(As a public service, I am running this appendix verbatim from the book.)
There’s a right way and a wrong way to make a PDF. Based on an unscientific survey of the PDFs I get from other lawyers, just about all of you are doing it the wrong way.
The wrong way: print the document on paper and scan it to PDF.
The right way: “print” the document directly to PDF.
How to print directly to PDF
Windows | Install a printer driver that outputs PDFs instead of sending a file to a physical printer. If you have a commercial version of Adobe Acrobat (not just the free Acrobat Reader), the ‹Adobe PDF› driver should already be installed. If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat, numerous third-party PDF printer drivers are available. When you issue the print command, you’ll see the ‹Print› dialog box. At the top of this box is a popup menu listing the installed printers. Select your PDF printer. Set other options as needed and click ‹OK›.
Mac | You don’t need a special print driver — printing directly to PDF is built into the Mac operating system. Issue the print command. The dialog box that appears has a button at the lower left labeled ‹PDF›. Click this button. From the menu that appears, select ‹Save as PDF›. In the next dialog box, enter a filename and click ‹Save›.
“What’s the difference? Either way, you end up with a PDF.” True. But one PDF is much better than the other.
When you print a document and then scan it to PDF, you’re defeating most of the benefits of using a PDF at all. Essentially, you’re making a series of photos of your document and packaging them inside a PDF. These photos occupy a lot of disk space, they’re slow to view or print, they have to go through OCR to be searchable, and any care you’ve put into typography will be diluted by the reduced quality of the scan.
But printing directly to PDF stores your document in a compact, high-resolution format. Instead of a series of photos, the document pages are stored as a series of scalable mathematical shapes (or vector graphics as they’re sometimes known). These shapes take up very little space on disk, are fast to view or print, are searchable without OCR, and preserve your typography with perfect fidelity. (If you have bitmap images in your document, like JPEGs, they will still be stored in the PDF as bitmaps.)
What about fonts? When you print directly to PDF, fonts are embedded in the PDF as necessary to preserve the text formatting. So readers of the document will always see your intended fonts, even if they don’t have the same fonts installed on their machines.
“But my document has exhibits. How am I supposed to get those into the word-processing document?” You don’t. Print the word-processing document to PDF as described above. Then add the exhibits to the PDF using Acrobat or another PDF-editing tool.
Got it? Good.
PS. A concurrence from the First Circuit Court of Appeals. “PDF files created this way use less file space than documents that have been scanned and are text-searchable.” Also with detailed instructions and screenshots for WordPerfect, Word, and Acrobat.