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When creating PDF documents a friend of mine told me that doing a "Save As" is generally a better way to create a PDF doc, the way that I generally created them was through the "Print to PDF" option in most software.

Aren't both ways to creating PDF documents generally the same?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

Yes and no!

It really just depends on the program you are using.

Typically Save to PDF is supported in very few applications (either by Adobe or by the program maker). It creates an enhanced PDF file that typically has additional features - such as if you had hyperlinks in a document, they will be preserved.

Printing to PDF is different as it is for ANY program that can print. It basically redirects what would come out of your printer into a PDF file. In the above example with the hyperlink - In Microsoft Word, it would typically just come out as blue text (as it would on physical paper) unless you manually format it!.

That being said, I believe that a few PDF printers do try to preserve some enhanced features, however the above should be typically true for most.

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Wil, +1 good point about preserving links, etc. – bmb Sep 21 '09 at 19:19
Some save as PDF tools will also create a document outline/bookmarks in the resulting PDF based on metadata in the document. For example if you use heading styles in Word. – Brian Reiter Sep 21 '09 at 19:41
Thank you for the great answer, very helpful! – Daniel Sep 22 '09 at 19:09

depends on the software, Personally I've never seen a difference, except that different programs call it different things. What program are you using?

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Adobe products I generally use to print to PDF. – Daniel Sep 22 '09 at 19:09

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