Converting Word to PDF, with hyperlinks and bookmarks!

For years I’ve cursed Adobe’s Acrobat Pro applications for weak support of PDF conversions from Word documents in the Mac environment. There has been no way to retain working hyperlinks and bookmark links in the resulting PDF conversions. (In the Windows world, that’s not a problem.)

Now I can do it, thanks to a tip from Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann. The secret is to use Open Office, which is a free download but also requires installation of X11 from your OS X Tiger Installation disk. The Open Office toolbar has a “PDF” button that does the conversion from Word files to PDF and retains clickable links.

I do most of my writing as rich text in DEVONthink Pro. And, of course, my reference materials are also in DT Pro.

For final compilation and additional tweaking, I copy/paste my stuff from DT Pro into Apple’s Pages, usually using the Blank template in Pages. In Pages, I add a header and footer, footnotes and bookmark links to endnotes. And of course hyperlinks and images in rich text documents in DT Pro transfer well into Pages, although I sometimes tweak placement of the images a bit, such as using the Wrap features.

Pages then does a really great job of exporting the finished document as a Word document. Images and links are well handled in the resulting Word document. In fact, those of you who have to produce Word output from your material in DT Pro should consider using Pages instead of Word, as much less effort is required. :slight_smile:

So now I’ve got a document in the MS Word file format. But I’d really prefer distributing that document as a PDF, which is much more universally readable. In the past, I’ve had to open a converted PDF under Adobe’s Acrobat Professional and painstakingly recreate each of the hyperlinks (including bookmark links to my references) lost in conversion.

No longer! Now I can open the Word file under Open Office, check to make sure the fonts and font sizes are correct, then click one button to export as PDF, with working hyperlinks.

I think that’s a tip worth noting on the forum. :slight_smile:

I don’t like working in the Word environment, and Word is expensive, so many Mac users don’t have it (or want it). Apple charges for Pages as part of the iWork suite, but the combination of Pages and Open Office is cheaper than Word. For that matter, I wouldn’t like to work in the Open Office environment either – except to open a .doc file and press that PDF conversion button. Solves a big headache for me.


I prefer not using Word also and am trying to write in DT with rtf. However, when I added a table in one document, Pages did not recognize it but Word did. Hence, I had to use Word to do the final formatiing before sending it off to my client. Did I miss something?