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Creating & Working with PDFs without Acrobat Pro DC

do you really need acrobat pro?

This page outlines the alternative ways you can create & work with PDFs without the use of Acrobat Pro (Professional) DC (Document Cloud). On this page:

How do I work with PDFs using the free Acrobat Reader?

The free Acrobat Reader can be used to view, search, print, sign, and annotate PDF files.

See the table below for a comparison of the functionality of Acrobat Reader DC vs. Acrobat Pro DC.

Acrobat Reader DC Acrobat Pro DC
View PDFs View PDFs
Print PDFs Print PDFs
Sign PDFs Sign PDFs
Fill out PDF forms Fill out PDF forms
Annotate PDFs Annotate PDFs
Search PDFs Search PDFs
  Create PDFs (see how to create PDFs using "Save As" below)
  Edit PDFs (many programs, including Microsoft Word, have the ability to edit PDF files)
  Convert PDF files with Word
  Combine PDFs
  Compare forms
  Protect PDFs

Learn about using Acrobat Reader DC (from Adobe).

 

How do I sign a PDF document or form?

Learn how to use Acrobat Reader DC (Mac & Windows, iOS & iPad OS) and the macOS Preview app to sign PDF documents and forms for free. Note: Signing can be done without using the full version of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Adobe Sign (Adobe’s E-Signature Service), or any other paid third party PDF signing application.

 

How do I create PDFs using "Save As"?

Some applications let you use the "Save As" function to save documents as PDFs (without having Acrobat Pro DC). See the chart below to learn more.

  Mac OS X Windows
Microsoft Word Learn how to save as a PDF with Word
Learn how to save as a PDF with Word
Excel Learn how to save as a PDF with Excel
Learn how to save as a PDF with Excel
Powerpoint Learn how to save as a PDF with PowerPoint
Learn how to save as a PDF with PowerPoint
Project Requires Acrobat Pro DC Learn how to save as a PDF with Project
Web Pages Learn how to save as a PDF of a web page
Requires Acrobat Pro DC

 

Mac Note: Learn how to save a document as a PDF on Mac using the "Print" dialog.

 

What if I need to edit PDFs/PDF forms occasionally?

Many programs, including Microsoft Word, have the ability to edit PDF files.

If you need to edit PDFs/PDF forms occasionally (1-2 times a year), you can use a licensed copy of Acrobat Pro DC in the Digital Studio in O'Neill 205 or find a coworker with Acrobat Pro.

 

Still think you need Acrobat Pro?

If you need to work with Acrobat Pro in your day to day work or need to create or work with PDFs in a way that is not accommodated by an alternative method (such as to edit PDFs, convert PDF files with Word, combine PDFs, compare forms, protect PDFs, collect e-signatures and comments), contact your department administrator about acquiring an Acrobat Pro DC license through SHI. ​Note: The cost of Acrobat Pro DC licenses must be paid for by your department. Adobe pricing is based on an annual subscription that runs from August to the following August. Licenses are prorated, which means that licenses purchased throughout the year will be charged based on the number of months remaining in the subscription year.

Learn about Acrobat Pro versions from Adobe (note: for Mac computers, only the Acrobat Pro DC version is available).