Adobe Acrobat: Tips

See About this website for notes about tips and links provided.

Alternatives for creating PDFs

Date created: June 2006

In May 2006, I did some research into alternatives to Acrobat for PDF creation. With the client's permission, the results of this research are available here (PDF, 58KB). Please note: All identifying information about the client has been removed.

Processing for Tag Information

Date created: ~2004; Applicable to: Adobe Acrobat 6.0, Word 2000 or later

The default settings for a PDF conversion for a small Word file usually work OK. However, on large Word files (> 5mb?) the conversion can get hung up on the "Processing for Tag Information" check. It may appear to be finished, but no PDF file is created, or it could take HOURS to produce nothing at all.


  1. In Word where Acrobat 6.0 is installed, select Adobe PDF > Change Conversion Settings from the menu.
  2. On the Settings tab:
    • Set the PDFMaker setting to Standard.
    • Clear the Enable accessibility and reflow with tagged PDF check box - this is the critical one.
  3. Under the Word tab, clear the check boxes you don't need, such as Comments to Notes, Footnotes and Endnotes if you haven't used any of these features.

    Make sure you leave the Cross-Refs and TOC to links check box selected if you have created an automatic TOC.

  4. Under the Bookmarks tab, make sure the Convert Word Headings to Bookmarks check box is selected.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Create the PDF - it should work fine now...


Here's some feedback:

  • Thank you a million times for your tip about fixing PDFMaker! I've been tearing my hair out on this one for awhile. Now that I've cleared that pesky checkbox, I'm creating PDFs again. Thanks again! (Steven Kan, Pulse Research Lab, Torrnace, California, April 2007)

There's more on the Testimonials page.