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Before You Convert to PDF

Prerequisites for This Stage

Your manuscript first must be properly formatted and ready for submission. If you need to make changes after you convert your manuscript to PDF, you should make them to the original text file (Word DOC or DOCX file, LaTeX file, RTF file, etc.) and then reconvert it to a new PDF.

Converting Your Document to PDF

Word or RTF Source Files

ProQuest’s ETD submission interface no longer offers a PDF conversion tool, but ProQuest's Resources & Guidelines webpage and PDF FAQs contain links to conversion reources that will walk you through the conversion process and address questions you may have about PDF files. If your manuscript is a single Word or RTF file, and you'd prefer that ProQuest's technical staff do the PDF conversion for you, you can skip to the submission process by going to the SUBMIT page.

LaTeX Source Files

If your manuscript was built in LaTeX and you have access to Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional, simply generate a .prn file of your LaTeX file and use Acrobat to convert it to PDF. If you do not have access to Adobe Acrobat, there are several online resources that will help you to convert your file to PDF using the dvips - Ppdf driver included in many distributions of LaTeX. Dr. Patrick Jokel at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Germany has created a very helpful page here on converting LaTeX to PDF. Another conversion resource is Ghostscript.

Other Source File Types

If your manuscript was created using a program other than Word and is not an RTF file, there are several options for converting your manuscript.

Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional

You can use Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional; these products can convert many file types to PDF. The Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free and is pre-installed on many computers, cannot create PDF files; it can only read them. If you do not have Acrobat Standard or Professional installed on your computer, there are several ways to gain access to the software:

  • Download under Clemson University License
    As of April 2014, Clemson University holds an institutional license for Adobe Creative Cloud software, which means that students, faculty, and staff may download and use Adobe Acrobat Pro as long as they hold a current CU username and password. Please visit CCIT’s Adobe information page for access and how-tos.

  • Adobe PDF Online Subscription
    Adobe offers a subscription service at a modest monthly fee for online PDF conversion.

  • Free Trial
    You can download a free 30-day trial version of Adobe Acrobat Professional; after the 30-day trial period, you may purchase the program on the Adobe website or from your preferred reseller.

  • Campus Computer Labs
    Many departmental computer labs have Adobe Acrobat installed; CCIT labs do NOT.

Free Online Services

You can access free online services to convert various types of files to PDF format:

  • DocMorph
    One of the simplest online conversion services is the National Library of Medicine's DocMorph. This service can convert 50 types of files to PDF and can combine many documents of differing file types into one PDF in just one step.

  • PDF Online
    PDF Online can convert the following formats to PDF: .doc, .ppt, .xls, .pps, .html, .txt, .pub, .jpg, .gif, .tif, .bmp, .png, .emf, and .wmf.

Other Methods

If you are unable to convert your manuscript to PDF using any of the methods above, you can always use a digital/document sender. There are several such machines on campus. In addition, most departments have advanced copying machines capable of converting a document to a PDF. Contact your department for more information.

Conversion Issues

ProQuest Conversion Issues

If you have issues with ProQuest's PDF conversion process, start by visiting the ProQuest FAQs page (click on "PDF Questions." If you don't find the resources you need there, email their support staff or call 1-877-408-5027 (available 9 AM to 6 PM EST Monday - Friday, excluding US holidays).

Other Conversion Issues

If you are still having issues with your conversion after trying the tips detailed above, please email ­ Include specifics such as the file format you are working with, your operating platform (Windows, MacOS, Linux), what method and program you are attempting to use for the conversion, and the results and/or errors you're getting. Attach samples of your original files and/or output files if relevant. Some common PDF conversion issues involve font and image embedding or image quality problems; Manuscript Review staff should be able to help you solve these.

Don’t Panic...

Finally, don’t panic. You will NOT fail to graduate due to conversion issues if you ask us for help before the deadline.

The Next Step

Once you have successfully converted your document to a PDF, visit the SUBMIT page to learn how to begin the Upload process.

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