PDF Setup For Print
If you have Adobe Acrobat (not Adobe Reader) installed on your system then you will be able to print to a PDF from any program that allows you to print. In most situations printing to a PDF is the preferred way of creating a PDF file. Some programs like Microsoft Office and Publisher allow you to publish to a PDF which is also a valid method of creating a PDF.
You may also see an option in your program to save as a PDF. This should only be used as a last resort option. In many programs when you chose to save as a PDF the PDF will then retain all of its editable layers and properties. You might be thinking this is a good thing but when we go to setup this file for printing when can run into problems with transparancies, fonts, and other elements of your design. So your first choice should always be print to PDF.
Print to PDF
To print to a PDF you will need to make sure you have Adobe Acrobat installed or some other 3rd party PDF print driver. Then in your design program you will want to select print as if you were going to print the document to your home printer. In the Printer dropdown you may see your home printer selected. You will want to click the dropdown and select Adobe PDF.
Once you have selected Adobe PDF as your printer you will want to edit the properties of the printer. This is usually done by finding a button that says properties, page setup, advanced, or something similar. When you click this button a dialog box like the one below will be displayed. By default Standard will be selected in the default settings. You will want to change this dropdown from Standard to High Quality Print.
If you were to leave the default settings at Standard then your images would be downsampled to a lower quality. By selecting High Quality Print you are ensuring that your images will maintain their resolution and that important properties like font embedding will be included when you print the PDF. Once you have changed the setting to High Quality Print you can click okay and then click Print to create your PDF file.
Once your PDF is created you will want to open it and carefully check that everything looks the same as it does in your design program. If everything looks good you are now able to upload this finished PDF to our system with no worries.
The default setting will be standard. You do not want to print your PDF with the standard setting. This will give you less than optimal printing results.
Change the default setting to High Quality Print for the best printing result. Also make sure that you have Adobe PDF Security at none and uncheck "Rely on system fonts only".
Adobe Acrobat is your best choice when creating PDF files. Acrobat gives you the most options when creating PDF files as well as the ability to merge and combine multiple files into a single PDF. Check out all of Acrobat's features at Adobe's official site.