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Office of the Provost

Tips and Tricks for Creating PDF Documents

Note: these are provided as a courtesy and are in no way a directive on how you need to create, format, develop, compile; or any other “instruction” on compiling your dossier. These suggestions have been provided by those that have already completed the process, and others who have experience in file conversion.


Care should be taken to ensure that the materials are clear and easy to read. It is recommended that whenever possible, documents/items be printed to PDF, rather than scanned. This helps with both clarity and with file size.

If items must be scanned, they should be scanned to PDF, not a .jpg or other image file. Scanning in black and white helps with file size and clarity. For assistance and information on creating PDF documents, please refer to the website. Candidates should submit files according to the instructions on the Office of the Provost's Promotion and Tenure page



Prepare your dossier from the perspective of the reviewing committees.  Adobe Acrobat Pro and other editing software will allow you to create "Bookmarks" within a PDF file. This also allows for easy navigation to different years or groupings of pages, or "sections" within a PDF document. There are a number of tutorials available online such as the Adobe Acrobat website and the Foxit PhantomPDF support website.

If you do not already have a PDF editing software, an alternative to Adobe Pro is Foxit PhantomPDF Foxit Software App Store. They have an educational version for $29.95/year. You have to use your address to get the educational pricing. This is just one option if you are looking for PDF editing software.



Print to PDF or Save as PDF

If you have documents already in electronic format, but not in PDF format, these can be printed to PDF

Microsoft Office has a “create PDF” feature when saving files.

There are links below to some software, or software that has a trial period that may allow for you to “print to PDF.” The listing of these is in no way an endorsement of any product or guarantee that it will meet your needs.



If you have hard copy documents that need to be converted to a PDF, here are a few recommendations when scanning:
  • Try to scan each section as a separate file – this will help with the file size and organizing your documents. Otherwise, you will need to combine all of the separate documents into the PDF file
  • Remember that when you are scanning any sort of document, it is an “image” of the document so the file sizes will vary based on the document. Color documents, if scanned in color, may be larger in size.
  • If you do not have access to a scanner, the Cook Library has one that is available for use. Check with the Reference Desk for information on how to use it.



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