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PDF Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks

This guide has been created to give basic assistance to lawyers and support staff who are experiencing problems with their PDF documents.

 

 

Getting Started

You will need the following:

• Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded for free.

• PDF writer*, such as Adobe Acrobat Writer or CutePDF, to convert word processing documents to PDF or PDF/A.

• A scanner for documents that cannot be converted to PDF such as exhibits. A low-volume scanner, which can be purchased for under $100, will be adequate.

*If you are using a temporary/ trial version of PDF software, please be sure to view your documents prior to filing your documents on CM/ECF. Some temporary and trial versions of PDF generating software programs will place an electronic stamp on each page of the document until you register or purchase the software. You may be required to refile your document if a PDF stamp appears on the document.

 

 

Converting Documents to PDF

The court prefers that word processing be converted to PDF rather than printed to hardcopy and scanned. Converted PDFs have searchable text, which is useful to the court and other users. If you are including a signature page without an electronic signature, scan the signature and replace the signature page of your converted document. Please refer to PDF creator program, such as Adobe Acrobat, for instructions regarding inserting and deleting pages.

There are two basic ways to covert word processing documents to PDF: printing to a PDF printer or saving as /publishing to PDF.

Printing to PDF resolves many issues with uploading and, once filed in CM/ECF, downloading PDFs. However, printing to PDF will remove hyperlinks.

 

Microsoft Word

Print

• Save your document as Word document as you normally would.
• Go to the File menu and select Print.
• From the Printer drop-down, select your PDF printer, such as Adobe PDF.
• The Save PDF file as window appears.
• Browse to a location and name PDF.
• Click [Save].


Save As

• Save your document as Word document as you normally would.
• Go to the File menu and select Save As.
• From the Save as type drop-down, select PDF(.pdf).
• Name the file as desired.
• Click [Save].

 

Corel WordPerfect

Print

• Save your document as WordPerfect document as you normally would.
• Go to the File menu and select Print.
• Select your PDF printer, such as Adobe PDF, as your printer.
• The Save PDF file as window appears.
• Browse to a location and name PDF.
• Click [Save].


Publish to PDF

• Save your document as WordPerfect document as you normally would.
• Go to the File menu and select Publish to PDF...
• Name the file as desired.
• From the PDF Style drop-down, select PDF(.pdf).
• Click [Save].

 

Scanning Documents to PDF

First, consult the instructions for your scanner. You should be able to scan several images types, such as TIFF, JPEG and PDF. You will need to select PDF. Your scanning program should allow you to adjust your PDF settings.

• Resolution: 300 dpi (dots per inch)
• Image or Picture Type:
    * Black and White
    * Color (only when necessary, e.g., photographs)
    * DO NOT use Grayscale

When possible, please OCR (Optical Character Recognition) your scanned documents. Avoid OCRing photographs, documents with many graphics or poor quality text. If your scanner does not have OCR capabilities, many PDF creator programs, such Adobe Acrobat, can OCR scanned documents. If you do choose to OCR your document, open it using Adobe Reader to verify that your PDF is still legible.

 

Checklist for Creating PDF Documents

• Keep the file size under 15 MB (15,360 KB).
• Stick with a basic fonts, such as:

    * Times New Roman
    * Arial
    * Courier New

The PDF reader looks on the computer for the embedded font. When the embedded font is not available on the computer, the text may not display correctly. Check that the fonts of special characters, such as bullets, use a basic font. To preserve page layout, graphics, and text, embed the fonts in the PDF by converting to PDF/A.

• Avoid using hyperlinks. For further information related to hyperlinks, please refer to the Electronic Case Filing Procedures Guide - Civil Cases and the Electronic Case Filing Procedures Guide - Criminal Cases.

• Settings for scanned documents:

    * Resolution: 300 dpi
    * Image/Picture Type: black and white (NOT grayscale)
    * Limit color, .e.g., photographs

• Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available for free. If your PDF does not open correctly in Adobe Acrobat Reader, adjust your PDF configuration and re-print or re-scan your document. If the PDF does not open correctly, print your PDF to a new PDF.

    • In Acrobat Reader, select File, Print…
    • The Printer window opens.
    • In the Name drop-down, select Adobe PDF.
    • In the Print Range area, select All.
    • Click [OK].
    • The Save PDF File As window opens.
    • Browse to desired location, enter file name and click [Save].

 

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