Can I automate the creation of PDFs from a large number of Word documents?
September 17, 2004 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Acrobat Filter. In Mac OS 9.2, I regularly create a large number of PDFs from Word files using Distiller 5.0. The problem is, I do this for 30 large files every 10 days, and must manually first create .ps files, and then distill them. The process takes more than 1 hour, during which I must open Each Word file to .ps "print" it. Short of buying a new copy of Acrobat for $300 and/or an OS X computer, is there any way to automate this process?
posted by ParisParamus to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Is there a reason you print a postscript file and then distil that file? I ask because back when I was on OS 9, my copy of Acrobat came with (I guess a PPD) that I could select from the chooser so that I could print directly to PDF. I never tried to create a desktop printer from that (I hated desktop printers), but I imagine you could, and they you could just drag the 30 files onto that.
posted by willnot at 10:40 AM on September 17, 2004

In fact, here is a place to download Macintosh Post Script Printer Drivers for Acrobad. Will those work for you?
posted by willnot at 10:42 AM on September 17, 2004

Response by poster: OMG! It WORKED! I've probably spent 60 hours over the last 8 months for NOTHING. I thought I had tried what you just proposed 8 months ago. THANK YOU!!!
posted by ParisParamus at 11:20 AM on September 17, 2004

Response by poster: Actually, it doesn't work : (. I don't have to individually PS > PDF any more, but I still have to hit "print" for each file, then wait, sometimes minutes, before being able to hit print for the next one.... : (
posted by ParisParamus at 12:39 PM on September 17, 2004

Response by poster: (There's no batch file to PDF option?)
posted by ParisParamus at 12:48 PM on September 17, 2004

If OS X will do what you need, you can install OS X on many older Macs (list), and it's about $170 cheaper than distilller.
posted by o2b at 12:54 PM on September 17, 2004

I'm not a Mac guy, but can you print from Finder?
posted by smackfu at 1:25 PM on September 17, 2004

Response by poster: Actually, I solved my problem! Despite what I thought last fall when I embarked upon my business, I can write a macro is MS Word that will "print" multiple files, i.e., distil to PDF. Since the names of the ~30 files remain the same, it will suffice to just write a macro! This makes me very happy, and I truly thank you, nonetheless, for your suggestions.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:32 PM on September 17, 2004

How about an open source batch converter that converts MS .doc files to .pdf? I need to convert several hundred docs and can't be bothered to "print" them to PDF separately. Anyone? Anyone?
posted by shoepal at 1:37 PM on September 17, 2004

What OS are you using?
posted by the biscuit man at 2:40 PM on September 17, 2004

Response by poster: Shoepal: If you can, somehow, rename the files with numbers, you can use the macro I've written. E-mail if you want to take a look at the VBA code.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:47 PM on September 17, 2004

there was a shareware app called print2pdf that just creates a pdf driver.

PrintToPDF 2.4.4 - MacUpdate
posted by filmgeek at 7:40 PM on September 17, 2004

In the finder, set the printer to be your PDF printer.

Select all of the Word documents you want to convert.

Select 'Print...' from the Finder's File menu (or hit Apple-P).

The files should open in Word & you can set the print setup with the first file & all the others will print to the same setup.

[Disclaimer: It's ages since I used OS9 for anything more than running Quark Xpress. This is how I remember batch printing QXD docs back then. I'm assuming it'll work the same way for Word.]
posted by i_cola at 4:41 AM on September 18, 2004

Thanks Paris, but I can't rename them. Sigh. I'm resigning myself to "printing" a dozen or two a day.
posted by shoepal at 2:14 PM on September 22, 2004

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