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Find the details for PDF conversion in Your Clemson Thesis & Dissertation: Guidelines, Tips & Tools, Step 3.

Before you convert ...

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

Converting your document to PDF

Word or RTF source files

Current versions of Word allow you to save your documents as PDF through the Print menu. If you also have Adobe Acrobat on your computer, you may see an Acrobat tab in your word menu options, and the option to “Save as Adobe PDF” in your print menu.

ProQuest’s options

ProQuest’s ETD submission interface no longer offers a built-in PDF conversion tool, though you may upload your Word file and let ProQuest convert it for you. Note that if you have ProQuest do your PDF conversion, you may not have as much control over how the final file looks as if you convert your manuscript file(s) yourself. ProQuest’s Resources & Guidelines web page and PDF FAQs contain links to conversion resources that will walk you through the conversion process and address questions you may have about PDF files. If your manuscript is a single Word DOC, DOCX, or RTF file, and you’d prefer that ProQuest’s technical staff do the PDF conversion for you, you can skip the information below, and go on to the submission process.

LaTeX source files

If your manuscript was formatted 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 Jöckel 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, is not a DOC, DOCX, or RTF file, or you find the Word PDF tool unhelpful, there are several options for converting your manuscript.

  • 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 of charge 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, as an enrolled student you may download under Clemson University’s institutional license by visiting the CCIT software download site.
  • Alternatively, Adobe offers a subscription service at a modest monthly fee for online PDF conversion.
  • You can also 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.
  • While many departmental computer labs have Acrobat installed on their devices, the CCIT labs do not.
  • Use an online search to find free or economical tools to convert various types of files to PDF format.
  • If you’re 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 copy machines capable of converting a document to a PDF. Contact your department for more information.

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 send a message or query through their training and support page.

If you still have conversion issues, seriously, don’t panic. You will not fail to graduate due to PDF conversion issues if you ask us for help before the deadline. The Manuscript Review staff have experience in creating and trouble­shooting PDF files and can help.

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.

Back to Theses and Dissertations Overview