Often you'll find that a Word document is not the best way of spreading information to colleagues etc. The Adobe PDF format is more portable so you can guarantee that your document (e.g. CV) will look the same no matter who looks at it and where they print it. The following is a brief guide on how to convert Word documents to PDF files for free. If you want to pay for the same thing, you could consider buying Adobe Acrobat from the ICT shop.

Requirements

MS-Word, GhostView and Ghostscript.
You must also have a Postscript printer (network or local) installed on your computer. You don't actually have to have a printer, but you must have the drivers installed. Most Postscript printers will have `PS' in their name. See here for more instructions.

Procedure

  1. Open the document in Word
    Select File->Print...
    • In the dialogue that appears, make sure `Print to file' is checked.
    • Press `OK' and a dialogue will pop-up asking you to enter the name of the file. Make sure you add an ending of `.ps', e.g. `cv.ps' (without the quotes). Change the `Save as type' option to `All files (*.*)'. Press `OK'.
  2. Now open the file you have just created using Ghostview.
  3. Select File->Convert...
    • Ensure the Device is set to `pdfwrite' and the Resolution to `600'. Press 'OK'.
  4. GhostScript will ask you for the name of the output file and create the PDF file for you with that name.

Guide to installing a Postscript printer

For Windows users:

  • Start->Settings->Control Panel->Printers.
  • Open 'Add Printer'.
  • Make sure the printer is local, not networked, and add it to a new port which you can either create or use an existing one (e.g. COM4).
  • Select HP as the manufacturer, and scroll down the printer list until you find one with 'PS' in the name (e.g. Color LaserJet PS). Select it and continue.
  • Carry on through the wizard. Make sure you don't share the printer.
  • Make sure you don't set the printer as default.
  • Don't print a test page.
  • Depending on your Windows setup, you may need to have your Windows CD handy to install the drivers.

Later, when you try creating a PDF file, make sure to select this new printer in the Print Dialogue of Word.