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Convert Publisher (.pub) Files to Adobe Acrobat Reader (.pdf) with Free Tools

written by: Meryl K Evans•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/11/2011

Save paper and send files by email to others for reading, reviewing, and editing without worrying whether they have the software installed. Instead, you can turn them into PDF files without paying a dime.

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    Create Email Friendly PDF Formats

    The teachers at my children's schools often use Publisher to create newsletters and notes to send to parents. As schools try to cut paper use, teachers and coaches are opting to email these types of files to parents. Sure, they could put the note within the body of the message, but then it wouldn't look like a newsletter or sport cool graphics supporting the school's athletics.

    Not every parent's computer is equipped to view Publisher files, however, so I am often asked by teachers and coaches to convert their files to Adobe Acrobat's .pdf format. I could send them links to places on the Web to convert Publisher's .pub files into Adobe Acrobat's .pdf files, but the independent school district's network doesn't always allow employees to access these sites or applications.

    Nevertheless, the Internet does offer a few free options for converting .pub files to .pdf. And converting Publisher files to PDF certainly makes sense in business environments, as most every company or organization's computers are equipped to handle PDF files.

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    Download PDF Converter Software

    Downloading software to convert Publisher files to PDF files prevents you from relying on an internet connection and an online service doing the converting. How fast (or not) an online service converts your file depends on its traffic.

    CutePDF Writer: When you're ready to convert the document, open the Print menu and select CutePDF Writer as your printing device. Unlike the others, it requires downloading the converter along with a PS2PDF postscript converter (available on the site) such as Ghostscript.

    novaPDF: Printer driver that lets you print your document to a .pdf file. After installing the file, open your Publisher document in Publisher. Select File, Print, NovaPDF from Name, and OK.

    PrimoPDF: Works similarly to novaPDF except it opens a PrimoPDF dialog box to provide output options for the converted file. The program displays ads in its dialog box and includes encryption.

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    Online PDF Converters

    The advantage to using online PDF converter services is that you do not need to download and install software. Not all organizations and companies allow employees to install third-party software, so this is a good work around.

    Doc2PDF: The service converts the file online. The file size can not be higher than 2MB. Select the document from your hard drive, enter a file name, enter your email address, and click Convert to PDF. The service emails you after converting the file. Disadvantages are wait time, less security, and file size limits.