How to get bookmarked PDF from Word document

3. Convert to a Bookmarked PDF

The background

Only after the titles in your Word document are properly formatted with Heading styles it's just a few clicks to get a bookmarked PDF. 
If you have not formatted titles using the Heading styles you need to do that first. Navigate back to Section 2 for instructions on applying Heading styles. 

MS Word versions for Windows starting from 2007 have a built-in function to generate a bookmarked PDF. Although Word for MAC has the PDF conversion possibility, only the most recent versions have the bookmarking feature. Best practice for MAC users having no bookmarking feature is to get the document converted on a Windows PC. 

There is a possibility to add bookmarks to a ready PDF but it has considerable functional disadvantages. Such editing of PDF documents could be made for example with Adobe Pro (Adobe Acrobat 9) or by using online solutions. Because of the functional disadvantages, we do not recommend these solutions. 

What to do

  1. Open your Word document
  2. Navigate to the File tab, select Save As (select save location)
  3. Select Save as type: PDF
    The default save option is probably Word Document (.docx) format. Select instead PDF from the drop-down menu. Do not save yet.

  4. Set up the bookmarking option
    A.) In Word for PC:
    As soon as you select PDF a new Options button appears. Click it.
    In some versions of Word instead of the Options button, you will find a More options link. Click it.

    B.) MAC users who have a bookmarking feature should find and select Best for electronic distribution and accessibility. Notice, it uses online services! If done skip to point 8
    and open the PDF file.
    If you do not see the above-mentioned option your Word version does not have the bookmarking feature. Please convert your document on a PC (e.g. CEU computer).

  5. Add bookmarking settings
    Select these options: Create bookmarks using: Headings. Click OK.

  6. To open the converted PDF automatically have the Open file after publishing option checked (below the Options button).

  7. Save the file
    It will take a few seconds till the PDF file is generated and opened.

  8. Check the bookmarks in the new PDF file.
    Click the bookmarks icon to open the side panel.

    Click each bookmark (1.) to check if it navigates you to the right place. Note the foldable structure (2.) of titles.
    Note, documents written on MAC might have bookmarking errors (linking to the wrong place, etc.). If this happens, turn to Computer and Statistics Center's Coordinator or Course Instructor for assistance.