Uncategorized Writing tips

Word and .pdf Files

I’m on a Mac and I use the latest version of Word since I have an Office 365 subscription.  Word saves documents to .pdfs with little loss of formatting. Printed out, such a file looks almost  like the original Word document. That’s good but Word fails when its .pdfs are used online. Here’s what else I’ve discovered.

Footnotes and endnotes are disabled. If you hover over the footnote number you do not see the footnote text as you do in Word. If you click on the footnote the .pdf does not take you to the footnote.

URLs written out in full are clickable; they’ll take you to the website they belong to. This, for example, works in a Word created .pdf: But if you have a hidden link then the link is not clickable. This won’t work: Click here to go there. Again, the .pdf is printable but not entirely clickable.

A last discovery is that URLs wrapped around will break. I had a two column format in a Word document where URLs would start on one line and then continue to the line below. Wrap around. When converted to a .pdf, all those links broke.

Adobe wants $14.95 a month for their .pdf file creator service. I’m sure it can do all the things Word can’t. But I’d have to use .pdfs far more than I do to justify that cost. Let me know if you’ve discovered any workarounds to these problems.




By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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