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Lean Tools, Training, and Systems

How to use any

PDF writing software

The most common way to print a PDF...

In Excel, Word, or PowerPoint...

Ribbon bar > File > Print (or CTRL+P)

then in the 'Printer' dropdown list (see image)
choose your PDF writing software

such as Microsoft Print to PDF

(requires Excel 2010 or higher)

or any other (often free) PDF writer such as:

Foxit PDF
PDF 995
Cute PDF

Print PDF

Or the other way to print a PDF...

Ribbon bar > File > Save As > PDF

Advantages of Microsoft Print to PDF

  1. Can print an A3 Report on 11x17 or A3 paper size
    (Save As PDF cannot)
  2. Works with the special Print buttons found on several Systems2win templates
    (that allow you print different sections of the page)

Advantages of Save As PDF

  1. Link icons can have active hyperlinks
    (Link icons are only unlinked images if you use MS Print to PDF)
  2. Links to file or network documents can be active
    (only links to web pages can be active if using MS Print to PDF)

    but for links to file or network documents to work using Save As PDF,
    you must uncheck the box for 'Update Links On Save'
    (in File > Options > Advanced > Web Options button > File tab)

    and even then, links to file or network documents will only work when the link is the only text in the cell.
    (unlike web links, which are active even when surrounded by other text in the cell)


Hyperlinks in PDF's


Hyperlinks are automatically activated when you simply create your PDF

when you use any of our recommended free PDF writing applications.

Two professional ways to make hyperlinks

Systems2win menu > Insert Link Icon

Systems2win menu > Insert Link Icon

1) Link Icons

If your document will be used as an Excel file (by licensed users of your Systems2win templates)

and/or if you use 'Save As PDF' (as described above)

then you can insert a Link icon from the Systems2win menu, then right-click that shape and select 'Link'

Your users can then just click the Link icon to follow a hyperlink

2) Hyperlinked Text

In addition to (or instead of) the Link icon, you can type the full URL path within your text.

Then your PDF users will be able to click those printed URL's.

Link icons

Tiny URL

If you Format Cells to Shrink To Fit, then a long hyperlink can fit within a very small cell, and the (perhaps unreadable) tiny link might still be active in your PDF

The shorter the link, the better it will work.

For Internet links, you can use to convert long links to short ones.


For links to documents on your own network, use your Document Storage and Naming template to design folder structures with short paths.

testimonial quote

Train your users

You will want to to teach your users to look for the tiny text link nearby wherever they see a link icon symbol in a PDF, and teach them how to zoom and hover their mouse over such a tiny little thing to select it.

Once people get used to this convention, it can be extremely useful for distributing great-looking PDFs with active hyperlinks to related documents and videos.

Avoid Broken Hyperlinks

See Tips to Avoid Broken Links

All hyperlinks in any PDF should always be hard links that specify the full path to the linked file.

Learn more about links

How to use hyperlinks in Microsoft Excel

See a demonstration

See a demonstration of how to include active hyperlinks in your PDF's

in either the New User Training video or the training video for the To Do List template

To comply with your Systems2win License Agreement

Any document created using a Systems2win template that is distributed outside of licensed users must be in a non-editable format, such as printed paper, a screen shot image, or a PDF.

Exception: You can allow your hired consulting firm to use your Systems2win templates on your behalf as long as the template is used only on your behalf, and each template is provided one-at-a-time on an as-justified basis.
To use the templates for any other client, your consulting firm will need to purchase a consulting license.  See License Agreement.


PDF's from Microsoft Word

How to generate a PDF

Same as Excel. (see instructions above)

How to make hyperlinks that can be clicked

Rather than hiding the link beneath blue underlined text, instead get in the habit of supplementing the text with a human-readable hyperlink path, (perhaps in a smaller font), like this

If you follow this suggested convention, your PDF writing software will automatically find the link and make it active.





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