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Make a Word 2013 document awesome like a PDF?

Drake ChambersDrake Chambers Lay out my formal shorts.Registered User regular
edited April 2018 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a team that's been working for an extended period on a large project. It was decided some months back that the deliverables we'd be producing would be PDF documents. Each file consists of an extended narrative with multiple links to supporting documents. In some cases it's important that the link refer to a specific page in a supporting document, and we have the links set up to take you there.
So Adobe is great for that and we're really happy with the result.

Problem is only one member of our team has the Acrobat software and we can't get it for anyone else. As a result, that team member has ended up being a bottleneck in our process that's really slowing things down. Everyone has to send their files to her for editing, combining, and linking and it's taking more time than is practical.

Today I started to wonder if I could basically create a similar document with Word 2013. Before I really dive down that rabbit hole, I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone has any thoughts or tips to that end. If its possible but incredibly cumbersome I might not attempt it.

Any Word masters out there with opinions?

Drake Chambers on

Posts

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    I mean, you can do that. But most users won't easily be able to click the links and general usability is going to be garbage compared to a pdf version.

  • Drake ChambersDrake Chambers Lay out my formal shorts. Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    I mean, you can do that. But most users won't easily be able to click the links and general usability is going to be garbage compared to a pdf version.
    Alright, that's the kind of answer I was looking for (if not hoping for). It's already somewhat common to encounter compatibility issues when our audience opens our presentations so I don't think I'm going to take the time to Frankenstein this thing together if the likelihood of success is low.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Adobe professional is pretty industry standard software to spring for. If you have a current license, you should be able to put it on about 2-3 computers with the share criteria (if memory serves).

  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit Tandem Electrostatic Accelerator Registered User regular
    I mean, if you want something that makes very good PDFs, you can always dig into LaTeX.

    There are quite a few online editors that allow collaboration. I'm using sharelatex.com for my courses right now and there are others such as overleaf.com and latexbase.com but I haven't used those.

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  • Drake ChambersDrake Chambers Lay out my formal shorts. Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Adobe professional is pretty industry standard software to spring for. If you have a current license, you should be able to put it on about 2-3 computers with the share criteria (if memory serves).

    Yeah, you'd think so, right?

    Unfortunately, not up to me, or my boss, or his boss... but a committee on the other side of the country that's still "deciding how to move forward" for the rest of the organization.

  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    I mean, if you want something that makes very good PDFs, you can always dig into LaTeX.

    There are quite a few online editors that allow collaboration. I'm using sharelatex.com for my courses right now and there are others such as overleaf.com and latexbase.com but I haven't used those.

    LaTeX is a high investment, high reward system though. It takes effort to learn how to Latex, but it's so worth it.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • Drake ChambersDrake Chambers Lay out my formal shorts. Registered User regular
    I mean, if you want something that makes very good PDFs, you can always dig into LaTeX.

    There are quite a few online editors that allow collaboration. I'm using sharelatex.com for my courses right now and there are others such as overleaf.com and latexbase.com but I haven't used those.

    LaTeX is a high investment, high reward system though. It takes effort to learn how to Latex, but it's so worth it.
    Just gave the website a cursory glance and this looks very interesting.

    Never would have come across it on my own. I love this community.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Yeah, the latex community is very friendly. Very eay to get into but hard to get out of, surprisingly enough.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Question, how is this different from the Word cross reference function

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  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Question, how is this different from the Word cross reference function

    Because LaTex is originally a typesetting aimed at scientific reports the cross referencing system is far more robust...and noticably less buggy.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit Tandem Electrostatic Accelerator Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Question, how is this different from the Word cross reference function

    Because LaTex is originally a typesetting aimed at scientific reports the cross referencing system is far more robust...and noticably less buggy.

    Yep. References are as simple as putting a \label{refname} next to thing you want to reference. Then you can link back to that reference with a \ref{refname}. If you want to use custom text for your links, you can \usepackage{hyperref} and build the clickable links with any text you want.

    Almost anything that you could think of for latex has been built and is available for use.

    In addition, image and table placement is so far above and superior to what Word or other word processors offer it's comical.

    Could you write a standard letter in latex? Yeah, but you probably wouldn't.
    Could you write an operations manual in Word? Yeah, but you probably shouldn't.

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  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    In addition, image and table placement is so far above and superior to what Word or other word processors offer it's comical.

    That REALLY depends on which version of LaTex you get. The LaTex user interface is really robust and it's very easy to add specialist functions and custom tools, but basic language for creating LaTex tables is incredibly time consuming. The LaTex manual on table creation is...extensive.

    Table generation is the number one cause of wrongly formatted LaTex, but there are a shitload of plugins that can make it faster/easier and then you can fine tune it in LaTeX if you want.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    I’m going to go against the grain and say I don’t see why you couldn’t do it in word.

    Word definitely has the ability to add hyperlinks to another word document, and you can use bookmarks to link to a specific section of another document. I don’t remember off hand the specific steps but I dont think it was particularly difficult.

    If you are trying to convert the linked word documents to PDFs, you will probably still need acrobat to maintain the links though. My guess is it will be very confusing to figure out the first time, but potentially much faster to convert if the original document has all of the links already setup.

    Edit -
    It will, without a doubt, be less painful than teaching people who are used to word how to use latex. And realistically, probably about as much work as teaching them how to use acrobat. Although word will require more work for you upfront since someone has to figure out how to do it first, where as you already know how to in acrobat.

    Jebus314 on
    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Can't Word 2013 save as PDF? Does it lose the links if you do that?

  • LeptonLepton Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Adobe professional is pretty industry standard software to spring for. If you have a current license, you should be able to put it on about 2-3 computers with the share criteria (if memory serves).

    Yeah, you'd think so, right?

    Unfortunately, not up to me, or my boss, or his boss... but a committee on the other side of the country that's still "deciding how to move forward" for the rest of the organization.

    Professionally, I use Cute PDF Writer to convert to PDF. It's free, but I don't know how it would handle the links, though.

    If I were you, I'd be concerned that your boss doesn't have the authority to buy you the basic tools you need to do your job. Might be time to update the old resume.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    I'm pretty sure you can also use Open Office to make PDFs.

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