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print to PDF yields multiple documents

50873 Views 35 Replies Latest reply: Apr 14, 2014 9:37 AM by maasailand giraffe RSS
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Helen Shaw Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 8, 2011 5:46 PM
In Word 2008 for Mac running in Snow Leopard OSX 10.6.6 (and earlier version of Word and OS X), opening the print dialog and selecting 'Save as PDF' creates a separate PDF file for each section in the Word docx. This seems to have been an ongoing problem, judging from past postings. I have updated Adobe Reader to 9.4.2. Older discussions suggested a workaround that did not work for me.

Is there a current workaround for this?
Mac mini 2009, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (44,340 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 8, 2011 6:07 PM (in response to Helen Shaw)
    Not sure, but apparently that's the way Print to PDF works. Have you tried removing the section breaks & just use page breaks? Adobe Reader is not a factor.

    You can combine individual PDFs into one PDF using one of these freeware utilities.

    joinPDF @ http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/16604
    Combine PDFs @ http://www.monkeybreadsoftware.de/Freeware/CombinePDFs.shtml>

     Cheers, Tom

     G4 1.5GHz 12" PB, G4 1.25GHz MDD, G3 400 FW Pismo,, Mac OS X (10.5.6), OS 10.4.11/9.2.2, Canon LiDE30 Scanner, Canon i960 Printer, Belkin UPS
  • Jay Bullock Level 4 Level 4 (3,800 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 8, 2011 6:53 PM (in response to Helen Shaw)
    What I've found is that when I change orientation in a word document--one page landscape, the next portrait, for example--printing to pdf creates multiple documents, one each time the orientation changes. Other "section breaks," like a section in columns, do not prompt multiple pdfs.

    What I do after that is open all the pdfs in Preview, which will allow you to recombine them into a single pdf by dragging the page icons into the sidebar of one document.
    Aluminum Unibody MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Jay Bullock Level 4 Level 4 (3,800 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 8, 2011 7:28 PM (in response to Helen Shaw)
    In Preview, when you've combined the pdf thumbnails into one sidebar, you don't need to print; you can just use Preview's Save dialogue.
    Aluminum Unibody MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Jay Bullock Level 4 Level 4 (3,800 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2011 3:21 AM (in response to Helen Shaw)
    Hm. I don't know what the deal is. I just tried it again--I grabbed three random pdfs off my desktop, dragged two of them into the sidebar of the third, and was able to both Save and Save As the combined document.

    You could try selecting all, copying, and then creating a new document from the clipboard, which Preview allows you to do.

    Failing all that, you may want to try a third-party program that will allow you to combine pdfs. I haven't used any of these, but some have 5-star ratings:
    http://download.cnet.com/1770-20_4-0.html?query=pdf+combine&platformSelect=Mac&t ag=srch&searchtype=downloads&filterName=platform%3DMac&filter=platform%3DMac
    Aluminum Unibody MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Jay Bullock Level 4 Level 4 (3,800 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2011 6:50 PM (in response to Helen Shaw)
    You're welcome. I glad you got a solution, even if it isn't elegant.
    Aluminum Unibody MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • slokey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 4, 2012 9:47 AM (in response to Helen Shaw)

    I had the exact same problem - printing to pdf created two separate pdf files from a single two page document.  I read the reply that this could be an issue with section breaks, and sure enough when I got rid of a hidden section break in my document the problem was solved!  Thanks for the thread - i never would have considered section breaks if it hadn't been for Texas Mac Man's suggestion. Thanks!

  • Richard Schletty Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 1:20 AM (in response to slokey)

    Indeed. Removing a manual page section break fixed the issue for me.

     

    Microsoft needs to address this issue. It is counterintuitive for Word to spit out each  page as a separate PDF, regardless of section breaks of any kind. In the print dialog, we should have a very clear option to combine pages or split pages.

     

    I can't think of any other word processing or page layout program which has this page splitting behavior when saving as PDF.

  • dbenoit Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 19, 2012 7:01 AM (in response to Richard Schletty)

    I had the same problem with a Word document and figured out the problem. Word seems to be spitting out separate PDF documents based on the page setup. So under File -> Page Setup you get a dialog box with the settings for the page, and usually a "Format for" dropdown and a "Paper Size" option. If these setting are not the same for the whole document, Word throws a wobbley and generates a PDF for each page setup.

     

    My solution (works where all of the pages are the same format).

     

    File -> Page Setup

    Settings: Choose "Microsoft Word" from the dropdown box

    Apply Page Setup settings to: Entire Document.

     

    This will setup up the entire document to use the same page settings, and will fix the problem for those of us who are wanting a document that all has the same page settings. (This won't work if you are mixing page sizes.)

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 19, 2012 10:33 AM (in response to dbenoit)

    Great tip, thanks.

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