Important notes to consider

  • It is recommended that you not set any security settings on the PDF version of your thesis.
  • PDF files larger than 100MB may result in slower than optimal access.
    • If your PDF file is large, you may want to consider the format and resolution of your images (modify the format and resolution before inserting images into your thesis. A good format to consider is .jpeg).
    • You may also want to consider submitting some images separately. See procedures for submitting an enhanced thesis.
    • Other suggestions regarding reducing the size of your PDF file can be found on the Adobe website.
  • Save your thesis PDF file as Lastname_Firstname.pdf (replacing 'Lastname' with your last name and replacing 'Firstname' with your first name (without any diacritics)).

Converting your thesis to PDF

Word 2010
Word 2007
Word 2002/2003 and Other Windows Programs

See also merging multiple PDF files into one


If you are using a Mac, you can create a PDF directly from all applications.


LaTeX and Scientific Workplace users can use GhostScript to create a PDF file from the PostScript file they created using the dvips command. In addition, LaTeX users can use the method described in the using LaTeX document to create PDF files directly.

Word 2010

Word 2010 has a built in PDF creator. To save a Word 2010 file as PDF:

  1. Click on File/Save As
  2. Beside Save as type choose PDF (*.pdf)
  3. Enter the name and browse to where you want it saved
  4. Click on the Save button

Word 2007

Word 2007 allows you to download a free PDF creator add-in that works very well with Word 2007 for creating PDF files. The add-in has to be installed.

  1. Sign onto the PC with an administrative account.
  2. Open Word and click on the Office button at top left, then select Save As/Find add-ins for other file formats.
  3. A Word Help window will appear. Browse down and click on the hypertext for Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS Add-in for 2007 Microsoft Office programs
  4. Internet Explorer (or your default web browser) should load a page; click on the Validation button in the middle of the page to continue.
  5. A horizontal message bar will appear below the Internet Explorer toolbar. "click here" and select Install Active X Control from the menu.
  6. Click Run to any windows asking you to install Active X, and then the SavetoPDF... exe file.
  7. At the license page click in the bottom left to "accept" then the continue button.
  8. A window should appear when the installation is complete. Click OK.
  9. Close Word and re-open it.

To save a Word 2007 file as PDF:

  1. Click on the Office button in the top left and choose Save As/ PDF or XPS.
  2. Enter the name and browse to where you want it saved
  3. Make sure that beside Optimize for:, "Standard" is chosen.
  4. Click on the Options button and set up the window as follows (Under Page range, choose All; under Publish what, choose Document; under Include non-printing information, choose Create bookmarks using: Headings and choose Document structure tags for accessibility; under PDF options, choose ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A):

Setup options box

Note: Checking the ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A) option will help ensure that your thesis is viewable for many many years to come. For most theses, there should be no difference in the appearance of the PDF file when checking this option, but you should review it to make sure. The only reasons not to check this are:

  • The appearance of your PDF file is not close enough to the appearance of the original document (but a PDF file created without this option checked is close enough to the appearance of the original document). This may be more likely if you have design features, such as effects and transparency enabled, which are unlikely in most theses.
  • The size of the PDF file is too large to submit or too large to load when this option is checked. Before removing this option you may want to consider resizing or changing the resolution of photos in the thesis instead.
  • Click OK and then click Publish.

Word 2002/2003 and other Windows programs

If you are using Word 2003 (or an an earlier version of Word) or another Windows program to create your thesis, you may use one of the following programs to create PDF files.

Adobe Acrobat Professional

Adobe Acrobat Professional is now available on some Nexus Lab computers on campus including:

  • AHS: hsggrad01 in BMH 2313, ahs144 in BMH 3124, rlsgrad01 in BMH 221
  • Arts: PAS1080 lab (6 Nexus computers); 2 workstations in PAS1077
  • ES: Training and Grad Lab, ES1-134
  • Engineering: In their helpdesk; and E2-1302 (Lever lab, 20 Nexus computers)
  • Math/CS: TBA
  • Science: TBA
  • Acrobat Pro DC can be purchased on the IST Webstore. See above for Nexus computers that have it installed.
  • Instructions are available for creating a PDF version of your thesis using Adobe Acrobat 10.

Other PDF creators

You may use another 3rd party product; such a product for Windows is PDF Creator. PDF Creator is Open Source, so there is no charge. It can be downloaded from the SourceForge project page. It actually uses GhostScript in the PDF conversion process. However, unlike GhostScript which processes a PostScript file, PDF Creator installs itself as a printer on your system. When you want to create a PDF file from any application, you choose your application's Print command, and PDF Creator will create the PDF file.

What it will not do is translate any hyperlinks in your document into PDF hyperlinks or create PDF bookmarks.

Merging multiple PDF files into one

Once you have two PDF files it is very easy and seamless to combine them into one using Adobe Acrobat Professional. The original PDF files are not modified. Once you have combined the 2 PDF files, Adobe Acrobat will open up the 'new' combined PDF file for you to look at. See above for Adobe Acrobat's availability.

This procedure is available in the Adobe Acrobat XI Quick start guide (PDF).