The following is a repost of my article from ENWorld forum.

GM's Tools; Miniguide to Free & Bookmarked PDFs

author: Ruemere (Patryk Adamski)
date: 2004-09-26
status: finished

The following presents a free alternative way of creating bookmarked PDF files. This alternative should work on most popular platforms, like Linux and Windows.

Those who don't need bookmarks, can satisfy themselves with OpenOffice and Java (see 1. below), as the PDFs produced by OO are neat and easy to create (just click Export to PDF button).

Those who prefer to use Microsoft Office, can either

  1. Open .doc later under OO and convert to PDF (beware, some corruption may occur - the Word way of handling styles is far from perfect),
  2. Download and install PDFCreator, a wonderful (and complete) free tool for creation of optimized PDFs: PDFCreator at Sourceforge.

1. The toolbox.

Get yourself a copy of OpenOffice (1.1.1 minimum) for your operating system. It's a big download, but in return you get a suite which can achieve more than Office XP (though sometimes it takes to write a macro).
OpenOffice website / 1.1.1 download
Download latest stable Sun Java (required for OO macros to run).
Java for Desktops
Get latest versions of Ghostscript (either AFPL or GNU versions will do) and Ghostview.
GS and GSView, links
And finally, the most important thing, download a document containing the macro to create a PDF with bookmarks. Yes, that's right, a free BOOKMARKED PDF :).
ExtendedPDF macro document

2. Installation.

  • install Java
  • install Ghostscript
  • install GhostView
  • (if you run Windows) make sure that /bin and /lib directories of Ghostscript installation are on system PATH (i.e. you can run gswin32c.exe from any directory), i.e. if you run SET PATH at you command (DOS) prompt, you'd get something like this: C:\gs\gs8.14\bin\;C:\gs\gs8.14\lib (among other paths)
  • install OpenOffice
  • open ExtendedPDF document (it's in .sxw format, i.e. it's just like a typical Word with some macros in) agreeing to run macros
  • follow instructions in the document to install macro globally in OO
  • enjoy (strictly optional step)

3. Creating bookmarked PDF, final tips

  • (if you run Windows) remember to change "gs" to fully qualified path in macro menu (the window which opens whenever you run the macro)
  • set bookmark conversion parameters (i.e. what styles are to be converted to what level bookmarks) according to your preference.
  • (if you run Windows) if you are not satisifed with conversion speed, change default PS printer driver to Apple Color Laser PS


v1.02 (edited for clarity)