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Preserve image quality when saving from Word to PDF

When you are saving a Word 2007 or 2010 file as a PDF, there is always a significant loss in image quality. Pictures look blurry, weathered or soft – quite simply unfit for a professional document. The objective of this site is to help your images look as good as possible when you’re saving from Word to PDF.Compare the following images (click to expand):Before        AfterThe screenshot on the left shows a PDF that has been saved from Word at default settings. The one on the right shows a PDF saved at custom settings. Both screenshots have been taken using the same content, and at identical zoom and resolution settings. As you can see the one on the right looks much better. What’s more, we can make images in PDFs look even better when saving from Word!How do you do it?
Step 1: Stop Word from compressing images
Step 2: Ensure maximum image quality while saving in Word
Step 3: Set Word's Acrobat settings to save images in high qualityAlso check out:
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Configure Word’s Acrobat tab settings for higher quality output

You can tweak the output quality of PDF files if you have Adobe Acrobat X Standard or Adobe Acrobat X Professional installed. What Acrobat does (among other very cool things) is that it hooks up Word with Adobe PDFMaker, and a corresponding Acrobat tab appears in the ribbon.
If you’re into the technical side of things - Adobe PDFMaker is a macro which passes jobs to Adobe Distiller, which in turn outputs PDFs according to the .joboptions file supplied by PDFMaker. The Acrobat tab is a COM object built as PDFMaker’s user interface in Word. Hence, when you’re configuring settings under to Acrobat tab you’re actually creating a custom .joboptions file. To do so:1. Click on the Acrobat tab to see relevant commands.2. Click on Preferences. The Acrobat PDFMaker window will open. 3. Click on the Conversion Settings drop-down link (this is set to Standard by default). Select High Quality Print (or Press Quality if you’re primarily looking for superior print quality). Then click on Advanced Se…

Stop Word from compressing images during save

Even after you have unchecked the Do not compress images in file option (see my previous post), Word will still try to compress images during saving! To stop this from happening, do the following:1. While saving your current file, instead of clicking Save (or pressing Ctrl+S), click on Save As (or press F12).2. Once the Save As window appears, click on Tools.3. From the Tools drop-down list click on Compress Pictures. 4a. Make sure Delete cropped areas of pictures is checked. Set the target output to Print (220 ppi).4b. For Word 2007 users only: the Automatically perform basic compression on save option will additionally appear. Make sure it’s unchecked. Unfortunately, you will have to uncheck this option every time you save a file! That is, unless you follow step 6 below.4c. Click OK to save your updated image compression settings.5. Exit the Save As window by pressing Save to save your document, or Cancel to exit without saving. If you have Acrobat Professional installed, you can no…

Prevent Word from reducing image quality

By default MS Word attempts to compress images. To stop it from doing this,1. Go to File > Options.2. Click on Advanced. Relevant settings will appear in the Image Size and Quality area.3. Uncheck Discard editing data, check Do not compress images in file and Set default target output to 220 ppi.4. Click on the drop-down link bearing the name of the current document (New Microsoft Word Document (4) in the following screenshot). Select All New Documents (or leave at the current setting to apply for the open document only).5. Click OK.Next stop: ensure that Word still isn’t compressing your images!Check out: my personal documentation software picks.