I am attempting to convert a Docx file that I have to a PDF. I have done this many times before, but this particular file has a lot of unique formatting with page breaks; some pages are landscape, some are portrait, some have normal margins, some have no margins etc. I also have page numbering in the footers. I need to convert to a PDF without losing any of the formatting (i.e. when I try to do this in WORD in cuts off my page numbers in the footer and also cuts off some of the text and images that are too close to the right side of the page for the pages with no margins). I've already tried using webtools to convert, and although they tend to keep the formatting, they replace some text with question mark symbols and are generally unreliable. I am wondering if anyone knows how to fix this. All I want is for my Word document to convert to a PDF in exactly the same format that it is in already! Thanks

Also, I have attempted to set the paper size in the page setup to custom with "0" in all four boxes, but this tremendously messes with the formatting of my figures, text boxes, text, etc.

  • Can you upload the file somewhere? I have an adobe acrobat subscription, and it does the job well. – Don't Root here plz... Apr 13 '16 at 16:29
  • Hi. I was looking for somewhere here to upload it, but I cannot see where I can do that! Also, I will be needing to do this for at least 12 other Documents. Do you know if adobe acrobat has a free subscription trial? This is for my dissertation and I would rather not have to pay a large sum just for 1 week of usage! Cheers! – Ryan Rothman Apr 13 '16 at 16:32
  • You can find the trial here : acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/acrobat.html – Don't Root here plz... Apr 13 '16 at 16:40
  • I'm not sure how you're converting but file > save as is the easiest way, assuming thats whats giving you trouble try something like the bullzip PDF printer. instead of having word save the file you'll hit print and select the pdf printer. Since its a different conversion engine it may do what you need. – acme64 Apr 13 '16 at 16:42
  • If it is possible to upload both a copy of my Word document and the output PDF that I get, it would make much clearer the problems that I am facing! Does anyone know how I might be able to do this? Also, if I purchase the £7 monthly version of Adobe Pro PDF, will this somehow convert the Docx file without losing formatting or cutting off my margins / footers as Word does? – Ryan Rothman Apr 13 '16 at 16:49

I have finally found the solution! You must go into page setup in Word, and create a custom paper size (I used the same size specs as A4, and set printable area to 0 in all 4 cases). The trick then is to make sure you apply this to each page of the document individually, specifying whether the given page is portrait or landscape orientation. Then the converted PDF should give you 100% printable area and still maintain the formatting of both portrait and landscape in the document!


Or...if you go to File > Save as > PDF then before you click Export be sure to select "Best for Printing" under File Format. The formatting changes if you select "Best for electronic distribution" (which is the default).

  • 2
    Note that this method erases all bookmarks in the document and makes links non-functional. That's fine if you actually want to print the document, but if you're distributing the PDF electronically you'll have to search for a different method. – Bill Mei Apr 4 at 15:01

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