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Picture of Create a PDF
This instructable will teach you how to create a PDF file. It starts with downloading certain programs and going all the way to viewing the PDF file. In this instructable I will guide you through downloading a program named OpenOffice 3.0. If you have OpenOffice 3.0 you may skip to step 5. You do need OpenOffice 3.0. Version 2 will NOT work.


 
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Step 1: Visit OpenOffice.org

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Open your favorite browser and go to OpenOffice.org.

Then, click the "I want to download OpenOffice.org"

After that click "Download now!"

Step 2: Download OpenOffice and Run the Installer

Now your browser will go to a download page. It should try to start the download automatically.

For Firefox:
-It will pop up a box that will say "Save File" and "Cancel"
-Click "Save File"
-It will download the file
-Double click the saved file in the downloads screen to open it

For Internet Explorer
-A yellow bar may pop up at the top of the screen with the text "To help protect your security, Internet Explorer blocked this site from downloading files."
-Click the yellow bar
-Click "Download File..."
-The page will refresh and a box will pop up that will say "Run", "Save", and "Cancel"
-Choose a place to save the file. The desktop is an easy place to remember.
-Click Save
-It will download the file
-Click "Run" when the download is finished

When you run the file you may get a screen with a security warning. Click "Run" on this screen.

Step 3: Install OpenOffice.org

You should now have the installer open. In this part of the tutorial I will show the steps in this format
Screen Title
What to do
This will help me tell you how to go through the installer, without taking up a bunch of space on the page.

Here is what you need to do:
Thank you for downloading OpenOffice.org 3.0
Click "Next"

Select Folder
Click "Unpack"

Welcome to the Installation Wizard for OpenOffice.org 3.0
Click "Next"

Customer Information
Fill in any information you want and click "Next"

Setup Type
Choose "Complete" and then click "Next"

Ready to Install the Program
Click Install

At this point it will do a bunch of stuff automatically. Let it do all this.

Installation Wizard Completed
Click Finish

Now go to your desktop and double click the icon labeled OpenOffice 3.0.

Step 4: Running OpenOffice for the first time

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The first time you run OpenOffice it will ask you a bunch of questions.
I just click "Next" through them all except the last.

On the last I choose "I do not want to register" and then I click "Finish".

Step 5: Choose a file type

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After you finish with the one-time setup and every time you open it after the first time, OpenOffice should present you with a screen titled "Welcome to OpenOffice.org".

From this screen we want to create a text document, so we click the button titled "Text Document".

Step 6: Make your file

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From here you can make your document. The program is very similar to Microsoft Word, so if you are familiar with Word, OpenOffice Writer will be very familiar. In this area you can type text and add pictures and basically design your PDF document. I really cant tell you how to do this step, as each person will obviously want to make a different document, but its pretty simple.

If you want to convert an already made document to a PDF just open it up in OpenOffice and go to the next step.

I suggest you save these documents in the regular .odf or .doc files. This makes them easier for editing later.

Step 7: Save as a PDF

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Now that you have your document formatted and written the way you want it to look like in the PDF, you can now save it as a PDF. To do this, click the "File" menu in the upper left part of the window. It will drop down a menu. From here click the "Export as PDF" option. A window titled "PDF Options" will come up. If you know what options you want, select them. If you don't, the defaults should be OK. Click "Export". A window titled "Export" will appear, choose a location on your computer to save the file. Name the file anything you would like, and click "Save". I saved mine to the desktop so I could find it easier.

Step 8: Open the file and check it

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Go to the location you saved your file. Mine was on the desktop so I went there. Double click the file and it should bring up Adobe Reader.

If it doesn't open Adobe Reader, you can download Adobe Reader from http://get.adobe.com/reader/

Double check to make sure everything in your PDF is correct and accurate.

Step 9: Make thousands of random PDF files

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After this you may feel the need to turn any document you find or write into a PDF file.

My suggestion, do it until your family has to step in and tell you that you have a problem!
UltraMagnus6 years ago
great instructable, even if it just publicises yet another reason that open office is infinitely superior than M$ office
I agree with all the anti Microsoft stuff - i highly recommend Fedora and Ubuntu even Mandriva for the more adventurous
And I love OpenOffice.

Another suggestion is Zamzar - Zamzar converts files (online, you get the file in an E-mail) they convert (.obscurefiletype) to (.obscurefiletype).

Good luck...
fwjs286 years ago
microsoft office (i know the student edition does) has a plugin in which you can save as a pdf...its very easy to install and quite helpful....however, openoffice is far superior...
bmlbytes (author)  fwjs286 years ago
Not only is OpenOffice better it is also free. There is really no reason to need Microsoft Office unless you need it for a specific class at school. OpenOffice beats MSOffice in almost every way.