Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 59 Replies Latest reply: Jan 14, 2016 10:06 AM by BDAqua
Helen Shaw Level 1 (45 points)
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 (46,565 points)
    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 @
    Combine PDFs @>

     Cheers, Tom

  • Helen Shaw Level 1 (45 points)
    Thanks for your suggestions. I create a newsletter of 5-7 pages for an organization. The formatting changes from page to page. This was not a problem in December. My 6 page newsletter converted to a single PDF file. In January and again today my 4 page document showed up as three PDF files of 1 page, 1 page, and 2 pages. The December experience makes me think that it is possible to convert a multiple-page word document into a single (multiple page) PDF. I'll keep trying.
  • Jay Bullock Level 4 (3,800 points)
    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.
  • Helen Shaw Level 1 (45 points)
    Thank you for responding. All of my pages are in portrait. I have tried combining in preview without success. I open the first PDF in Preview, then drag the next two PDFs into the sidebar. I then select all and go to "print selected pages" and give the command to "save as PDF" in the print dialog box. I see the progress message telling me it is printing 5 pages but when I open the resulting PDF, it is only the last 3 pages (which is the third PDF I get in the first place.) My 6 page newsletter ends up as 1 page, 1 page, 3 pages. i have tried printing to PDF from Print Layout and from Publishing Layout with the same disappointing results. If you see anything I should be doing differently, let me know.
  • Jay Bullock Level 4 (3,800 points)
    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.
  • Helen Shaw Level 1 (45 points)
    I have placed all documents on the sidebar but have been unsuccessful in saving as one file. I have tried a "save as' in the Preview file command. I have tried "select all" then the save command. Every time I just get one of the documents in the saved PDF. (sometime a one page doc and sometimes the three page, never all five pages). Am I missing a step?
  • Jay Bullock Level 4 (3,800 points)
    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: ag=srch&searchtype=downloads&filterName=platform%3DMac&filter=platform%3DMac
  • Helen Shaw Level 1 (45 points)
    I just tried again with the same lack of success as before. One thing I did notice: the "save" command is not available; only the "save as." The bar at the top of my Preview page says "page one of 3; 3 documents, 5 total pages" so it seems to recognize all the documents on some level. I may try one of the third-party programs you gave links to, although I'm reluctant to complicate things further. Some third-party programs have not been friendly enough to this user. I do thank you for your willingness to keep trying to help me through this. I'm doing something wrong but just can't seem to find what it is.
  • Helen Shaw Level 1 (45 points)
    An update...I followed one of the links from you and downloaded "combine PDFs" by monkeybread. After a false start with an outdated version, I went to the monkeybread website and found version 5.2. It seems to work OK. I am in hopes that Apple and Microsoft can devise a Mac version of Word that will not have this problem. I am not the only one who has this frustration.

    Thank you for your help.
  • Jay Bullock Level 4 (3,800 points)
    You're welcome. I glad you got a solution, even if it isn't elegant.
  • slokey Level 1 (0 points)

    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 (10 points)

    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 (5 points)

    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 (122,202 points)

    Great tip, thanks.

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