I also discovered that I had downloaded a program to convert Word documents into PDFs for free and never shared it with anyone. How rude of me, I know. Anyways, it's called PDFConverter Desktop 1.0 Beta and is a file that you download onto your computer and use offline. Since I already have spoken so highly of OpenOffice (still free and AWESOME), I will tell you how to use PDFConverter in conjunction with it. I haven't tried it with Word so I don't know if it will work. Let me know if you've had any success with it.
Just a quick heads up; PDFConverter doesn't actually give you a nice icon or anything to click on to run the program. It just magically appears as new options in the OpenOffice program. I have no idea how that works but it does.
As promised here are the instructions:
1) Click File
2) Click Export PDF
When you are at this stage you can set permission passwords and such. You may want to but if you are going to upload it to ebook distributors or send it as attachments to your customers, you'll want to avoid this. I just click Export.
3) Name your file and click Save. Now your done.
Pretty simple huh?! That's why I like it so much.
I like how simple it is to use these two programs together. It is very easy to set your page layout to look the way you want. Sometimes the spacing can be weird and the photos will be forced onto the next page while the instructions are on the previous page. This drives me nuts and I always fix this. The program saves the file so it looks exactly the same when it is made into a PDF. Some online converters don't do that and you end up having to change the layout of the document over and over again. It frustrating and a huge time waster.
So that's all I have for now. I'll keep everyone posted on how my publishing journey goes. Good luck to all of you out there. I'd love to hear how you are doing.