Pagemaker to PDF Conversion

By Daniel Francis

Adobe Pagemaker came on the market in 1985 as a print layout and design software. Adobe issued upgrades of the software up to and including Pagemaker 7 then folded the abilities of Pagemaker into Adobe Indesign in 2004. From that date, Adobe no longer developed Pagemaker as a product and instead promoted InDesign as its primary print and Web design and publishing software. Adobe InDesign will open Pagemaker files. From InDesign you can generate new files or export old Pagemaker files to PDF. Adobe Acrobat will also convert Pagemaker files to PDF.

Using Adobe Acrobat

With Adobe Acrobat, you can convert old Pagemaker files without needing Pagemaker or InDesign. Adobe offers a free trial of Acrobat, which is generally included in the Adobe Creative Suite. If you have Adobe Acrobat, right-click on a Pagemaker file from your computer's hard drive and "Convert to PDF" should be an option that pops up. Scroll to that option and click. Acrobat will convert your file. You can also open Adobe Acrobat and choose "Create a PDF" from the first menu. You will see a "Create PDF" window. Choose "Create PDF from file" and open the Pagemaker file from the "Open" window.

Outputting PDF in Pagemaker

In Pagemaker you can export a file to PDF from the file menu. The file must already be saved as a Pagemaker file before you can export it as a PDF. From the "File" menu, choose "Export as PDF." Pagemaker will offer you print or "Onscreen" options as PDF files. Print files are designed to print out on paper and often generate larger files. Use "Onscreen" for PDFs that will be viewed on a computer or shared through the Internet.

Converting Pagemaker Files to InDesign

In Indesign, go to "File" from the main menu and scroll to "Open." Open your Pagemaker file. Go to "File" and "Save As" to save your new file as an InDesign document. With your updated file, you can make changes to the original Pagemaker file for future use.

Using InDesign to Generate a PDF File

Open your file. Go to "File" and "Export." InDesign generates a copy of your file as a PDF. Adobe Acrobat will automatically open the new file for you to see.

Optimizing PDF Files for the Web

If you are working with older Pagemaker files, you may want to update the data in the file for quick downloading on the Web. Adobe Acrobat allows you to optimize PDF files---that is, make the file a little smaller for quicker downloading. Use the Optimizing tool from the main file menu in Adobe Acrobat to optimize your file.