Free PDF Converter | How to Convert Ebooks to PDF Using OpenOffice

Hi and welcome to my online tutorial, "Free PDF Converter | How to convert Ebooks to PDF Using Open Office." This tutorial is the second half of a two part series from, "Creating E books Tutorial | E book Creation Software".

The second part of this series, "Free PDF Converter" will show you how to convert your E book template document, (created in the first tutorial) into an exportable PDF file.

You may be asking yourself questions such as; "Why is this necessary? "What exactly, is a PDF?" and "What does it stand for?"

Hopefully, this brief definition will help to answer some of your questions.

It is necessary to have your file converted into a pdf file format to publish your e-book online. This will also allow others to view your e book with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

PDF stands for, "Portable Document File". A, pdf is a self contained file format document created by Adobe. This file may consists of text, graphics, hyperlinks etc. The pdf document file is made viewable on a variety of platforms through a program, known as Adobe Acrobat Reader.

A Quick Overview of Software Applications

Unless you are new to the internet, you are probably already familiar with the program, Adobe Acrobat Reader. Adobe acrobat reader is a free application for reading pdf files.

However, Adobe Acrobat Reader is a reader only application. In order to create a pdf file you would have to purchase Adobe Acrobat which has the ability to convert your document into a pdf. Adobe Acrobat is a costly software program

Today, however there is an alternative software that is capable of creating pdf files. Open Office is an open source software application that has a free pdf converter to download and use.

What makes Open Office so unique is, its compatibility to Microsoft Office. Open Office is a software productivity suite that comes with programs that will open and/or create excel worksheets, power point slide presentations, databases and word documents.

Its' text document section is a word processor program which also comes with a built in PDF creator. The best part about this terrific, powerhouse, productivity suite, is it's price; it's $Free.00.

In order to proceed with this tutorial you will need to download open office and complete the first tutorial. The first tutorial, is written from a beginner's mind and is an easy, step to step instructional guide; Please refer to; Steps to Creating an eBook.

You can download this free pdf converter software at Donations to support the open source applications are greatly appreciated.

Thanks to the open source initiative and open source software applications, such as Open Office with its' word processing capabilities and built in PDF creator, we are just one step away from creating our free E-book's.

And for those of you who have already completed the first tutorial and are ready to proceed to the next step, this article will focus on importing and formatting your text into your template and converting your e book into a PDF file.

Sorry for the Delay

A note to tutorial followers who have long awaited this tutorial. Please accept my apologies for not getting this continuation up earlier as promised. Due to unforeseen circumstance, my life took a slight detour with an injury, which left me unable to sit and type for any length of time. I am on the mend and am trying to get back to writing more hubs. Many thanks in advance to all, for your patience and understanding. Sage

"Let's get started; shall we?" There are several ways to approach this tutorial. One is to follow these step by step, (beginner's mind) instructions below.

The other is to watch the video to the right and follow along. The video is accurate it just goes at a much faster pace. Please feel free to use a combination of both or whatever works best for you.

Beginner's Mind

Remember, these step by step directions are written from a beginner's mind, assuming that you know absolutely nothing about Open Office. Therefore, someone without any computer knowledge should be able to follow these step by step directions.

Let's assume you have already written your book and have already followed the first tutorial and completed your Ebook template.

Step by Step Directions

STEP I: Open the file on your computer where your book content exists. If you haven't already given your chapter's titles, you will need to do this. Then at the top of your page make a list of the titles of each chapter. On the top of this list create the title, Table of Contents (See Diagram A). Highlight and copy the Table of Contents and with the list of chapters onto your mouse. (See directions below for *copying and pasting content if assistance is needed with this step.) Otherwise, proceed to the next step.

(Mouse instructions for *copying and pasting content) At the beginning of your content, click the button of the left side of your mouse (also known as left click your mouse button), hold the button down and drag your mouse to the end of your content. You will see that you have highlighted your content. Let go of the left button. All of your content should still be highlighted. Now click on the right button on your mouse, you will see a list, click on the word copy. Now all of your content is on your mouse and it can be carried over and pasted into your ebook template.

STEP II. Next open your open office application. Go to file, open and locate your ebook template that you created in the first tutorial. Click on the file and open. Scroll down to the last page you created, which should be the Disclaimer and Author Page.

  • Below the Author page (last page to the right on template below) you will need to insert a page break before proceeding. Go to the menu bar, click on the insert tab, scroll down to manual break and click it on. Click page break and then click OK.

Sample Ebook Template from Tutorial 1

STEP III. Next we need to paste our Table of Contents onto our new page. Click on your right mouse button and click paste. This page will contain the list of chapters only.

  • Below this table of contents you will need to insert a page break before proceeding. Go to the menu bar, click on the insert tab, scroll down to manual break and click on. Click page break and then click OK.

Step IV. Next we will insert each of our chapters one by one by inserting each chapter with its' title and content, being careful to separate each page by inserting a page break(as noted above) .

To do this repeat Step IV over and over with each new chapter until all of your chapters have been pasted into your ebook. Be sure to insert a page break between each new page. This sounds like a pretty tall order but it really isn't. Here is a little shortcut they will save some time.

SHORTCUT For a shortcut back to your page with all of your content click the alt and tab key simultaneously. This will allow you to toggle back and forth between the two pages provided you didn't already close the other page. If you did close it, then just reopen the page before applying this shortcut.

