creator intended it to look – important for aesthetics but also for compliancy regulations. Additionally, elements such as colors, line weight, and geometry are saved during conversion, keeping the PDF exactly as the original file.

These are just a few side benefits of DocConverter. Learn about more and other hidden features that are useful in your everyday document conversion routine. Read our blog Convert PDF with 6 Unknown DocConverter Features.

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Word to PDF Conversion - Success Stories

To provide you with a real success story of all the benefits of DocConverter, let us tell you about Mazda Motor Corporation. In this case study, Mazda dealers nationwide were required to complete anywhere from 15 to 150 complicated forms containing legal, financial, employment histories, and other basic information on an applicant. All of these forms were typically Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel documents. Mazda needed to record and distribute this information in a universal file format. Naturally, PDF was their first choice.

Mazda decided to implement ActivePDF DocConverter, which enabled them to convert multiple Word and Excel documents to PDF quickly and easily. From here, Mazda built a file-based PDF for the final production and assembly of about 30 individual PDF files. These files are then merged into one document PDF that includes bookmarks of the individual files.

Mazda is not the only client that has benefited from DocConverter. University of Michigan reduced manual effort considerably after its installation of DocConverter. The versatile PDF automation tool saved six months of development time for Nationwide Insurance, improving its agent workflow.

Learn more about how ActivePDF is helping businesses in every industry reduce costs, save time, and improve the overall efficiency of daily workflows. Visit the ActivePDF Case Studies page.

Summary: How to Convert Word to PDF

Everyone uses PDF because it's mostly easy, flexible, accessible, and effective. Converting Word files to PDF shouldn't result in wasted time and energy. In this article, we addressed ways to overcome known problems and issues when converting Word to PDF. For both IT administrators and software development engineers, these are easily-fixable problems.

It just takes a company like ActivePDF to care about your finances, the speed of your performance, the quality of your documents, images, and presentations. We really dig deep into the needs and concerns of everyday PDF users, in order to truly solve their problems and make their daily lives better. We hope this article was helpful to you and look forward to hearing your feedback.

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For more questions on converting Word to PDF, DocConverter, or other digital transformation solutions, contact the knowledgeable technical advisors at ActivePDF today!

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Topics: Word to PDF, Convert PDF, PDF Metadata, PDF Tools, PDF Solutions, Digital Transformation, PDF document conversion, high-volume solutions, PDF, software