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What does Prep4PDF do for me?

Why turn PowerPoint presentations into Acrobat PDFs?

You may already know the advantages of converting presentations to PDF. If not, here's a quick rundown:

But here's the rub ...

If you've converted your PowerPoint presentations to PDF, you've also noticed that all the interactivity disappears. Even if you use Adobe's PDFMaker add-in, you still lose a lot of PowerPoint features.

The Action buttons don't act, the movies don't move and your music is strictly "Sounds of Silence".

If you want your interactivity back, you have to open the PDF in Acrobat and recreate it all.

And oops - if you don't have Acrobat, you can't edit the PDF, so you can't recreate anything.

And oops - whenever there are changes to the original PowerPoint file, you have to re-make the PDF and redo all of your work in Acrobat.

Are we having fun yet?

Ah, but that was then ...

... and this is now, and now there's Prep4PDF. Now you can simply click a button in PowerPoint and get a PDF that preserves all of the web links, action buttons, comments, and much more from your original PowerPoint presentation.

Prep4PDF does all of this for you automatically and it works with Adobe Acrobat, or any other Compatible PDF-making software.

And it does it for you in seconds, so last minute changes to the PowerPoint file are no longer cause for terror.

I already have Adobe Acrobat's PDFMaker tool. Why do I need Prep4PDF?

This is a list of what is and isn't supported when you make PDFs with Prep4PDF compared with the PDFMaker macros included in Acrobat. Note: It appears that the Jaws PDF Creator "Create PDF File" feature works pretty much the same way as Adobe's PDFMaker.

PowerPoint Feature Prep4PDF PDFMaker Details
Action SettingsYesNoPrep4PDF converts MouseClick (but not MouseOver) Next/Previous/Home/End, etc. action settings on both slides and masters.
Hyperlink action buttonsYesNoPrep4PDF converts web URLs, email links, ftp links and links to other documents
Hyperlinks in textYesYesSee above
Hyperlinks applied to shapesYesNoSee above
Links to external files/documents as PDFsYesNoPrep4PDF can convert the links as is or convert them as links to PDFs (in case you want to convert a whole collection of files to PDF).
Slide TransitionsYesPartialBoth convert PowerPoint slide transitions to closest equivalent PDF transition; Prep4PDF also lets you remove transitions or override all transitions with a specific transition effect, direction and speed.
SoundsPartialNoPrep4PDF converts slide transition sounds; you must ensure that the sound file remains in the same folder as the resulting PDF.
MoviesPartialNoPrep4PDF converts some types of movie links to file links but Acrobat's limited support for movies makes this unreliable. We're looking at ways to improve it.
BookmarksYesPartialPrep4PDF creates a bookmark for each slide in the presentation. The bookmark text is the slide's title, if any, or "Slide #" if not. PDFMaker creates bookmarks for some but not all slides, leaves bookmark blank if the slide has no title.
Document InfoYesLimitedPrep4PDF picks up and converts PowerPoint's Title, Author, Subject and Keywords. PDFMaker reliably picks up only Author. Prep4PDF can get properties from the PowerPoint presentation, can supply default values to use for properties missing from the PowerPoint, or use your preferred properties, regardless of the PowerPoint properties.
CommentsYes??Prep4PDF converts PowerPoint 97-2003 comments into PDF comments or annotations. PDFMaker converts them into rectangle annotations with text, not comments.
Page Open SettingsYesNoYou can choose to have your PDF open automatically in Full Screen mode or with Thumbnails, Outline or None.
Link color/StyleYes???Set the color and outline style you want for links with a simple INI file entry.
Works with non-Adobe PDF-making softwareYesNoPrep4PDF works with other applications that create PDF, such as PDF Creator and GhostScript; Adobe's PDFMaker is available only with Acrobat and requires that you use Acrobat Distiller.
Toolbar can be removed at willYesNoYou can hide Prep4PDF's toolbar easily; PDFMaker's can't be hidden, and you can't dock it where you want it.
Conversion speedSmokin'SlowPokin'Same blank PPT slide with two comments, both using same Adobe PDF driver/Distiller. Prep4PDF took 7 seconds, PDFMaker took 25 seconds
AnimationsNoNoAcrobat/PDF offers some support for animations, but only in the most recent release of Acrobat; if and when they document how to work with PDF animations, we'll look into adding it to Prep4PDF.

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