Working with PDF Files using Adobe

This article outlines the differences between Adobe's free (Acrobat Reader) and paid PDF applications (Acrobat Standard and Pro). It also provides instructions on how to export a Word document as a PDF.

Available Software

Adobe Reader

While there are plenty of variants to the Adobe Suite, we suggest the free-to-use Adobe Reader (we recommend declining free antivirus software offers). It doesn't allow you to edit PDF files, but it will allow you to view them and is considered the standard PDF viewer.

Adobe Acrobat Pro

Adobe Acrobat Pro is the paid version of Adobe Reader. This software provides extensive tools to edit, create, and manage PDF files (again, we recommend declining free antivirus software offers). Adobe Acrobat Pro is available on any of the Wharton Public Computers (as a desktop shortcut). 

Note: Because the university's Adobe licensing does not allow for deployment on multi-user virtualized desktops, FoxIT's PhantomPDF editor has been made available in the Virtual Lab as an alternative for student use.

Please contact your IT support representative for questions regarding Adobe Acrobat Pro access (see below).

Creating PDFs

If you are using a recent version of Microsoft Office, you can create PDFs by exporting the Word document you are working on:

  1. From the Application, click File > Save as Adobe PDF.

  2. Choose a location to save the file and click Save.

Accessibility Considerations

PDF files may not be accessible to all users. We recommend reviewing these guidelines if any of your readers may need online viewing accommodations:


 If you run into an error installing Adobe products or have other questions,  contact your IT Support Team:

Faculty & PhD Students:  Academic Distributed Representatives (login required)

Staff: Administrative Support

Students: Wharton Computing Student Support