Export your Word document to a PDF to print with Blurb

  • Updated

Save your Word document as a PDF using the steps below, then upload the PDF using our PDF to Book workflow for printing.

Create a PDF from your Word document

Open your Word document and review it carefully for typos and layout issues, then follow the steps below to create a PDF. Your PDF must exactly match our specifications in order to upload properly. Be sure to select inches as your Unit of Measurement in our specification tool, since Word expects inches as the input.

For Microsoft Office - MacOSX

  1. Click on File > Page Setup.
  2. On Format For, select Any Printer.
  3. On Paper Size, select Manage Custom Sizes.
  4. Press + to add a new size.
  5. Set the paper size width and height to the desired book size you would like to print. Check our dimensions for these sizes.
  6. Click OK twice to get back to the main document.
  7. Click File > Save As.
  8. Select File Format > PDF and click Save.

For Microsoft Office - Windows

  1. Click the Page Layout tab > Size
  2. Select More Paper Sizes at the bottom of the dropdown menu
  3. Under Paper size select Custom size from dropdown
  4. Set the paper size width and height to the desired book size you would like to print. Check our dimensions for these sizes.
  5. Set Paper source to Default Tray
  6. Select Apply to Whole Document & click OK
  7. Click File > Save As
  8. Select Format > PDF and click Options
  9. Select checkbox labeled PDF/A
  10. Click Save

Review your PDF

Now that you've saved your Word file as a PDF, open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat and review it carefully.

Set up Adobe Acrobat preferences

In Acrobat, open Preferences and click on the Page Display tab in the Categories list on the left.

  • Deselect Use local fonts.
  • Set Use Overprint Preview is to Always.
  • Select Show art, trim & bleed boxes.
  • Scroll down the Categories list to Units and select Points as the Page Units. Once done, click OK to save your settings.
  • View -> Page Display, select Two-Up and Show Cover Page During Two-Up.

When reviewing, be sure to look for:

  • Typos, punctuation, and text or images placed too close to the trim line.
  • If you want your image or background color to print all way to the page edge, be sure that it reaches all the way to the page edge, not just to the trim line. 
  • Make any necessary changes in your Word file and then save a new PDF.

Sample file showing trim lines in PDF.

The below image shows this PDF in Adobe Acrobat with Show art, trim & bleed boxes turned on. The area between the green and blue lines will be trimmed, so don't place any content there that you wouldn't mind losing in the finished product.

Upload your PDF

There are two ways to upload your PDF: as a single PDF file that includes both cover and pages, or as two separate PDF files–one PDF for the cover and one PDF for the pages. 

Option 1: Upload a single PDF file

For this method you will upload the cover and pages as a single PDF file.

  • The first page of your PDF will be used as the front cover.
  • The last page of your PDF will be used as the back cover.

Option 2: Upload cover and pages as two separate PDF files

Upload the cover and pages as two distinct PDF files. 

  • The cover PDF must have all components (back cover, spine and front cover) included as a single-page PDF.
  • Want to print on the inside cover? This requires magazine-sized documents and a two-page cover PDF.

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