You can continue to utilize this shortcut method to toggle back and forth between your Ebook template and your content file. Once back on your content page, you can copy a new chapter. Alt + Tab simultaneously and you are back to your Ebook Template where you can paste your next chapter. Repeat Step III, over and over until all of your chapters are inserted. Note: Always be sure to insert page breaks between each page.

Step V. Next we will go to the first page of each chapter and turn our chapter titles into headings or reference points. The end result will allow someone to click on a chapter title on our Table of Contents page which will automatically link to the corresponding chapter in the book).

  • First we need to create reference points for our headings or chapter titles. Go to the menu bar, click on format, with your mouse scroll down the list until you see styles and formattingĀ  and click on styles and formatting with your right mouse button. A new list appears.
  • Scroll down to the Heading Section then go back to your Chapter one title on the first page of your chapter and place the cursor on your mouse at the end of the title. ( Watch video if necessary.) Go back to the Headings section on the scrollable list and double click on Heading 1.(Repeat Step V over and over with each consecutive chapter). Clicking on Heading 2 for Chapter 2, Heading 3 for Chapter 3, so on and so forth.

Step VI. Next we will scroll back to our Table of Contents to create links from our chapter titles in our Table of Contents, to the corresponding chapters in the book. We will do this one chapter at a time.

  • Highlight the first chapter title. (To highlight - right click your mouse and drag it over the title from left to right. Once the title is highlighted you will take your finger of the mouse button. The title should remain highlighted.)

Step VII. Next go the menu bar, with your right mouse button click on the insert tab. Scroll down to the word hyperlink and click it on. This will open the hyperlink box.(This section may be helpful to watch on the video.)

  • On the left side inside this box you will see the the icon for document, click it on.
  • Next go over to the right and double click on the icon that looks like a target.
  • This will open another box, scroll down and double click on the word headings. You should see the titles of your chapters.
  • Click on the first heading, then click apply. This will change the link into a hyperlink.
  • Go to the next chapter and repeat step VII again. Do this for step for each consecutive chapter. When completed close out the hyperlink box.

Step VIII. You will also need to Insert a hyperlink for your web address - Go to the end of your document, highlight your web address by holding down right mouse button and scrolling over left to right.

  • Go to the menu bar and click on the insert tab.
  • Scroll down to hyperlink and click on internet.
  • Next to URL type in your web address, then click o.k. and close out.

Export PDF and Save

Step IX. First go to the menu bar and click on file, scroll down to, export as PDF. The first section, Range is referring to the the range of pages. For the range of pages you will want to select all. You can leave the other default settings as they are.

Next go to the security tab. You will want to restrict permissions to your ebook. Go to set permission password. Choose a secure password, retyping it to confirm it, then click o,k. This is important because you do not want others to be able to edit your book.

  • Next section applies to printing options. The default, printing permitted high resolution should be already checked. If it is not checked you will want to check this.
  • The following section refers to changes. You will want to select changes not permitted. You will also want to click on, enable copy of content and enable text access for accessibility. Next, click on the export button.
  • You will need to type in the title of your book, saving it as a PDF - portable document format. Last, but not least, you will want to save this file to your desktop. saving it to your desktop, by using the drop down menu above the title of your book and redirecting it to your desktop if it is not already there. Click on save.

Step X. Export your book to your desktop by saving the title to desktop. Close program and go to your desktop.

Your new book will appear on your desktop and will open with adobe reader. Proofread and test all of your links to be sure that they are working properly. Congratulations to all, that have completed this tutorial!

Article(C)2010 Sage Williams. All rights reserved.

The copyright to this article is owned by Sage Williams. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

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Comments 13 comments

save my system profile image

save my system 6 years ago from United Kingdom - London

PDF files provides more security and are certainly difficult to brake. You can have free software available on internet or you can take help of online converters like to have free conversion.

MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Welcome back Sage, hope you're feeling better. Thanks for the information, always useful as usual.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

save my system - Thanks for reading and your comment. I had never heard of so I quickly checked it out.

I would advise an air of caution to anyone using this to fully read and understand the terms before using.

MPG- Great to see you, thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my long awaited hub. It feels great to be back in the forum. I know that I will not be back 100% for awhile but will contribute as much as my body will allow me to at this point.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Nicely written so any idiot (including this blonde one) could figure it out! I may need this so bookmarking for future reference. Love how easily you explained it all. Voted up!

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

akirchner - so nice to see you. Thanks so much for stopping by. I had to pick up where I left off. I hope that it will be useful for future reference.

Kindly thanks for the vote up,


triosol profile image

triosol 6 years ago

Great Hub. Very well explain. Thanks for sharing such a valuable information.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

triosol - thanks for stopping and commenting. I hope that it is useful to you some day.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

Oh my how useful, thank you for the guidance on how to use a Free PDF Converter | How to Convert Ebooks to PDF Using Open Office.

What an amazing tool, I can't wait to use it. Thanks again!

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

katiem - So glad that this was helpful to you. I do wish you the best of luck. Sage

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 5 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Wow. Thank you for this very good instruction and information. I have bookmarked it for when my brain cells are absorbent. Thank you again.

nenlet 5 years ago

Tenorshare PDF Converter is a 5-in-1 PDF utility which helps you batch or partial convert PDF files to editable Words, or converts Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel Spreadsheets to PDF files at one time.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 5 years ago Author

Lilly Grillzit - So sorry that I didn't respond sooner. I am glad that this hub has been helpful to you. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. It is greatly appreciated.

nenlet - thanks for the information.


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 5 years ago from Texas, USA

Thanks for sharing this useful information.

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