Thesis And Dissertation Pdf Converter

When your document is entirely finished and you are ready to upload it to ProQuest, you will first need to convert it to PDF format. Most computers at KU have PDF conversion functions installed, so to convert to PDF:

  1. First, save the final version of your document as a regular .docx file.
  2. Next, click File then Save As...
  3. From the Save as type (PC) or Format (Mac) drop-down menu, choose PDF.
  4. Click Save.

If your computer does not have an option to save a document as a PDF file, you can download a free PDF converter from CutePDF.

There are online utilities which will also convert a file to PDF for you, however, these do sacrifice the security of your document, as it has to be uploaded to a distant server for the conversion. 

Further, Adobe Acrobat contains tools that allow you to modify PDF files (adding bookmarks, hyperlinks, and other elements), create a single PDF from multiple source files, and add interactive form fields (Pro version only).

If your version of Word does not offer PDF creation or for more advanced PDF functions, many KU computer labs and library computers have Adobe Acrobat Pro installed. For more information on accessing Adobe Acrobat Pro at KU, visit

PDF Conversion - Word for Mac 2008

The text of your thesis, dissertation, or report must be submitted in the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). There are several ways to convert a Word document to PDF, but we recommend the following steps:

  1. Open your file in Word for Mac 2008.
  2. Pull down the File menu and click Save As.
  3. In the Save As dialog box, enter the desired filename. Be sure to name your file in this format: FirstnameLastnameGraduation year. For example: BarackObama2012.
  4. In the Format menu, select PDF.
  5. Click Save.

What to Do If Word Creates Multiple PDF Files

If your Word document contains landscape oriented pages or sections in which you have modified the page size, margins, or other page layout elements, Word will create a separate PDF file for each section of your document. If Word created multiple PDF files from your document, you will see all the PDF files listed in the folder that contained your original Word document. Word will append a sequential number to the filename for each file. For example:


Note that the number “1” is not assigned to the first file in the sequence.

Follow these steps to combine the multiple PDF files into a single PDF file:

  1. Save all the PDF files created by Word to a folder on a flash drive.
  2. Come to the Media Development Center and ask to use one of the Mac computers that has Adobe Acrobat Professional. The instructions below are for Adobe Acrobat Profession 9. Some of the Mac computers in MDC have Acrobat Professional 8 or 10, and the differences are noted in the steps below.
  3. Open Adobe Acrobat Professional and insert your flash drive.
  4. Pull down the File menu, point to Create PDF, then click Merge Files into a Single PDF. (Acrobat Professional 8: Click From Multiple Files. Acrobat Professional 10: Click Combine Files into a Single PDF).
  5. A Combine Files dialog box will open.
  6. Pull down the menu on the Add Files button, then click Add Files. (Acrobat Professional 8: Click the Add Files button).
  7. A folder directory will open. Find the folder that contains your multiple PDF files and select the first file in sequence. Click Add Files. The file will appear in the Combine Files dialog box. Repeat this step for each PDF file. Be sure you select and add only the PDF files that will make up your final composite PDF file.
  8. The complete list of files should now appear in the Combine Files dialog. If a file is out of sequence, select the file, then use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to reposition it.
  9. Click Combine Files. (Acrobat 8: Click Next, select Merge files into a single PDF, then click Create).
  10. The file will open in Acrobat Professional and the Save As dialog box will open. (Acrobat Professional 8: Click Save. The file will open in Acrobat Professional and the Save As dialog box will open. Acrobat Professional 10: Click File, point to Save As, then click PDF.)
  11. Use the Save As dialog box to save the file to your flash drive in this format: FirstnameLastnameGraduation year. For example: BarackObama2012.

Check your final PDF file carefully to make sure all text, tables, and figures are rendered correctly. If you see any problems, or have trouble combining your files, contact the IT Help Desk.

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