Typesetting in Microsoft Word: Creating Press-Ready PDFs from Word

October 2005
by Jack M. Lyon

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Now that you’ve finished
typesetting your book in Microsoft Word (following the instructions in my past
three articles), your next step is to send it off to a printer. What you’ll
probably find, however, is that your printer doesn’t want your Word file. Why?
For starters, it probably won’t look the same on your printer’s computer as on
yours, and you certainly don’t want to mess up all that beautiful typography
you’ve created. (This can also be true with files created in QuarkXPress.)

The solution is to send your
printer a PDF (Portable Document Format) file with embedded
fonts—something the printer will welcome.

If you have Adobe Acrobat
(pricey!), you can use it to create the PDF you need. (See Acrobat’s Help file
for complete instructions.) If you’re using a Macintosh with OS X, the ability
to save a file as a PDF is built right into the operating system. And if you’re
using Windows and you’re cheap, like me, there are plenty of alternatives. This
article explains how to create a PDF using the free Ghostscript and GSview
programs, available at:


You’ll probably need the Win32
versions about halfway down the page. Download and install both gs851w32.exe
(Ghostscript) and gsv47w32.exe (GSview).

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