PDFs in Word 2013
When working with clients, you’ll likely need to create and even edit PDF files regularly. Whether you’re creating forms, converting PDFs to Word documents for editing or just saving important documents, Microsoft Word 2013 lets you do all of the above. While it’s not as powerful as Adobe Acrobat, it gets the job done without requiring more software.
PDF Reflow Overview
The PDF Reflow feature is currently only available in Word 2013 and not other Office apps. However, it does let convert tables, list and of course, text from PDFs into an editable Word document. Some formatting may not convert completely or it may end up as text boxes and graphics versus plain text. Still, it gives you something to work with.
OfficeVideos has an excellent YouTube video demonstrating this feature.
Converting PDF Files
Getting started couldn’t be easier. Simply use Word 2013 to open any PDF file. Remember, the more complex the file, the more transfer issues you might run into. You can either open the PDF from the File menu in Word or right-click the PDF, choose Open With and select Word 2013. Do not select Word as your default program.
Depending on the size of the file, you may need to wait a few moments for Word to reconstruct the file. The most common issues you might see is text wrapping in odd places, text boxes instead of plain text and distorted diagrams and images. Once converted, you can edit the file as you see fit. This is incredibly useful if you need to fill out a simple form and the original PDF wasn’t created with editable fields.
Once you’re done, either save the converted file as a Word document or as a PDF.
Here is a brief demonstration of opening a PDF from inside Word 2013.
Saving To PDF
Word doesn’t just convert PDFs, it also lets you create them. When you save a document, choose PDF from the Save as type list box. You then have three options to choose from.
If you want to preview the newly saved PDF, check the Open file after publishing box.
If the file is image rich and you want the PDF to be saved with the highest quality images, choose the Standard printing option
Finally, if you need to make sure the PDF has the smallest file size possible, choose the Minimum size option. If you have high quality images, some image quality may be compromised as Word compresses the file to reduce the overall file size.
Password Protect PDFs
For extremely sensitive files, Word gives you the option to password protect the file. PDFs are designed to be more secure because they’re not easy to edit. Adding a password prevents prying eyes from seeing details they’re not supposed to. You’ll need to create the password as you save the PDF file. Click the Options button in the Save dialog box to view additional file saving options.
Check the Encrypt the document with a password box at the bottom of the Options window. Enter the password you wish to use twice and press OK. Press OK again and click Save to create and password protect your PDF file.
Word 2013 is the most powerful Word yet, especially with the new PDF Reflow capabilities. If you need more advanced PDF editing options, you might still need Adobe Acrobat, but if you just need basic conversions, save money and stick with Microsoft Office instead.